I am taking a life-changing class right now. I say "life-changing" because this class has practically impacted my life and lifestyle more than any other thus far. It is "Redeeming the Time" -- basically a class on time management, or rather, a class on self management within the amount of time I have.
Among other things, I have had to track my every move for 4 days (including weekends), write out goals for this season of life, submit my day planner to be scrutinized by Mrs. Mohler (yes, it was just a year ago that dear woman inspired me to go purchase such a thing), write an ideal week schedule based on my priorities and declutter the worst areas of my home (see photos below).
The living room closet BEFORE pictures -- a mess of outerwear, art supplies, tools, videos, games, etc. Scroll down to see the delightful after!
This week our assignment was to make a housekeeping schedule. I have had a rather ragged schedule in the past, but ironing it out a bit has helped tremendously. Most of the weekly jobs I do I can fit in to the early morning time slot before I go to work (that was the depressing part of keeping track of every day -- so much was covered by being gone to work!). With the help of my housekeeping schedule, I can keep things fairly tidy and clean, just leaving minimum maintenance for the weekend (for instance, the neighbors might get frowny if I vacuum at 5:00am). I do all the laundry on Mondays, and focus on our bedroom that day. All clothes, shoes, jackets and bags get put back in their proper place (especially helpful if we've been gone over the weekend, or just running around alot). Tuesdays I clean the bathroom. Sometimes this means scrubbing down the tub and shower, sometimes bleaching the floor, sometimes just the basics. Wednesday is grocery, and once a month cleaning out the fridge (entirely). Thursday is general household straightening (mainly living room), and Friday and Saturday are dusting, vacuuming and special projects (those are the nights Josh works, and I can put in at least an hour or two while he's gone).
This has been so helpful to me! Instead of feeling like "ooooooooh, more chores!", (which is what I was afraid of), I instead feel relief! I simply do not stress about the chore that does not go with that day. I know it is planned for another day, so I do not need to consider it now. It actually takes a mental burden away.
Another thing that has been utterly helpful, and ultimately freeing is to recognize what is causing my disorganization. Is it overcommitment? Procrastination? Perfectionism? Maybe you can identify with those. What are the roots underneath those failures? Usually pride, selfishness, laziness, etc. Call that sin what it is! That is good news! That means the gospel applies to my disorganization! Christ died for my sin of pride and laziness, so I have grace to repent of those sins, and walk in newness of life. I do not have to flounder in despair, trying time and again to pull myself up by my bootstraps to "get it together". I can't save myself from sin. Christ saves me. I must repent and ask for his aid.
Some people are more naturally inclined to organization -- my sister Anna, for instance. But being a messy person naturally is no excuse. We are all sinners naturally. We must fight the sin of laziness and pride, and cling to the gospel as our solution! Okay, if you care about this sort of thing, here is the after of my closet. I put the hats and scarves in a basket, my paints and crafty stuff in a shoebox, combined the tool boxes so the little one can be used for lightbulbs (they were always dangerously teetering on the edges of shelves), and organized the videos and game baskets so they are accessible in the front of the closet, not under the coats.