It’s 6:00pm and you’re just walking in the door. Your three kids are hungry, the living room is a disaster, and there are loads upon loads of laundry waiting for you. How did this happen to you?
Busy families can achieve household bliss through just one action – organizing. According to Barbara Tako, owner of Clutter Cleaning Choices, LLC and motivational clutter clearing speaker, people who simplify their lives are able to free up time and energy for more important things, like family, fun and rest.
“Organizing and de-cluttering…[helps] families to focus on their priorities rather than wasting time hunting for stuff or struggling with disorder,” says Tako. “It isn’t important to be a perfect family. I don’t know what that would look like! But the goal is to become a more functional family.”
Tako’s own household received an organizational boost when she started to realize that her mother-in-law – a former winner of the Suburban Homemaker of the Year – had time for her faith, family, friends and other interests due to a de-cluttered, well organized home.
“I realized that because she ran a tighter ship than I did, she had time for her priorities. That caught my attention,” Tako explains. “[From my mother-in-law], I learned the purpose of clutter clearing and home organizing wasn’t to have a magazine cover perfect home. The purpose is to free up time for other things and enjoy a more relaxing, restoring home that energizes instead of drains us.”
One of the most significant areas families struggle with when it comes to being more functional is home organization. And when it comes de-cluttering your home, Tako stresses that it doesn’t take a lot of time to get things in order – just a little co-operation.
“Spend as little as ten to fifteen minutes per day [on home organization],” Tako says. “Set a timer. Work together. If you pick a room to focus on, you will be amazed at the progress.”
Tako stresses the importance of recognizing that each family member will have different organization styles and preferences, but deciding what the overall goals are for organizing a room can successfully blend everyone’s unique de-cluttering styles together.
Another central issue that families face when it comes to simplifying their lives is meal time, which Tako says can be solved with a little forethought and, of course, organization.
Barbara Tako’s top tips for meal planning:
1) Decide in the morning what the meal plan is for tonight. Don’t wait until evening when everyone is standing around the kitchen counter tired and hungry.
2) Try to find solutions between eating out and a totally home-cooked meal if you are in a hurry. Add fresh veggies to a make-and-take
pizza, or add canned ingredients to go with fresh ones if you can’t get to the store.
3) Shop based on newspaper grocery store sale flyers, and plan several meals for the week at that time.
By remembering that organizing has a positive outcome – that is, freeing up much needed time for the more important things in life beginning the first step towards simplifying your life may not seem as intimidating. More than that, taking the initiative to de-clutter on your own might free up more than just time and energy, too.
“I believe many of us can improve our clutter and home organizing situation by adding a few new simple ways to stay better organized and keep clutter flowing through our homes,” Tako says. “In tough economic times, this may be a more affordable choice than hiring a professional organizer.”
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