Every day I learn something new. A recent gem:
If you put a cloth soaked in white vinegar through the dryer cycle, it will get rid of a weird smell in the drum.
If you put a cloth soaked in white WINE vinegar through the dryer cycle, it will make the drum (and kitchen) stink of booze……
I am NOT a domestic goddess!
Those who know me know this – but sometimes those who haven’t met me assume certain things because I am a “Professional Organiser”. That my house must never be messy, that I never get behind on the laundry and that I never ordered a takeaway because it was either that or mushrooms on toast (actually I quite like mushrooms on toast!)
Let me tell you, all of those scenarios have and continue to occur within my home.
But the truth is, perfection is unobtainable and boring. There ARE optimum ways to organise our homes but there has to be room for manovere. Most people I work for are BUSY, overwhelmed, perhaps even unwell. The last thing they need is impossible standards and suggestions of complicated systems in order to make their home run smoothly and look good.
I consider myself in the same boat as them. As much as I wouldn’t change my responsibilities and enjoy my busy life, juggling everything “perfectly” seems laughable.
I mean, some days even six arms wouldn’t be enough right?
I do firmly believe however, that the root of our contentment and security lies within how we run our homes, daily routines and rituals.
This is ironic because, like everyone, my home doesn’t always run like clockwork. However, I always come back to my core rules and systems if I have let them slip. And when I do return to order, WITHOUT FAIL it makes me feel 100 times better (about everything, not just my home)
So I’ve summarised five simple and realistic rules that I believe everyone can put into practice and it will have a huge effect on the smooth running of your home. They go some way to making us feel that bit more in control of our (imperfect) homes That’s not to say these rules are always easy to follow (and guess what, your home won’t fall to the ground if you miss one out from time to time) but the beauty is they are achievable and they actually work.
Rule One – Don’t Stress About Mess
I have young kids and one of their favourite things to do is make a huge mess everywhere! So here’s my perspective on mess: embrace it! At times, your house WILL have things strewn around. Don’t try to fight it. Look at it this way – it’s actually a great opportunity to do a spot of decluttering. Take a proper look at the items around the room and make sure they all truly have a place and a use. The more awareness you have of each and every possession, the more meaningful it is. The important thing is that you return everything to it’s proper home on at least a daily basis – see next rule.
Rule Two – Have “10 minute Tidies”
Anything is achievable if you only have to do it for 10 minutes. I build in two 10 minute tidies into each day. One at about 6pm to get the house straight so I can enjoy my evening. The second at about 10:30pm before I go to bed, so that the house is “ready” for the next day. Crucially, as much as possible is returned to it’s correct place. It’s a great way to draw a line under the day and start the next with a fresh, positive outlook.
Rule Three – Book a “Snag List” Day
Wouldn’t it be great to have the ironboard attached to the wall to save space? What if you utilised that wall space by putting up a floating shelf? Make a list of the little things that annoy you and book some time to get them all sorted at once. Either by you or a handyman if you aren’t that way inclined. You will be stunned at how much pleasure these little things provide once they’re sorted. Take a look at my favourite home organising hacks here
Rule Four – Meal Plan
Possibly my most important organisational and money saving tip is weekly meal planning (see this post for more money saving tips) This is best done just before you do the food shop, which I recommend is done online (it’s been proven that the delivery charge is well worth what you save by not getting distracted by in store marketing techniques) The whole task from planning to checkout can be completed within an hour. Done. And you’ve saved yourself tens of decisions over the next week.
Rule Five – Make Luxury Necessity
Life’s little luxuries are actually big luxuries. But the important thing is to enjoy them and prioritise them in your home. This might mean getting rid of all the cheap, mediocre candles and using the great quality one. But don’t keep it for a special occasion. Your whole life is a special occasion! The key to contentment is to build as many little pleasure into daily life as possible. Eat off the best china plates, wear your favourite perfume, use the quality towels. Every day.
Good luck! And remember – you are imperfectly perfect!
A Tidy Mind.
PS: Could your home and mind be tidier? Take a look at my packages of support.