I don't know about you, but I get overwhelmed very easily by the simplest things. I like to simplify my life and routines so I can accomplish more and not be overcome by overwhelm. I know everyone has their own way of doing things to make life easier/simpler/more organized. These are mine:
1. Have less stuff. Eliminate clutter. You don't have to get rid of all your possessions and live a minimalist life (unless you want to). I have LOTS of stuff. I like stuff - in fact, I LOVE stuff. So if I don't stay on top of my stuff, it can easily become just too much stuff, which for me leads to...you guessed it - overwhelm.
It is so easy to accumulate stuff over the course of every week: papers, bits and pieces of things I want to add to my Documented Life journal, piles of shoes, hairbands, wine bottles (well, corks from my wine bottles...). Once it starts piling up, it takes time to sort and decide what to do with it. So what I've done is become more intentional about what I bring into the house.
I intentionally bring wine into the house so I can drink it and so I can have my corks.
Just kidding...sort of.
Anyway, practice becoming more intentional about what you bring into your home - then there is less to sort and make decisions about.
2. Create a daily routine. My routines are just "systems" for doing things. Once I have a routine in place it is simple to just follow it and stay on top of the less fun stuff (like making my bed). Examples of this might be creating a day each week to sit down and write a menu plan before you make a grocery list to go shopping; or a specific day to pay your bills; a time of day to sort and deal with email.
If I do not roll out of bed and make it right then, I probably won't make it that day. It is not because I'm lazy...(not really). It is because my kitties will get up there and make nests and cozy spots and I simply refuse to kick them off the bed just to make it. That would just be rude!
3. Set up a Home Command Center. Ooooooo! Sounds Star Trekky! "Donna, you have the Com." Why, yes I do, Captain.
We actually have two of them. My personal favorite is the cork board in my kitchen that holds my erasable monthly calendar, my erasable menu plan for the week, my husbands Tae Kwon Do schedule, coupons we want to remember to use and a small clipboard with our take out menus.
Our other command center is our desk where we keep our bill statements, extra pens (although there is never one there when we need it...strange...), files of important information for easy reference, a notebook that holds all of our family's important papers (including our kitties medical records), a small cup that holds all of our extra keys. We can find what we need quickly (except for pens...strange...).
(Oh lookie! A pen!)
4. Have a method for tracking your tasks and events. This is a biggie. A dayplanner works, as does a simple list with the date at the top. Find a method that works for you. I love to write things in my Documented Life journal, but since I usually have a lot of things to write down (I often have illusions of grandeur and intend to do great things each day - many of them...), I use a very simple system that I Ell Oh Vee Eee (I ADORE lists!) called the Bullet Journaling System. It took me like 2 seconds to set it up (did I say I ADORE lists? Well, I do!) But find a method that works for you - one that you will use daily and is portable.
5. Do things when they need to be done. This is HUGE. Seriously. Do things as soon as they need to be done...and do them right. For example, when you put on your jammies for the night, hang up your clothes (or toss in the hamper) right then. Finished with dinner - do the dishes right that moment. As soon as you use a pair of scissors or a tool, put it away so you can find it again when you need it (oh, if only my hubby would do this one thing...he would be perfect then. Perfect I tell you!)
Doing things when they need to be done helps to eliminate the daily clutter than can build up, reduces my stress and makes me a nicer person to live with.
6. Ask for help and delegate. This one is sooooo hard for me. I often want to do it myself because I want it done a certain way. I think as women we truly want to do it all ourselves, which is great because, well, you know...women get shit done! That is why I try to do all the other stuff I've shared because it helps me to be able to do most things myself. But sometimes I need to ask for help - like asking for family members to do specific chores or hiring someone to do a task or project that I don't have the ability or skill to do myself or even asking family/friends to bring a dish to share at a family gathering so there is more time to sit and be together and less time in the kitchen. There is no shame in asking for help.
For me, these things make my life feel more peaceful and joyful.
What ideas have you found to create a more peaceful, joyful life in your home? Please share your thoughts and ideas below - you never know what idea might be just the one that someone needs most today!