The Quintessence of Successful Goals & Organization

We are well on our way into February, but I still have lots of simplifying to tackle– doesn’t sound too simplistic now, does it? But just as a refresher from my previous article, my goal is to weed out the different forms of clutter in my life so I can focus on what is most important to me. The first step is to outline the larger, long term goals and make a plan to tackle it. You have probably heard that ten minutes of planning will save you an hour of extra work, so goals and organization will be a crucial part in helping me succeed in my path to simplicity.

Although we need to readjust our goals or details in our lives to adapt to life changes, the large meta goals and desires should stay relatively the same. So don’t worry, once you outline those goals you shouldn’t have to do it for a long time if ever again! So go ahead and grab a piece of paper or open up a Word document and get your larger, long term goals as well as your short term goals down in writing. I promise you, your likelihood of achieving your goals is much higher if you write them down. It also helps to put them somewhere you can see them on a regular basis. You know, as a screen saver, taped on the mirror or dolled up in a cute vinyl font on the living room wall.

Homes, schedules and priorities all need organization and this is really the umbrella for a simplified life. Assuming all of my other goals are outlined and organized, I need to make sure that my home is in order and our priorities are clear.  Below are some ways to set your family up for success, which can save significant time and stress in the long run. Use this time to spend time together, relax or do something a lot more fun than chores!

Source: google.com

1. Team Work. Resist the urge to be a frazzled heroine and follow the lesson all good heroes teach! Without my family on board it becomes a black hole or groundhog day of sorts, because I end up being a one-woman show. Of course my husband will help with the chores if I ask him, and my daughter will help tidy up her room or do small chores around the house, but as a general rule chores need to be clearly outlined. They may not notice how filthy the bathroom sink looks or how dusty the shelves are getting like you do, but if it is written down it is clear what needs to be done. And you can minimize the “nagging”. Be sure to include motivation with incentives like staying up five minutes later for bedtime or an ice cream sundae at the end of the month just like you treat yourself to after a long week of keeping house.

I recently made my own twist on a fridge magnet frame project, in order to have my dinner plan and family chores in one of the busiest places in the house. I actually wanted to do the project as I originally saw it on Pinterest, but I could not find any industrial strength magnets at my local hardware store, so I used Command picture frame strips instead. The downside is that you can’t change your mind as easily about how you want them laid out (easy, but it will require additional strips), but the nice thing is that it was ridiculously simple. No glue, no mess. I bought larger 10X13 inch frames so that it would be easier to write legibly, but am in the middle of designing a larger printable to put in it and use it as a white board. I will definitely share it when it is complete!

Source: stagetecture.com

2. De-clutter. I am all about cleaning and organizing, but you cannot organize clutter. That is one of the best pieces of advice I received and followed years ago and although I often feel like I am treading water, I am staying a float. Make an effort to go through toys and household items once a month and pull out anything that hasn’t been used, is no longer needed or can be stored for the next season or child to use later. To avoid unnecessary de-cluttering, you may also want to try and make better buying decisions. Remember less is more and quality over quantity. If you need more motivation, just think the fewer unnecessary purchases you make, the less there will be to clean and organize in the long run.

3. Storage Solutions. I need to make sure that there is a place for everything so that everything can be in its place. This is complete in some parts of my home, but I still have room for improvement. Sometimes I know where something goes, but the rest of my family may be clueless. So step one is to communicate, then to set ourselves up for success by making clear places (or labels) for where things go. My latest project has been the kid’s toys and closets. Although I love bins since you toss everything in and it looks more organized, the bedrooms would too often turn upside down and it would take forever to sort through the toys to put them away in the right place.

While I still love open bins, they are asking to be dumped out and played with. And they should be, just not all at once. I purchased about a dozen large latch-top containers over the past month, labeled them, and now we have a solution where we can still toss everything in a bucket, but the lids keep things better contained. The containers can also be stacked in the closet which use space more wisely. Now we can take out just one or two bins at a time to cut down on clean up time and the labels make it clear what toys go in what bin so even a babysitter can be on board.

Source: lilmagoolie.com

4. Maintenance. The biggest pitfall I have experienced seen others fall victim to is losing steam on maintenance. If I had to come up with one single solution for this it is to remember to never leave a room empty handed! I read this somewhere and told my husband and now it’s a sort of joke between us. I’m serious, it makes a huge difference. Rather than spending ten, twenty minutes tidying up toys, magazines and other household things at once, be sure to have something in hand every time you leave a room. Grabbing a glass of water in the kitchen? Take the magazines from the coffee table and set them in the recycle bin. I have been getting better at this and I am working on making this a healthy habit and reminding my family members to do the same. Then just be sure to keep your goals in mind, chore charts in sight and make the best out of the time you have so you have time to do everything else you would rather be doing.

Are you following me on Pinterest? I love to scope out and pin home organization ideas on a regular basis, so make sure to follow me for additional organization inspiration.

{If you enjoyed reading The Quintessence of Successful Goals & Organization I would be tickled pink if you left a comment. To read more about my green(er) parenting aspirations, advice and adventures be sure to subscribe to my RSS feed or get updates via email.}
Emi

Emi

By Emi Stapler. I am a cloth diaper advocate, green parenting blogger, mother of three and a military wife who enjoys sharing my motherhood adventures and advice. Follow me at The Cloth Diaper Report on Facebook, Twitter @TheCDReport , Google +, Pinterest and Instagram.
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