Part 3: Christian working women - Being organised
Part 3: Getting organised 😫
I don't know about you, but if I am surrounded by disorder (clutter, mess, chaos) my brain doesn't function that well. In fact it can quickly lead to high blood pressure and increased stress.
For my working day to run smoothly I need order and calm. That means I need to keep on top of the disorder and remain as organised as possible. When I leave in the morning my house is neat and tidy and things like the kitchen are orderly, so when I walk in at 4:30 in the afternoon the house is calm and tidy and I don't have to stumble over anything.
This is the only way I can function whilst working full-time.
One of the biggest difficulty facing working women is trying to manage their homes whilst working — the secret is being organised. This comes naturally to some but not all and can be quite a struggle to learn and maintain. However it is important to learn otherwise you will find yourself going in circle and struggling endlessly.
** Please ask for help if it is too hard on your own, don't be too embarrassed - is there someone at your church who is super organised? Do you know a older woman who can help? How about your mum? Don't forget to ask your husband, he is bound to have great ideas.
Below are some tips to help you organise your home to make it much easier for you.
- Most importantly, you need to have a "decluttered". Be ruthless - show no mercy, throw out anything that you don't use. And find a home for everything else - if you don't have the space, then be even more ruthless (the charity bin will love you). I do this once a year to keep on top of clutter as it builds up quite quickly if you let it. Start at the front door and work your way to the back door!
- Mini-declutter, once every few months. I have a quick look in cupboards and shelves and make sure everything is in its place and I can find what I want quickly (and other people can find things to). If there is a built up of "stuff" I deal with it straight away. If I have items (including clothes) that haven't been used in ages I decided whether to keep it or give to charity. Be tough.
- Keep an eye on your wardrobe - If I have clothes in my cupboard that don't fit or need mending I take them out - that way I don't try them on by accident in the morning when I am in a hurry. I don't have time to waste - every minute counts (I am sure mums with babies can relate to that).
- Check the pantry and fridge regularly - look out for empty containers or food that is past the due date etc. Have a shopping list on the fridge so you can add to it during the week - saves on time when it is grocery day (Friday afternoons for me). I also ask anyone who uses the "last item" eg eggs to write it on the list on the fridge. Give the fridge a wipe down whilst you are looking. Kills two birds with one stone!
- Straighten up living areas before going to bed (even if you are tired) - don't leave a mess - there is nothing worse than waking up in the morning to find mess, particularly if you are going off to work. And what a way to start the day with the burden of cleaning up last nights mess. Get into a routine of doing a quick 10 min tidy up. I taught my sons to do this when they were little by using brightly coloured plastic boxes. They weren't allow to leave toys out overnight. It doesn't take very long and makes all the differences in the morning. Even if you are at home all day - this is a good habit to get into.
- Keep the kitchen cleaned up and uncluttered. Make sure the dishes are done each night after the meal - get into a routine. I can go off to work knowing that the kitchen is in order and come home and start cooking without any additional work required.
- Make the beds in the morning and make sure the dirty clothes is in the washing basket (and not on the floor). Nothing worse than arriving home from work to find a bedroom that looks like a bomb has dropped on it. This is depressing to say the least. It only takes 10 mins each morning.
- Dirty clothes - I wash twice a week being a small family, all washing goes into the washing basket to make this job quick. I don't have time to hunt around for washing or look for lost socks. Train up your family.
- Have a weekly routine/plan for dusting, washing the bathroom, vacuum-cleaning etc.. For working mums, this may be Saturday mornings, however I tend to do a little each night whilst the dinner is cooking. Get the children involved. It doesn't take very long.
- Don't let the mail pile up - might sound simple but it happens. Open the mail and act upon it straight away - you are a busy woman and may not have time later to deal with it. And throw out the old newspapers and magazines that aren't being used anymore.
According to Emilie Barnes in her book "500 time saving hints for every woman" the better organised we are the less stress we will suffer. Here are few things Emilie wants us to consider when trying to be organised:
- Do you have a certain place to store your unpaid bills until they need to be paid?
- Do you have the habit of not finding your car keys or glasses easily.
- Do you have a filing system to place all of your important papers, such as deeds, insurances policies, auto warranties, income tax records, health records, birth certificates etc..?
- Is your car serviced regularly?
- Is your car fairly clean with a minimum of trash?
- Do you hang up your clothes when you take them off or do you leave them on the floor?
- Is your yard regularly mowed and maintained?
- Do you save money each payday?
- Do you spend less than you earn?
- Do you have manageable credit card debt?
If you have a home that is "in order", when things don't go according to plan, eg sickness, accidents or having to work back late - at least you know that your house doesn't requite a lot of work and that cuts back on unnecessary stress. Nothing worse that looking at a messy room when you are feeling sick, it is likely to make you feel sicker.
Final Tip: Keep a trained eye out for the chaos and have a mindset that wants order in the house. You are accountable for your house as keeper of the home, so keep on top of the clutter, mess, chaos (what ever it might be called) and bring order to the house. It benefits everyone who lives there, it shows that you care for your family.
Let all things be done decently and in order.
(1 Corinthians 14:40)