Personalized home organization
Entrepreneur, mom, & wife
We all have an idea in our head of how our house should look. For most of us, we want it to look clean, tidy and put together. We also have an idea in our head that we can get our home to look like that at all times, which is not the case, especially if you have other people and creatures living in your home with you!
In our house, I am in charge of the home. Both my husband and I grew up with moms who were in charge of the home and dads who worked outside the home. I thought I would be different, but I was a stay-at-home mom for a few years after my first child was born. As tends to happen when one partner is home and the other one is out of the house, I took on all of the household responsibilities. Our first was an amazing napper and I am quite organized so this works.
Fast forward to six years later, I work in and out of the home and we now have three children, yet I am still the one in charge of the home. It is hard to move away from what you grew up with. But the problem is, when I am home a lot of times, I am also in charge of an 18 month old, 4 year old and 6 year old. It is hard to get everything done.
Maybe from my personality, maybe from my feeling that the home is my domain, I am the one overwhelmed with clutter. Currently, our house is pretty organized and tidy, but I see everything that needs to be fixed. I have been thinking through new after school routine systems because ours needs to change. I see every new toy that comes into our house and need to find a place for it. I know Boomer’s “kindle” does not have a place to live so he constantly loses it.
So, I wanted to find out. Is this still common even though as millennial moms we are taught to be equal to our partners? Are women the main ones seeing and getting overwhelmed by all the clutter? In short, YES!
When I started researching, I wanted to understand what clutter is. In my house, I know it’s items that don’t have a place to live or items we no longer need.
In a Motherly article, clutter is
“described as anything that is kept, even though not used, needed or wanted, clutter can also be defined as having a disorganized and overwhelming amount of possessions”
A lot of times, clutter feels like you have too much stuff. I know I get the itch to declutter when we can’t find what we’re looking for. It feels like we have too much stuff and need to declutter right away.
I also feel it when I walk into our house and we have too much out. The clutter takes away from my ability to relax in my home and I feel like I need to pick up right away. Even before writing this blog post, I had to tidy up the kitchen and my office so my brain can work!
According to the CEFL study, the amount of stress women experience at home is directly proportional to the amount of stuff they and their family had accumulated.
For men, artifacts around a home were more commonly viewed as a source of pleasure or pride, not stress. For women, the more clutter that piled up in a home, the more anxious they felt. (Rich in What Matters article)
The wives in the study who perceived themselves as having a cluttered home or a home that needed work tended to have increased levels of cortisol throughout the day. (NYTimes article)
The findings add to a growing body of evidence that clutter can negatively impact mental well-being, particularly among women. (NYTimes article)
This means, the stuff we have, the more women are stressed by it. But why? The NY Times found that “women [tend] to take on housework and extra chores after the workday” rather than men. I think this goes back to that women typically feel that the house is their responsibility.
In our family and many of my friends, we are home more than our husbands. Even though, when we’re home, we’re working or taking care of kids or doing other household tasks. There is not enough time to get everything done that needs to be done. But, since society has decided women are in charge of the house, it falls on us and we feel like we’re failing because our house looks like people live in it…
I think this affects mothers the most. When we are in our homes, we often are not here alone and have to tend to other things (like making sure toddlers don’t bust their heads open by jumping off the couch). Or, when we try to take care of the clutter, the laundry and dishes and daily living tasks take over and we don’t have time to tackle the clutter.
Also, when kids are involved, there are more items. It was really easy to keep our home organized before we had kids. Even if we were tired, it was quick to clean up the kitchen after dinner. There weren’t peanut butter smudges EVERYWHERE or every cup we own strewn all over the floor. We used to both work a lot out of the house, so we weren’t home much and it couldn’t get that messy. It wasn’t hard to rinse out our coffee cup from the morning and put it in the mainly empty dishwasher.
Now, when dishes are in the sink from breakfast, it takes time to get them in the dishwasher. And that’s assuming they made it to the sink! You don’t have a few seconds to always rinse dishes and put them right in the dishwasher. You’re needed to do something or the baby will climb into the dishwasher and try to lick all the silverware! Those quick moments to get things done aren’t there and if you can get something done, a creature has destroyed another part of the house. There is no break!
But, we can help the situation. The first thing is to own less stuff. We are all told we need all these things to raise kids, but in reality, we don’t need that much. Stick to small amounts of kids items, like plates and bowls, and try to quickly move them onto small adult plates. We don’t need a million water bottles. We have two per person in our family. One for daily use and the second for when Boomer loses his first one! We don’t need that much stuff.
One system all moms need is a clean up system. You have to start involving your kids in cleaning up. Even if they complain. Even if you help. Although my 18 month old can’t clean up on her own, she can with my help. Right now, I have to stop what I’m doing and help her. But, the boys don’t need help. They can clean their room on their own. Even if they complain. Even if they don’t want to.
So, if you feel a rage declutter coming on, slow down. We have a guide to decluttering your whole house. This will take you step by step through each room and help you declutter. I suggest moving slowly through your house. First off, because you don’t have much time, and second, because you want to think through what you actually need.
And the next step is to create systems in your home. Systems that you follow as well as your family. This will help with the clutter.
In our family, I make sure to get our counters clean. That is the clutter that really raises my anxiety. And I have three (well two and a half) helpers that can help out with that. The boys (6 and 4) know after breakfast, dishes go in the sink. They don’t leave anything on the counters. That way, even if I can’t get to the dishes in the sink, when we get home, the counters are clear. They know we clean up toys before we leave and before our housekeeper comes on Wednesday. They know if any toys are left on the ground, they get sucked up by the vacuum! These are systems in our home that work well for us. You have to assess your home and your situation and what systems work for you. Need some help? Reach out below!
Before you get to the rage decluttering, take some time to plan out and declutter your home. Put it on your calendar so you don’t forget!
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Wildely Organized 2024
Based in Houston, TX, Wildely Organized offers compassionate, professional in-home organization services that empower families to live functional lives in a space they love.
| Brand + Website By Carrylove Designs