Updated: Jun 27
What can be more important than spending time with people you love and care about and doing things which excite and broaden our minds?
Doing the laundry? Putting toys away? Sorting through a massive pile of unopened mail? Running around the house tidying up before visitors come round? I don't think so!! And I don't think you would have found this website or blog if you thought this was the case!
Don't get me wrong, there is no magic wand solution to creating more than 24 hours in the day but there are ways to help you carve out time in your day that you didn't know was there!
Whether you are a stay at home mum, a retired business man or if you work full time there are 5 steps you can take to begin reclaiming the time spent getting frustrated because you are overwhelmed and distracted by the chaos of your home or office. Let's start with the one which will make the most impact straight away!
1 Put it back - when you get something out, put it away again.
This is probably one of the most difficult things on the list but it is also the most highly effective solution to mess and disorganisation!
It seems obvious but in reality all sorts of reasons can lead to a toy, project, hairdryer, for example - not being put away.
The main reason? - It takes effort, it takes more effort to put something away than it does to leave it there. Simple but true!
So how does it save time?
Surely it takes less time just to leave something out than it does to put it away and come back to it when it is needed again?
Absolutely not! I have little doubt that it could probably take you 20 to 30 minutes to rush around your house to do a fast tidy up. But guess what - if you had put all those things away at the time it would take seconds! Those seconds, when added up would not come near to the 20 or 30 minutes you are spending doing a rush around tidy at the moment.
Let's take the hairbrush and dryer. You use it most days so it is much easier to leave it out on the dressing table than it is to put it away. But if you made a habit of putting the hairdryer and brush away every time you use it how much less messy would your bedroom look? And how long would it take?
What about a project you are working on? Do you cross stitch each evening in front of the television? Instead of leaving it out on the couch or on the table so that it is ready to use next time, find a pretty bag and roll it all up, pop it into the bag and put it away. Instant tidy! Instant declutter!
But what about toys or the cereal boxes in the morning. You didn't get them out.
This one is a learning curve for everyone!
Firstly, it is important that you check yourself first. if putting things away as you finish with them is new to you and your family you probably won't have everybody on side straight away. Begin by doing it yourself and putting the things away that you have been using. Simply by doing this you are setting an example.
Secondly, before something can be put away there needs to be somewhere for it to go. So whilst you are beginning to set an example of how easy it is to put things away set up easily accessible homes for the items which are left lying around.
Thirdly, it's time to let everybody know what you are doing!
If you have been setting the example for a couple of weeks they may or may not have noticed that you are not rushing around every few days trying to tidy up for half an hour or so. You will need to be patient. Show them where you expect things to be put and that when they have finished with something, like the cereal box, it needs to be put back in the right place - not left on the table.
Do not expect an immediate success. Adults who have always lived like this will be harder to convince that most children but persevere. It is for the benefit of all of you! Stick to your guns! Explain why you are doing this. It will mean you are less frazzled, have fewer distractions and have more time to spend with them.
They will be helping you whilst at the same time creating more space and maybe even having the time to have friends around! Give a helping hand at first but then a few gentle reminders - but no losing your temper if you can help it! You are setting the example and setting them on the track to improved habits in the long run.
The time you save will soon mount up and, along with the time, you will have created space where you can play with the children or have your friends around for a coffee. Win / win!
Why not try this for one or two weeks? Let me know how you get on. (all the ways you can contact me are below)
Next week I will reveal the Second Simple Step to Save Time Everyday!
If you want to delve deeper into finding a system which will work for you, you can contact me via my email firstname.lastname@example.org or using the chat bubble on my website, I would love to help you!
You can message me on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Linda-J-Harper-Professional-Declutterer-and-Organiser-107805011001601.
I am also on Pinterest and Instagram if you need some inspiration! https://www.pinterest.co.uk/adnilenaj1314/boards/