We hear a lot these days about "getting organized". I saw the topic on many New Year's resolution lists in January. It's true, once you get yourself organized you quickly realize how much smoother your entire life runs.
However, I've seen the other end too – believe it or not, too organized! So much so that it makes it difficult to actually 'live' in a home comfortably.
I think at one time, I fell into that category. A place for everything, everything in it's place "QUICKLY" kind of approach worked best for me. But for my family? Maybe not so much.
For example; My daughter would come through the back door from a day at school, kick off her shoes, dump her backpack, lunch, etc. and be so excited to tell me about her day. I would listen (sort of) while whisking shoes into a bin, hanging up her backpack and cleaning out her lunch bag all in record time. In a flash, I had it done and would move onto my next task – usually dinner.
Fortunately, it occurred to me one day (hopefully not too late) that I was wasting valuable face time with her. I realized I was missing out on the big stuff – the important stuff, the stuff that really mattered.
We live in a relatively small home – a little less than 1900 sq.ft. and while it is ample space for three of us, in no time it can feel messy and disorganized if things don't quickly migrate to their 'homes'.
But how quick is too quick? Seconds after walking in the door is probably too quick.
My solution; I learned to get things in order before I turned in for the night. I'd spend a few minutes – usually not more than 20 or 30, picking up, looking over schoolwork, making lunches, etc. Things were quieter then too and I found the time less stressful and even enjoyable. I knew that when I got up the next morning, things were organized and I could go about getting my day started quickly and easily.
Whether it's getting your paperwork in order, getting your kids out the door in the mornings, grocery shopping, getting dinner on the table or cleaning up your house, take a step back and remember to actually 'live' in your home. Your family will love you for it too.
This article originally appeared in That's Neat! Blog on February 12, 2009