I wanted to provide a quick note that getting my house ready to be listed for sale resulted in my time being sacrificed elsewhere: my business, my blog, my personal life…the list goes on. I had to take a leave of absence from everything so I could take the pressure off and more easily focus both my time and energy on the top family priority.
In the meantime, I’d like to welcome you to my blog series called, Will it Make My Life Easier?In this series, I will try out the ideas, concepts, and products that were created in hopes of making one’s life easier.
If you are a woman, more specifically a mother, and you are on Facebook or Instagram—you have likely seen an ad for a monthly clothing and styling subscription service. Did you consider it and catch yourself thinking; will it actually make my life easier? I did…and that one thought inspired this series.
Instead of breaking it down by service provider, I am going to break it down by what emotion came out when I finally pulled the trigger and signed up: excitement. I was not prepared for how excited I felt. The action of subscribing to Stitch Fix, Daily Look, and Nadine West. triggered the notion that I do deserve nice things.
Now, I don’t want you to think I am Cinderella over here, because my husband is an amazing help and I definitely treat myself when the occasion calls; but, being a mother of both an infant and a toddler makes shopping for myself really hard.
If I do it, I have to do it on my time, or the time a mother has away from her children, where she is expected to accomplish all of the housework, run all the errands, and literally do all the things. (Being vague on purpose, because my time is unique to each Mama, but we all know what it is). Anyway, using my time for shopping just isn’t fun or relaxing, so I have neglected my wardrobe.
Back to the excitement: I was a giddy school girl. I did all my laundry, carefully put all my clothes away, and readied my space for my new arrivals. The mystery and the waiting were half the fun! Both added to the buildup, granting permission for me to continue doing nice things for myself as I waited for my clothes to arrive.
Now, here comes reality: when my clothes finally arrived, I experienced a new kind of emotion…😲…sticker shock! I don’t know what your clothing spending budget is, but mine is certainly not $50+ per item. I should have done my research before signing up, because I had excitedly hoped that selecting the “cheaper the better” option would result in my self-defined reasonably priced items, but it did not.
So, I did some googling, because I know I am not the only one. And I found Nadine West: a subscription clothing service where all the items are between $10-$30. Now we’re talking! I actually bought an item from this shipment because it made me feel special AND the price was within my budget.
Did this service make my life easier? Right now, I am going to say it is a hesitant yes.
Returning all the clothing items within the allotted window of time was a bit of a pain, but comes with the territory of online shopping. Being disappointed by the item cost, and having that disappointment deflate my initial excitement is arguably a negative.
But! This whole process led me to Nadine West—a clothing subscription service I plan to stay subscribed to long term, because it will allow me to update my wardrobe without spending my precious time (or money) to do so. My next shipment arrives very soon, and I am finding that giddy excitement starting to creep back into my daily actions.
Which clothing subscription service have you tried? Was it right for you? Comment below, I want to know. Whichever one, I say it’s worth it if it brings you some level of peace. ☮️
Now it’s time to dive deep, room per room, cupboard per cupboard, drawer per drawer, and make life easier. It’s time to give yourself permission to change what’s not working. If we don’t like what we are doing; if it is not easy or fun to accomplish, then we won’t keep it up. It would be insane to continue this way, and still hold the expectation that it will eventually result in a happy, orderly, kept up home.
Let’s get the picture with a story…(swipe left)
On a dark and stormy night, with wind howling and branches rustling, I unsuspectingly opened my kitchen cupboard and was trampled!! (By containers!) I barely survived the chaos and mayhem taking over...I let out a scream in fright!!
Okay, drama aside, my container cupboard was a nightmare.
I hated putting my containers away because they were in constant disarray, falling out of the cupboard, and in a backbreaking bottom corner cupboard in my kitchen. The container situation was so out of control that whenever I had a clean dishwasher full of containers, I swear to you, I did everything and anything else but put that load of dishes away. Why? Because it both physically and mentally hurt me to put those dang containers away. I felt actual pain bending down to put them in the cupboard and frustration tossing them all back in as they fell over each other. This situation disrupted my peace and caused me action paralysis; it was not sustainable.
Then one day, I saw a Rubbermaid Container Set on sale, and something clicked in me. My current process wasn’t working and I needed to do something different! So, I bought 3 of those Rubbermaid Container Sets.
Shortly after, I donated all of my old containers, rearranged my kitchen cupboards, and put my shiny, new containers in an easy to reach upper cupboard. I made a mental boundary that day, telling myself I would never accept random containers into my collection, opting to donate them instead. And here we are, over 5 years later, and my collection has remained! And, yes, my dishwasher gets emptied without physical or emotional delay. The only change is that my containers now live on the top shelf of my Lazy Susan, conveniently located to the right of my dishwasher.
As I write this, I caught myself wondering, why did it take so long for me to give myself that permission to change what wasn’t working.
And after staring off into introspective space a few minutes, I realized that in order to give myself permission to change what wasn’t working, I needed to first be aware of the fact that it was, indeed, not working for me.
Change is good. Awareness is hard. But your life will transform when you become aware of what you need to change to make it better, easier, more fun, and sustainable.
But who am I kidding, containers are easy!! What about organizing the innards of an entire room? I spent my weekend doing just that (after weeks of mental meditation, taking note of what I like to do, what I actually do, and how I can make it easy to ask my toddler for help).
Here are some photos of the evolution of the internal organization of my childrens’ playroom:
These pictures show you that constant change is necessary to finding what works best. You must experiment, change up your environment, and not only work with yourself, but with those you live with. And when you embrace that, you will find your peace.
This week, let’s look at business operations, in the general
My husband and I were super excited to implement our roles and responsibilities last week, but realized that we both were falling short of doing so. This is because we were too overwhelmed with our very messy house. It was like our home (business) was still in the set-up stage, not in the running smoothly stage, and because of that, we felt no motivation to take on our roles and responsibilities as assigned.
That’s when I realized that we needed to start with a presentable
home (store front), and then maintain.
So, on Friday, I cleaned the entire house—I shoved papers in
drawers, piles in closets, and toys in baskets—my goal was to clear all of the
spaces to create the illusion of a
clean home. I did this with the inspiration that successful businesses do this
all the time. I bet you are thinking: what
the heck does she mean?
Let’s imagine you are walking into your favorite brick and mortar shop. You watch your feet as you step over the threshold so you don’t trip. You breathe in the familiar and nurturing smell of the place, and after a moment of contentment, you take a look around. Your eyes fall upon the newest merchandise brought into the store, and because this is your favorite shop, your subconscious already has a sense of where everything is. Your body already knows what to expect and you feel immediately relaxed at this expectation of completeness, readiness, and freshness. You grab a new item, check out, and are on your way.
Here’s what you didn’t notice: the store owner arriving to the shop early to set up the new merchandise, which involves taking inventory, categorizing, pricing, ensuring everything has been logged into the system correctly. You probably didn’t notice that the store owner has a huge storage space behind the shop that is piled sky high with boxes. And at the register, there are disorganized papers and receipts hiding in the drawers in order to keep the counter clean.
Basically, to every store front, there is a lot going on behind the scenes.
That said, it’s time to allow yourself to have a nice store front (home) with a lot going on behind the scenes too. But, how to we do that? How do we give you a nice store front?
We follow the idea of the store owner—having it look nice on the outside, with some chaos on the inside. Take the clutter that your brain just can’t compute at this time, the clutter that is stopping you from moving forward, and shove it in a drawer; stick those piles of crap to sort in your closet; hide it all away.
Now, some of you may read this and think that my solution is
superficial, but hear me out.
Sometimes, we need to keep the store (home) looking
professional (picked up) before we can tackle the numerous piles and projects that
we have going on internally. We need to
feel that our space is nice in order to commit to keeping our space nice.
So, now that you have assigned your house roles, take a day
this weekend to blast your favorite music, and get your entire house “in order” so that it feels nice. We will get to the stuff hidden away in those drawers
and closets soon enough, just like a business will always sort out all the
papers and receipts before tax time. It is just hard to do it all at once, so let’s
not put that pressure on ourselves.
When starting any business, the first step (other than
having the business idea and business plan) is to establish clear roles and responsibilities. Hiring someone on
without establishing clear roles and responsibilities for their position is going
to cause confusion, conflict, and waste valuable time and money.
The same applies to assigning household chores. For example, telling a member of your household to “go clean the living room” without established roles and responsibilities, can result in unmet expectations. To you, cleaning the living room may mean: pick up and put away all toys, pick up and fold all blankets, fluff couch pillows, vacuum couch and floor, and wipe down/dust all surfaces. To the member of your household, cleaning the living room means: clearing the floor of stuff by setting things in random, neat piles, but not necessarily putting things back where they belong.
It’s no wonder that moms (and dads) end up just giving up on assigning tasks and decide to do everything themselves.
The following motto comes to mind: If you want something done right, then do it yourself.
Let’s make a new motto: If
you want something done right, then clearly communication your expectations by
assigning clear roles and responsibilities.
This weekend, my husband and I did just that. We have had a
lot going on in our lives lately, and everything on the home front is falling
by the wayside. With our two munchkins so young, and our lives so hectic, we need to count on each other more than
ever to keep our home environment how we want.
And here’s the result:
I am a visual person and a forgetful person, so I made a handy roles and responsibilities checklist. I printed it, placed it in a glass picture frame, and marked it up with dry erase marker. Please click here to receive a blank version of this checklist. As we filled this in, we verbally discussed expectations of what it means to have each item on this list. For example: “Surfaces” means to spot clean countertops, spot clean all floors downstairs, and spot clean half bath sink. Again, the idea is to tidy up daily, so spot cleaning is key vs vacuuming or sweeping an entire area. We don’t want to burn out, we just want to keep up.
And just like you don’t leave work until the job is done, our plan is to stay up until the job is done. At first, this will be an adjustment, but as we get used to it, I can only imagine it will take 10-20 minutes in the evening.
Running a household is a full-time job. It really is, and it sucks that so many of us try to juggle parenting, working, caring for our families, caring for ourselves, and then caring for our homes. It’s too much! But we all do it. So how can we make it easier?
I recently made the decision to trade in full-time employment for part-time employment. And that means that I am home a lot more, which has actually been so helpful as I am a mother to a feisty toddler and an adorable infant. But, it has also been hard; like really, really hard. Can we get a shout out for SAHMs (and SAHDs) who don’t lose their minds? I commend you—you all are gold.
Anyway, these past few weeks, I have been looking around at the way I run my home my home is running me…and I keep thinking, I need to take charge! But how? Then BOOM! It hits me.
What would happen if I ran my home like one runs a business?
What would happen, indeed. Being a homemaker is just not natural for me, but managing a business is. So, let’s marry the two together, just for fun!
Follow my blog find out what does happen as I document my journey into the home business world; applying my professional organizational skills to changing the way my household is run.