ALL PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZERS HAVE PERFECT HOMES… TRUE OR FALSE?

When people first find out that I'm a professional organizer they almost always say something along the lines of, "Oh, so you must have a perfect home?" To which I always want to laugh and say, "No, I have a toddler and an infant." What do you think?




When people first find out that I'm a professional organizer they almost always say something along the lines of, "Oh, so you must have a perfect home?" To which I always want to laugh and say, "No, I have a toddler and an infant." What do you think?


When I first became a professional organizer, I didn't want to admit this to people. I was afraid they wouldn't take me seriously, that maybe I wasn't actually qualified, that something was wrong with me, that I was missing something.


The more I have grown, the more I have come to believe none of those things are true. And here's why: Have you ever lived with a toddler before?


If so you'll get what I mean. But if not, let me paint a little picture for you... Your house can go from sparkling clean to looking like a hoard of monkeys came through and then detonated a bomb in a manner of MINUTES. No exaggeration.


And it's often not easy to clean up stuff either. Everything is new and exciting and worth exploring to these little guys. So you end up with things like flour spilled all over the counter (how did you even get up there and reach it... I'll probably never know), toothpaste on the walls (why...just why...), 3 whole rolls of toilet paper disintegrating in the bathtub (while there's the great toilet paper shortage of 2020 going on no less), pen on their skin ("I'm a bad guy mom, look!"), and blue frosting in that white rug (yes that day as finally come. We knew when we were first married if we wanted something white now was the time to enjoy it!). Does this sound like a house that can always be perfectly clean to you?


“If this has been your experience living with children, then I'm sure you've thought at least once: what's even the point of trying to clean or get organized. I might as well brush my teeth with Oreos, it's just as effective.

If this has been your experience living with children, then I'm sure you've thought at least once: what's even the point of trying to clean or get organized. I might as well brush my teeth with Oreos, it's just as effective.


If you've thought that I want you to know, I totally hear you! That being said I do want to challenge this thought a bit, and let you in on the secrets I've found very helpful.


No. 1 BE INTENTIONAL ABOUT WHEN YOU CLEAN & WHY

It is VERY easy to feel like all you do everyday is run around after your kids constantly cleaning trying desperately to give yourself just one moment of peace with things being clean. By all means feel free to go ahead and keep doing this. But I've found I have far better ways I want to spend my time and energy. That being said I still NEED moments to enjoy my home being clean. So what do I do?


I get intentional of course! I choose when I'm going to clean and why. Here are some examples. I try to have the dishwasher empty at the beginning of the day so that I can load it throughout the day. This REALLY helps me stay on top of dishes, and makes that chore 10x easier. My kitchen doesn't smell as much, and it's something I can pretty well control even with my toddler.


(BONUS tip: I've also recently thinned down the number of dishes I have out in our cupboard- I keep a few extra in storage for when we have company- so that it's about one and a half loads. Reason being, if I can just get a new clean dish from the cupboard my motivation to wash dishes is like beyond the bottom of the barrel (just ask my husband lol!) However, if I only have about enough dishes to go in one load in my dishwasher, then I have to make sure I'm staying on top of it otherwise I will very quickly run out of dishes to use, and guess what that motivation driven my hunger does wonders at getting things done!)


No. 2 LET YOUR KIDS MAKE MESSES & BE OKAY WITH IT

Kids are kids. They are discovering their world. Everything is new and fascinating to them. It's one of the things I love about raising them and watching them discover. So I have decided that it's okay for my son's imagination to run wild and make a bit of a mess throughout the day, and I don't stress about it when he does. It's made us both a whole lot happier.


That being said, I don't let him just run wild doing whatever he wants. (I'm still wanting to avoid the toothpaste, flour, and other dangerous behaviors!) I do set limits. But then we both have a better idea of what's okay and what's not.


No. 3 SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

This is where organization comes in and is very handy! When that precious nap time rolls around, I know I can get ANY room in my home back in order in 10-30 min max. This means even if they only sleep for 1 hour, I still have a whole 30 minutes to enjoy the clean space to myself. Talk about self-care!


Wondering how I am able to get any room back in order in 10-30 minutes? Reach out. I'd love to share with you how!


No. 4 SET ASIDE YOU TIME

This one is important. I've found my husband and I are both more night owls. As such after bedtime it's our time! I always try to do a quick sweep of at least the main rooms (kitchen, living-room, and bedroom) before going to bed. My reasons are two fold: 1st I want to enjoy my me time in a clean environment. Having something like a basket I keep in the living-room to toss all my son's toys into so I can then quickly put them away in his room is a GAME CHANGER.


I also love waking up to a clean home. It helps me feel ready for the new day and not nearly as rushed. Before I did this, I used to wake up and feel like from the moment I opened my eyes I was already behind and playing catch up because the mess of yesterday was still around.


(BONUS TIP: Are you a morning person, but still want to enjoy the benefits of a clean home in the morning? You may find it's easier for you to get your you time by doing these things in the morning before your kids get up. This allows you to tidy the main home areas and then enjoy them for a bit before starting your day with everyone else. Follow your body's natural rhythm to get the best results for YOU.)


No. 5 INVOLVE YOUR KIDS

This one may seem counter-intuitive. Didn't we just talk about how messy toddlers in particular are and how you shouldn't always try to keep them tidy? Yes, however, if you want them to learn to be more tidy as they get older, you've got to start when they are young. For example, I have my toddler help me clean up his room each night before bed, and have basically since he could walk. I've set up his room so he can easily put away his toys, clothes, shoes etc. I also talk with him about how nice it is to have things put away and how it helps us sleep better at night. I want him to have exposure to these ideas from a young age.


Now a few disclaimers. 1. This does not mean he always wants to or always does put his things away. (Though if he's looking for a way to stall going to bed and I haven't had him clean up he'll definitely remind me lol!) Kids are kids. They are still going to make their own decisions and they often aren't going to choose what we want them to. That's okay.


Our job as parents is not to control our children. It is to mentor, guide, and teach them and then give them space to learn and to practice. This sometimes looks like my son not putting his toys away and then later asking where something is. Instead of responding with where it is if I know, I try to say something like "Oh I see you don't know where your toy is. That sounds frustrating. I get frustrated when I can't find my things too. That's why I try to put them away when I'm done using them. Let's see if I can help you find it."


This acknowledges what's going on, how he's feeling, and offers an alternative to avoid this situation in the future while still being kind, loving, understanding, and helping them in the present.


Disclaimer 2. Consistency is key. I'll be honest with you. I definitely struggle with consistency. It's something I'm actively working on. And I can see night and day differences in my children's behavior when I am consistent. They know what the expectations are, and when I'm consistent in upholding them they are far more compliant and the amount of reminding, fighting, conflict drops drastically. Do yourself a favor and practice being consistent.


(BONUS TIP: If you are just starting to be more consistent, do everyone a favor and give your kids a heads up! Suddenly changing the "rules" can create more negative backlash. Providing something like a grace period can go a LONG WAY! For example, after I had our second son and all the complications to my health that came with it my husband and I were simply trying to survive. This meant the t.v was more often than not the one putting on son to bed, not us. (This is okay. Please acknowledge the season you are in, and do not try to judge what life should look like by looking through the lens of another season!)


Now, as things in our life have begun to stabilize/normalize I'm working to be more intentional in having a bedtime routine, limiting screen-time before bed, and spending sometime with my son before he sleeps. Guess what? He hasn't been really on board for these changes. Surprise! He liked getting to watch t.v before bed.


So what have I done. I've talked with him about things like okay, but we're only watching one episode then going to bed. Then a few nights later it may be something like, okay we can watch one tonight, but we're not going to watch one tomorrow. This gives him time to adjust too.)


No. 6 GIVE EVERYONE GRACE

These changes won't happen over-night, for you or your kids. No matter how good your intentions are. I remember how much easier it seemed in the beginning to just leave the mess and go to bed. It seemed so easy to justify. It took a lot of time for me to come to the point that I would rather spend a little extra energy at night and have a good morning, instead of trying to feel better by just going to bed and avoiding the mess, only to discover I felt just as terrible the next morning anyways.


Intentional living is a process. It is not easy or everyone would always do it. But it is SO worth it. Don't give up! You've got this!!


And if you ever feel overwhelmed or have any questions about anything, please always feel free to reach out. I'm always happy to do what I can to help and love hearing from you!


Thanks for simply being you.


Quick Start Tip: Pick one of these 6 tips to start intentionally implementing in your home this week. Join the conversation over on Instagram and share with me how it's going, what you're excited about, what challenges are coming up with you. I love having conversations with you and sharing in your success!

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