Oh, I do like to make lists, lists for everything, lists for my lists hahaha!!
Although, it is possible to over-do the list making. Make sure you don’t make the list/s too long to start with, or you risk overwhelming yourself. I can promise you this, once you start ticking things off your list, you’ll experience the feeling of achievement and pride. Try it, I dare you!
Blended family life is a constant balancing act at the best of times. I find it’s a lot less stressful when I’m feeling organized and on top of things, in and around my home. It’s a well-known fact that decluttering your home can help declutter your mind. Sometimes we can
get so overwhelmed that it’s hard to know where to begin. Once you get there the key is to stay on top, then you’re simply keeping up as you go along your day to day activities.
I don’t have a set cleaning day anymore, this way I’m always feeling ready for action, or chilling. Either way I don’t have the anxiety I used to experience as we sat amongst clutter and dusty shelves, and a poorly vacuumed floor. It bothered me. It took away from me being present and enjoying time with my family. It no longer matters to me that I struggle to stay mindful, what matters is I know how to manage it now and that is by staying organized. My family are happier, and I am happier. A clean and clear environment is an essential contributor to having a clear mind for thinking, consciously and on a subconscious level.
I like routine because it leaves room for spontaneous fun and planned fun. Having weekend fortnights with our kids means we can plan so that we are making the most of these weekends. Blended Parenting pro tip; always have a back up plan in case the weather goes against your plans. Being organized and routine, removes so much potential stress from each eventful, and non-eventful weekend.
Forming a routine doesn’t have to be your standard piece of paper on the fridge stating what time each person must brush their teeth and do homework etc. You can make it more like an internal routine to help balance out your day. Make time for a little of everything. Make a list. I’ve found with a blended family, I’m not always able to control who comes through my front door, but it is a whole less stressful when you don’t have laundry on the couch waiting to be folded, or an unclean bathroom, or dishes on the bench.
But when mess is just that, mess. A few toys are easier to cope with when you know the cupboard they came from is organized, and the floor they’re on is vacuumed and the shelves in the background are dusted; it’s a lot easier to relax and be in the moment, with the people in your home. When I’m up to date in all aspects of my life, I’m far more able to really relax and enjoy my blended family time. Even if there’s stuff to be done, it’s not enough to make me feel overwhelmed.
Both partners playing their part and filling their roles makes it easier to relax in the home and helps create more stress-free times together. Understanding each other’s contributions to the blended family and that we all have our own special place and special times with each other helps. Staying on top of the housework helps makes this possible. It’s a huge weight off my shoulders.
I once heard someone say, “Sometimes when I’m cleaning, I imagine I’m clearing my mind.” Another favourite is ‘You really should start from the inside out or else you’ll step on the area you just mopped.’ Having a clear idea of what you want to achieve in which order is a great help.
I suggest you make a plan! My favorite two ways to initiate/implement this are:
1. List each room as a title and under that particular room you list what needs to be done in that room, on the daily, weekly etc.
2. Have a ‘daily jobs’ to go do list, a weekly, and a monthly.
If you start to go a little “Marie Kondo” She’s OTT, and awesome! Check her out on Netflix if you haven’t already. Try this, each day you make sure you complete all your ‘dailies’. And at least one of your ‘weeklies’ and one monthly. Keeping ahead of yourself, and your home, frees up space in the mind to help keep ahead of the kids and their needs, behaviours, and goings-on.
Keeping ahead, leads me to part two of this article, decluttering or reverse hoarding.
The cleaning itself is the key. It’s not the result so much as the process. You could pay someone to clean, and sure its nice to see your home clean. For me, the real satisfaction comes from the process. Completing the re-organization of your wardrobe is, in my opinion, satisfying. This way you can avoid the build up of things you don’t need or really want. Its just stuff after all. The item doesn’t hold the
memory, you do. There are only so many cardboard box kindergarten construction creations you keep round the home; take a photo and then recycle it! Your clutter is probably driving you crazier than you children are. Declutter as you clean, everytime!
Often we can feel overwhelmed and lacking in motivation. If this is the case, may I suggest, keeping what “Sparks you joy” (-Marie Kondo) and get organized. Looking at what is around us in this way can really shift our mood and the state of our homes. Taking the time to consider why we are holding on to something can be a real eye opener.
There are so many different ways we can practice self-care. I like the organisation aspect of self-care because it has multiple rewards, for yourself and the people who live with you.
Becks (Rebecca Dunning) is a mum of 3 and step-mum of 1. She has provided in-home childcare/education for 20 years and specialises in family support. Her love of gardening and home organisation as a form of self-care, has inspired her to help others through my Facebook pages, seeds and eggs, and plant passion.