Have you ever wasted an entire 20 golden minutes of your day looking for a pair of expensive earrings, an old blazer, or your toddler’s sock? We mums may have some unheard-of superpowers but sometimes, how we wish that psychic power and X-ray vision are two of them. A photographic memory would be great, too.
Sadly, we have to flip through every shitty mess in the house to find that missing item. While in the background, Little Andy’s crying. Well, say hello to another working mum’s morning.
And then you get this afterthought. You just wasted precious minutes, which collectively, you could have spent on ‘me time’ in a hot tub — something you haven’t had time for since you can’t remember when. Or it could have been time spent with your clingy toddler. You always feel a bit guilty when he asks you why you’re still working.
Why it’s time to get organised
Estimates say that people in the UK spend 31 minutes per day looking for lost items. US statistics say it’s 16 minutes per day in America. What if you could gather up all those minutes and spend them on more worthwhile things?
Who says you can’t? And many time management teachers agree that one way you can do this is by keeping yourself organised and your things sorted out in such a way that you can find the ones you often use quickly and easily.
You can begin with key areas like your wardrobe, your children’s toys, and your work files.
- Your wardrobe is part of your daily routine. If it’s disorganised as it is, it will take you more time each day to find the shirt you want to wear. Then multiply that by 30 to know your monthly rate.
- Let’s face it, no matter how responsibly you’ve trained your kids, they will misplace their toys. Keeping these in categorised containers can work wonders for both you and them.
- Your work files may be physical folders or computer files. Thank goodness for that computer search function. But admit it, sometimes your computer will have difficulty finding a file or two.
You may have better ideas of what you want to create an organised system for. Your refrigerator, cupboard, seasonal decors? It’s your call but start with one or a few. Do not overwhelm yourself.
A brilliant but simple way to get organised
Forget what’s forgotten. Marie Kondo calls it letting go of things that no longer “spark joy.” You’ve heard this drill. Sort out your clutter and refuse to cling to things that you don’t need. If you’ve never seen it for a decade but never missed it, maybe it’s time to let it go. Unless it’s a 24-carat ring or stock certificates. You know what I mean.
Categorise. This can look different from one mum to the next but find a style that works for you. The idea is to categorise according to what will make you more efficient. Assign each item to a place where it will belong.
For example, you’re organising your wardrobe, and you’re a white shirt-blue jeans kind of gal. Then you most definitely want all your white shirts arranged in a spot that’s easy for you to reach. You can organise according to the things you use more often to the stuff you use the most.
Assign a ‘home’ for each item. For example, just because you like wearing a particular white shirt a lot, it doesn’t mean you can put it wherever. This is very powerful when you apply to items you often misplace. Your car keys, for instance, should be in only one or two places where you usually put them (other than in your car ignition). Assign which part of your house those places should be so that when you forget them, there are only two places to look for them.
Often, we lose things because they don’t have a “home” inside our home. We drop them altogether as we slump wherever our tired legs find us. Assign a home in spots easily accessible to you as you move around your home.
Create a system that works for you and your family. According to The Balance Careers, one strategy may work differently for each mum. We have different personalities and strengths when it comes to organising ourselves and our stuff. Assess your nature and feel free to craft a system that works for you.
What can I say; getting organised takes time and energy. But the investment will be worth it. Try it today. Soon, you’ll be sipping wine while comfortably relaxing in a tub, or maybe spending extra quality time with your toddler — because you didn’t forget a ton of things this week.