How to maintain an organised household

Being organised is critical if you want to succeed in the workplace. You need to know what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, how long it’s going to take, what resources you need to do the job and, where you can find those resources. These are just some of the key things you need to know. Of course, if you are properly organised, you will know the answer to these questions. That’s a good start but many people fail to remain organised in the workplace for an often overlooked reason – they don’t maintain an organised household. You may wonder what an organised household has to do with an organised workplace but the answer is simple. Disorganisation is a bad habit and bad habits from one area of your life will eventually work their way into the rest of your life. Think of all those ‘social smokers’ who eventually just become smokers. So, if you want to remove the bad habit of disorganisation from your workplace, you need to remove it from your whole life i.e. you must support an organised workplace with an organised household.

There are of course other benefits to maintaining an organised household. You will have more time to relax and chill out. You will be less stressed because you know that everything is taken care of.  Also, by getting the whole family involved, you can teach good habits and create a better bond as everybody works together for a common goal.

Creating an organised household

So the only question is… where do you start? Here are a few tips that will get you started on the right track:

1. Declutter

There is no need to organise stuff which you should actually be throwing out. Most people defer organising their life because they fear that there is too much to organise.

When you start by decluttering and throwing out anything which is no longer needed; you greatly reduce the amount of stuff to be organised; thus reducing the amount of resistance you feel towards organising your household.

I once worked with a client who had a massive pile of paper on his window ledge. He wouldn’t organise it because he was afraid that he wouldn’t know what to do with all that paper. I made him sit down and work through it. When he had worked his way through the entire mountain of paper, there were no more than 5 sheets of paper left. Everything else had been thrown you.

The first step in creating an organised household must always be to remove anything which shouldn’t be there.

For great ideas and strategies to help you declutter your life, check out Scaling Back.

2. Delegate

If you are not the only person in your household, make sure that others do their fair share of the work and organisation. If needs be, create a roster for all of the household chores.

3. Outsource

You may feel that you are too busy to do everything which needs doing but you can always outsource. Some obvious examples of outsourcing include:

  • Hiring a cleaner
  • Hiring a gardener, handyman or any other labourer
  • Bringing your washing to a launderette service
  • Ordering your groceries online and having them delivered

Just because the work needs doing, it doesn’t mean that you need to do it. There are plenty of people who can take some of the work off your hands for a very small fee e.g. there is probably a kid in your neighbourhood who would gladly mow your lawn for a few dollars.

4. Automate

For many of the jobs you get bogged down on, there is a way to automate it. Automation should always be part of your efforts to maintain an organised household. After all, if a human doesn’t need to be spending time on it; why spend time on it? Some examples include setting up direct debits to pay your bills or, even just using a dishwasher rather than manually washing the dishes.

5. Save time on journeys

The internet provides many wonderful opportunities to avoid spending time travelling or waiting for service. You can do your banking online or even your shopping. You can even hold meetings and events online rather than spending a great deal of time travelling e.g. many of my coaching clients live in other countries but I use online services to connect with them, such as Skype.

6. Minimise

I could go on forever on this point but I will keep it minimal (pun intended); don’t acquire things that you don’t really need or have a use for. Once something is no longer useful; sell it, donate it or dump it.

As with the first point, you shouldn’t be wasting your time organising things that you shouldn’t really have.

7. Systems

Another tip is to get systems in place. Systems can mean having a designated place for everything and, unless you are using it; it should be in that place.

Systems can also mean having set processes for doing things e.g. you might decide that you will do laundry on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. Then, you can make it clear that everyone in the household is to have any item they want washed placed in the laundry basket on each of these mornings. Anything that is not in the basket, does not get washed i.e. you are not going to check their rooms for them.

When you have systems in place, everybody knows what is expected of them; making it easier for them to play their part in maintaining an organised household.

If you struggle with organisation, The Organised Mind will help.

It is not enough to just have an organised workplace. If you do not have an organised household too; your bad habits from home will eventually creep into your workplace. If you want to eliminate the bad habit of disorganisation from your workplace, you must also eliminate it from your home life. It takes time to set up an organised household but you don’t have to do it alone. Even if you don’t have a family to help you, there are still many opportunities to get some of the workload of your hands.  Create your organised household today and reap the benefits that it will bring.

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