Growing up, Saturday was always the day we completed the "major" chores, such as scrubbing the bathroom, cleaning out the garage, etc. So I though "what better day to share home organization/simplification tips than Saturday?"
Today's Focus: Automation.
When was the last time you forgot to brush your teeth at night? Put on deodorant (ok, I'll be honest, sometimes I forget that one in the rush to shower and get dressed before the little one notices I'm not in the same room!) But seriously, think about all the things in your life that you do without even thinking.
I think that one way to keep your home a little more clutter-free is to create routines that become automatic. There are several ways to do this. First, you could make a schedule for yourself. This might work for some people, but not for me.
You can also try the website Don't Break the Chain. With this tool, you set a goal for something you will do every day (for example, clean up the dishes right after a meal, organize the counter every night before bed, exercising, etc...). You get an "x" for every day you do the task. The point is that once you have a few days in a row, you don't want to break the chain, so you do the task to keep it going. Then pretty soon, it becomes automatic.
Or you can try what I do, which is just to organize a small part of my day with a routine. This keeps things flexible, but I always know how my mornings will go:
1. get up and eat/feed the child
2. Clean up breakfast and any leftover dishes from the night before (child sometimes "helps" with that)
3. Turn on our "Song" (Good day Sunshine by the Beatles) and make the bed together.
4. Shower (if the child needs a shower, I put her in with me, otherwise I turn on Curious George or Clifford and give her 15 minutes of cherished tv time.
5. Get ready for the day, finish up any chores.
6. If it's still too early to go outside and play, we read some books or play with toys together.
7. Go outside and play
By the time all these things are done, it's lunch and then naptime. Keeping a routine with my mornings really helps me know exactly what needs to get done and when.
Another idea to help create organization routines for yourself is to have "attagirls." When I was teaching school, I had an "attagirl" folder, that I kept positive notes from students or parents, any achievements I got, or good teaching reviews. Send yourself an email every time you do something great, or your routines work out how you envisioned. Better yet, get a friend to send you an email every time she accomplishes her goal, then you send her an attagirl email. And she can do the same for you. It's all about helping each other out!