Iris

Welcome

Welcome to The Executive Mom blog. You will find wonderful blogs about how to be a more efficient, empowered, loving, and happy mom while bringing peace, stabilty and consistency into your home. I will lend real life failures and successes, and I will share my wisdom. I hope that you will feel encouraged and excited in your mommy journey. Please head over to my blog tab, stay awhile and read. 🙂

Sign up for a FREE multiplication education sheet for your child.

You Are a Masterpiece!

Have you ever been to a museum of art where you find yourself attracted to a certain piece of art or section? I am crazy about Impressionism. I can look at Monet for hours. I start by looking at it from across the room, and then inch up as I see new things come to life. Then, I stare it very closely and see the details…most of which up close, look like nothing! Then, I stand back again and see it from a new perspective.

Women, we should start seeing ourselves as a work of art. View yourself from across the room (big picture) and up close (details), and enjoy yourself. Begin to see yourself as a work of art…a very valuable work of art.

If you were to think of yourself as the artist creating YOU, what are the best features of yourself for your painting? Is it that you have beautiful blue eyes…this might be true, but think deeper. Is it because you can make almost anyone at ease in a conversation?  Is it your sense of humor? Is it your reasoning and analyzing that allows you to see options that many others cannot see? Is it your passion for life, your compassionate heart, your ability to organize events? Whatever your best features are, take a minute and praise them. See how wonderfully and beautifully you were made. See the uniqueness of your qualities, and see the benefits that they are to the world.

Now, as an artist, what would you highlight about yourself? Maybe you would put dark red lipstick on your lips…again, let’s try something deeper. Would it be your ability to make light in a difficult situation? Maybe it is your loyalty to be at a friend’s side the moment he/she needs you. Maybe you are excellent at giving speeches and being in the center of attention. Maybe you are good at cooking and gardening…things many busy women do not take the time to perfect. Maybe you are the strength in your family to hold things together. Whatever you decide to highlight, make sure you take time to reflect on it.

Now that your painting, sculpture, etc, is complete, how are others viewing your painting? What stands out to them? Maybe your smile brightens someone’s day. Possibly you are great at solving problems, and that is appreciated. Maybe just being a wife or mother has made the difference in someone’s life. Your boss may see you as someone who they can always rely on. To someone, you may have it all put together, or have the life that another only dreams of having. Whatever it is, take compliments, thank the person, and reflect on how others view you. You may be surprised at your worth!

At this point, I hope you are feeling good about yourself. I hope you are remembering the characteristics, qualities, and unique points about yourself. I hope you are realizing that you truly are a masterpiece….you are truly one of a kind. I ask you now to make a list of these qualities and keep them where you can see them. That way, on a bad day, you can pull out your masterpiece list, and see that life is not so bad. It’s good to walk a mile in your own shoes. 

What’s your family legacy?, how to make your house less cluttered, and getting alone time are all great reads. Check them out!

Failure: Friend or Foe?

Last May I was exercising after getting back from a fun vacation. In reality, I was too tired to exercise, but didn’t want to miss a day. I consistently exercise four times a week, and it’s part of my life. But, while exercising, I failed! I mis-stepped, my left foot coming down on my foot, and I fell…right onto my right ankle. That’s right. My right ankle caught my fall, and it rolled. It was gruesome, and it hurt like crazy! I both sprained (high ankle sprain) and broke the tip of my fibula bone. I felt like a failure because I couldn’t exercise, and I couldn’t walk. I could barely take care of my kids, even on crutches.

This was a rough time for me. And although it was a failure, it was one that I can learn from. It was also a season that brought me gratitude to my husband and how much he did to help out with meals, cleaning, and taking care of the kids. There was a week or two where he was doing it all. It was a time to appreciate that fact that I do have two great working legs. It was also a time where we went on a fabulous vacation by car (my husband drove the entire trip).

Have you ever been in a situation where you thought you failed miserably? Maybe it was in a relationship…maybe in a work situation…maybe with a friend…maybe with your sister? Whatever the situation, many times we think that we have blown it.We think that we have made a huge mistake. We think life will never be the same. We think our career will suffer because of our failure. We feel like we have injured a loved one.

Let’s face it, we have very little control in life, and many things that happen are out of our control. For instance, on my wedding day, it snowed so much that the roads became slick, and many people didn’t show up from out-of-town. Now, I could consider this a failure, or I could consider this life and something I had very little control over; I enjoyed the day for what it was: marrying the love of my life. For situations like these, we have to learn to just see it what it is…life. And, many times life happens.

In other instances, though, there are mistakes that we actually commit. We are grumpy and do not treat our children/spouse/clients/customers the way we normally do…or we blow the account altogether. We don’t trust someone we are in a romantic relationship with enough and it ends. We do something that is taken as miscommunication and causes a rift with a family member. Whatever the situation is, we cause it. In these situations, do we consider the failure to be a friend or foe?

If we consider our mistakes to be foes, we usually contribute to the situation and make it worse. We usually let it control who we become, and we let the situation define our next situation. We begin to live out of fear. We begin to be less willing to take risks. We learn to settle. Does this sound familiar?

If we decide to let our mistakes become our friend, we learn from them. We see the life lessons and growth that comes from them. We learn more about ourselves and learn to have the freedom to take more risks. We learn our boundaries so that we do not go out of them as often. We don’t have to settle anymore because we learn how to become more successful.

I have often said, Fail, and fail big time! But after failing, pick yourself up, move on, and learn from it. You see, in my original situation, I am seeing great success and learning opportunities. I do not exercise when I’m too tired and I don’t push myself beyond what I know I am capable of doing. I am kinder and more helpful to those I see who are in a wheelchair or need help. I teach this to my children too. I see that fun can come out of stressful and trying seasons. It’s not all bad, and I have decided to make hurting my ankle last May a friend in my life.

I hope you can learn to reconcile your failures, and see them as friends. Friends bring out the best, help us grow, and make us better.

Looking for other blogs to read? Why not read about trusting yourself more, your strengths as a mom, and making time for friends.

Embarrassment, The Good Life

I still remember having one of my best friends over to spend the night when I was in Jr. High. I remember her whispering to my sister, “So, where’s her bottle of brown hair dye?” I was (and still am) a klutz, and was teased over and over about coloring my natural brunette hair throughout the years. I was constantly called a “dumb blonde,” but was still a social butterfly and life of the party. Here’s why… I could have taken the teasing the wrong way, gotten mad, lost friends, and allowed the teasing to define who I was. However, I decided to make light of it, tease back and have a good time. People responded well to this, and I learned how to not get embarrassed every time I tripped over my feet or ran into something.

I remember being in college, tripping (over nothing I might add), and a friend asking if I was ok. I laughed as I replied, “No, I’m fine. That was only the second time I tripped today; I usually trip at least three times.” She started to laugh as well.

I have learned how to laugh at myself and how to allow silly and funny things turn me into a person people remember, not go out of their way to avoid. I joke now as an adult that I only get embarrassed four times a year with all the silly/crazy things I do. And, it’s really true. I actually like that I am a klutz now because I enjoy laughing at myself, and it puts others at ease.

And as a mom? Don’t get me started with all the silly and embarrassing things my boys do and say! You never know what will come out of a kid’s mouth, and you have to roll with it. This has been a new learning curve for me, but one with which I am quickly adapting. I know I have many more moments and days of embarrassment. I want to make sure that whether by my mouth or someone else’s mouth, embarrassment doesn’t reign in my life.

How do you feel about yourself when you do something silly or even stupid? Do you try to cover it up, do you ignore it, or do you simply laugh it off and then move on to the next part of your day? Do people get uncomfortable with you, or do they find you easy to be around when you make a mistake?

Everyone makes mistakes…I’ll repeat, everyone makes mistakes! It’s not the mistakes we make in life, but how we handle them, learn from them, and then move on with our life. And, we only get one life. So, do you want to spend that life embarrassed, living in regret, or fearful of your next step? Do you want a mistake or embarrassing moment holding you back from whom you are, making a new friend, the next big promotion, or being a social butterfly? Do you want it to hold you back from the person you were meant to be? Do you want to life below your potential in life out of fear? Or, do you want to march proudly with your head held high at whatever may come your way?

Make a decision that embarrassment can make you better, stronger, more memorable, and that this is the good life. The good life is one that keeps you humble, and helps you continue to strive for more. So, take a chance, embarrass yourself a few times, laugh from it, and allow others to see you as more relatable. It may just be the best thing that happens to you…

Here are some less embarrassing blogs to read: get reconnected with yourself and discover your strengths as a mom.

My Fear of…Me

Have you ever caught yourself saying or thinking, “I’m just a people pleaser?” Many of us like to please others, and for many of us, that drives us in life. It makes us happy. It makes others like us…or so we tell ourselves. And it’s not all bad. I know it kept me out of a lot of trouble in high school because I did not want to let down my parents…and for that example, being a people pleaser is a good thing.

However, when we grow up, is it appropriate to want to please everyone as we once did our parents? Is it good to work late consistently, even weekends, because we want to please a boss? Is it positive to say yes to everything your kids ask for because you want to make them happy? Is it helpful to keep our thoughts to ourselves instead of being honest with a spouse? Is there anything positive that can come from being someone other than the person you were created to be?

I think many of us have a fear of our self. We hide, change, and warp whom we are so that we can please everyone around us. Sound familiar? At the end of the day, though, how does this leave you? Do you feel empty, worthless, burnt out, and tired of the people around you?

Are you truly happy living this life…this lie?

If you resonate with this, then you might be living in fear of yourself. You might be in danger of selling out and being everything other than who you really are at your core. You might be able to make every single person in your life happy but yourself. You may exude happiness on the inside, but be miserable on the inside. Being a people pleaser can backfire, and it can leave you looking in the mirror unsure of the person staring back at you.

It is good to want to be unselfish, to want to make others happy, and to want to please, but going overboard puts you in the backseat of life. When you sit in the backseat of life, someone else is driving your life car, and you may not be headed down the road you want. Instead, I encourage you to get back in the driver seat, invite others to come along in your life journey, play fun music, hand out energy drinks, or whatever you want; however, make sure that all of these things represent who you are as a person. People will appreciate you for who you are, and you will begin to feel better about yourself as well. Living in fear will only make you less of who you want to be; embracing who you are—strengths and weaknesses—will allow you to benefit everyone  in your life. In the long-term, that is truly a people pleaser.

Learn to please yourself first so you can find others who love you as much as you love yourself. Learn to be happy when you are pleased first. By pleasing yourself first, you can make other happy out of the overflow of making yourself happy. It will be genuine and it will last longer.

Make a choice today to not be afraid of yourself, and proudly live life as the person you are…the best you possible!

Love this blog? Why not read about finding alone time and guiltless freedom to say no.

Ode to Carrera Violet

This is one of the hardest blogs I have ever written, as it’s so personal to me. It is a vulnerable topic, and one I have kept to myself for several years now. But, I feel like it’s time to share. I hope even one of my readers can find encouragement, strength, and understanding with this blog. I know many women deal with this issue, but we rarely talk about it. It’s time we start talking, and I’ll go first.

Before my husband and I had kids, the Lord told me we would have a boy then a girl then a boy. If we had any other kids after that, the gender would be a surprise. This was exciting to me because I wanted two boys and I wanted the genders mixed up. I felt like I had hit the jackpot with kids.

When I was pregnant for our oldest, we went for the usual gender ultrasound. When the ultrasound tech told us it was a boy, I actually said, “Yeah. I know.” No surprise there. Two years later we found ourselves in the same appointment, the gender ultrasound for our second child. I knew this child was a girl because the Lord had told me three or four years prior. But when the ultrasound tech with our second child said it we were having another boy, I said, “Are you sure? Can you check again?” I was so surprised that this baby could ever possibly be a boy because that’s not what the Lord had said…so I thought. I was concerned that the technician was not knowledgable, I thought she was having a bad day or in a rush. But, I forgot about the missing piece to this story.

Right at four years ago I was pregnant with our second child. We were of course excited and ready to add to our little family. I even went out and purchased baby girl clothes to announce to my husband about this new member of our family coming later that year. BUT, and I do mean but, something happened. In the blink of an eye, we lost a baby to miscarriage. There was nothing I could do, and no way to stop it. I found out on my birthday of all days!! We were led to believe she had disabilities, and while it’s heart-wrenching to lose a child, I knew the baby was better off in heaven.

Now, you may find this next part crazy because I still find it crazy. This has never happened to be before or since then, but I was blessed to have a vision of HER in heaven. Crazy, I know. We were in a memorial service for some dear friends who had lost a son, and I was crying for his life. All of a sudden, I could see Carrera in heaven.  Carrera Violet has the exact same blue eyes as my oldest son, she has an athletic build, my dark hair, but it’s straight. And she’s gorgeous and happy in heaven with no disabilities. She was smiling the entire time.

I can still see her today. The image has faded some, but the thing I remember most is how happy she was. It was hard to swallow like a big pill because I was so torn up about the loss of this baby. It had just happened! And yet, seeing her smile consoled my heart. It was the beginning of healing for me after spending most of March angry. I was able to see that she was where she needed to be, and several months later, we conceived our second earthly child. I’m glad that I was told of the genders but not that we would lose our girl. I don’t know what I would have thought had I been given the knowledge of the miscarriage.

In our home, our sons know of their sister in heaven. We share her name with them. We still feel like she’s a part of our family. We want our sons to know about their sister. We know that we will see her again one day, and we want our sons to have that hope too.

Miscarriage can be such a heart-wrenching situation. It’s easy to hide most of the time, and rarely affects anyone but the mom (and sometimes the dad), but it’s real hurt. It’s someone in a family dying. It’s truly the loss of hope and life.

I encourage you if you have had a miscarriage to not blame yourself, and to share it with others. 20% of miscarriages end in miscarriage, and it’s more common that one would expect. I’m sure there is at least one other woman in your life who has had a miscarriage. And if you haven’t had a miscarriage, see your blessing. Miscarriage is something someone can hold onto for a lifetime.

Ode to you, Carrera Violet, happy 4 years in heaven! Mommy and Daddy love you!

Other articles that you may enjoy are the importance of a family legacy and the importance of friendships.

“I” is for Iris

Hi, my name is Iris. I love my name! It’s partly because it’s a part of me, it’s partly because it’s unique, and it’s partly because of its meaning and how it suits who I am. Let me tell you about it and its meaning.

When I think of my name, I think of someone unique, since my name is unique, and someone who is bright and colorful like the iris flower. Iris means “rainbow,” which also goes along with the bright and colorful theme. I see the name meaning more than just bright colors, though, but also a person who is colorful in her personality. It is someone who likes people, and is funny; someone who enjoys making others laugh. Its someone who easily gets along with others. I think of someone who is intelligent, and someone who is interesting; both of these words starting with the letter ‘I.’ I hope the person also likes ice cream, haha. I see Iris as a strong name and strong person, a go-getter type of personality.

I believe there is so much behind one’s name.  I think everyone’s name says a lot about them, who they are, how they see the world, and their personality.  Every name is special, and each person gets only one name.  Each name has its own meaning too, which, studies show, typically shows up in the person’s personality who is bearing the name. Isn’t that cool?

What is your name?  What does your name mean?  If you don’t know the meaning of your name or origin (Iris is Greek), I encourage you to look up the meaning right away. Does the meaning fit who you are? Does it showcase your personality? What characteristics or meanings of your name do you see play out in your every day life?

What do you think about yourself when you say your name? I mentioned mine above, and I could probably name more characteristics or ideas that come to mind with my name. I challenge you to think of words and phrases representing you that start with the same letter as your name or characteristics when you think of your name. Don’t put much thought into it, and maybe list it on paper or your phone. See what images pop into your head, and what ideas you have concerning the meaning of your name.

Once you have analyzed your name, write down your thoughts and findings where you can see them regularly. This might be with an erasable marker on a mirror, this might be the wallpaper on your photo or a note in your phone. You might also choose to tape it or place it in your car. Just be sure to place it somewhere you will see it often. Use this list or ideas to build into yourself and your self-esteem (make sure the ideas are positive). Use this list to see yourself in a new light, and to see your value and strength in life. Again, make sure to use only positive words!

If we are to be executives in our homes, we should know as much about our company as possible! This is one aspect about understanding your company, and it starts with you.

‘I’ is for Iris.  It’s your turn now!

What are your strengths as a mom?,  how to treat your schedule like a boss, and getting alone time are some other great reads.

I Love To Love You

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, so I couldn’t leave out a mushy and hopefully encouraging blog for you geared around the topic of love. I am actually writing this because I don’t think enough good is written about marriage. We live in a world where there is fear of marriage. People are afraid of divorcing, hating the person they marry, or being stuck in a loveless marriage. I’m here to tell you that marriage is awesome!

I’ve been married for more than eight years. We have two kids, and we are more in love today than on our wedding day. My husband is far from perfect. He is strong-headed, loses things around the house all the time, and stinks at multi-tasking. But, he is my best friend. He is also one of the most caring people I’ve ever met. He is loyal and the most intelligent person I’ve ever met. He still makes me swoon sometimes, and I still get lost in his gorgeous blue eyes.

It hasn’t always been easy for us, though. We had a rough start with several outside forces playing a role. We have gone through family deaths and divorces together, we have moved, gone through MBA school, and purchased several big home (and not expected) appliances. We have dealt with some serious illnesses and injuries, but have only become stronger because of these situations. And I wouldn’t want to repeat the fire we had in our backyard last year, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and this is true of my marriage. We are stronger and happier today than ever before. 

Want to know our secrets to lasting love? I’ll spill a few of the beans and give you the 411 on our love. No, it’s not a love potion, and you can use these tips in your relationship today!

  1. Start out as best friends. When we were dating, we commonly called ourselves “romantic friends.” A friend told me to be friends first so that when you don’t feel like you love each other anymore (and at some point this happens to all couples), you will still LIKE each other. This has gotten us through some very rough patches, and I believe it has saved our marriage as well. We genuinely like each other. We have fun together, we laugh together, we fight the world together, and we love together.
  2. Have an ongoing inside game that only you two know about. Ours is called “Point Game.” We casually started it right after we got married, and it continues now. We are both competitive so we don’t keep score. I have no clue who is even close to winning because it’s not about winning. I hope we still play this game at 70 years of age! It’s fun and it makes us laugh. When one of us says something funny, witty, unexpected, or just simply hilarious, we get an “air point.” That’s right, we draw a point in the air for that person. And then we say, “Point for Iris (or my husband’s name).” And…then we laugh. It’s cute, corny, and it’s a game for two. We have never and I hope we never play this game with anyone else.
  3. Dance together. I love, love, love to dance. And we used to have more dance club kind of dances, but they have moved to slow dances because they are more special to my husband. He doesn’t like to dance, but he will dance with me sometimes. This isn’t something we do often, but when we do dance…the chemistry comes naturally. The touching, looking into each other’s eyes, and focusing on each other makes our relationship front and center. You don’t have to be Fred Astaire to dance, and no one is watching, so go on and try it.
  4. Sexual teasing. Without going into details, let me just say that this can be really fun. Thing of Steve Carell from the Office, “That’s what she said” kind of jokes. It’s jokes and phrases you share with your spouse that you don’t talk about with anyone else. And that makes it special just because you have one person in the world to share intimate thoughts and jokes with in your life. It keeps the passion going and it makes marriage fun. Depending on your comfort level, you can taper your jokes and phrases to what makes you comfortable. But, don’t be afraid, marriage is a safe place.
  5. Dream together and set goals together. Everyone is on a life journey. So many couples fall apart and head in different directions in life because they forget to hold hands and go in the same direction. I have been amazed that as we get closer to moving to a new house, we both seem to want the same things: we would love to build it, we love a brick and stone mix on the outside, we love steel railings on inside stairs, and we don’t want steps leading up to a porch. These are a few things, but it has amazed me at our similarities because we didn’t discuss this while dating. And we hopefully aren’t moving this year, but it’s fun to look and dream together. We also are natural goal setters, but when we set them together, it gives us a teammate mentality. It helps us to have more energy, accountability, and ability to achieve the dreams and goals we want for our life together and individually.

As you move to Valentine’s Day this week, I hope you can find some inspiration in your relationship. Whether you feel like your marriage is stale and you need a new idea or two to help you spice up the love, whether you are dating and are considering marriage, or whether you just need another idea of how to take you marriage deeper, I hope that you can implement one or more of these ideas. I hope you have the best Valentine’s Day ever, and I hope you have the best marriage ever. I hope this year starts a deeper love than you’ve ever had before! Cheers to love!

Like this post. Try reading these too: how to be a good friend and communication with your spouse during the day.

When Life Goes Awry

If you haven’t figure out by now, I love, love, love to plan and organize. I can naturally prioritize, and could probably do it in my sleep. I love to-do lists, and sometimes I add things to my to-do list just to mark more things off in a day. You might even say it gives me a runner’s high. But life is not smooth sailing. It’s not a walk in the park. It’s not always a sunny day. What happens when what we plan for in life doesn’t happen?  What about when the opposite of what we plan for happens?

There are several reactions to unplanned or unexpected circumstances:

  1. We can get upset. That looks differently to everyone. Some let everyone know they are upset. They fume, we take it out on innocent by-standers. Some silently deal with anger, and then randomly hit their limit and it’s like a lid popping off a boiling pan. At any rate, we stop in our tracks.
  2. We can pout. You know, the victim mentality. It happened to me. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I don’t know how this happened. We blame everything and everyone else. We feel that we have been wronged. We want others to feel badly for us, and we put on a show.
  3. Sometimes we wait for life to get better. While this is not a negative response, it is not exactly a positive response either. This response is neutral, and can become a time waster. If we are not moving forward in life, we become stuck. This can be worse than the anger response where we stop. Stopping allows us to start again. Getting stuck, like in mud, makes us complacent and sometimes it makes it to where we never leave our soft cushy spot for a better future.

Beware of all three of these responses above, as each of them can each cause harm to you and your life.

The best response we can have is to make the best out of a bad situation.  This allows us to continue moving forward, and to respond in a positive manner, even if the unknown is lurking all around us. This means we continue the course. We don’t stop, but keep going, even if we have to wait longer than expected, even if we have to change course, even if we have to revamp things in our lives. It stinks when things don’t pan out, and waiting is even harder, but remember, little eyes are watching your every move. Your children are watching to see how you handle the unexpected, the disasters, the changes in life. If you feel like you can’t do it for you, do it for them. It will teach them invaluable lessons in their adult lives. And, in the end, it will make you stronger.

What can you do today to make sure that you are still moving forward even if you feel like life is going awry?  How can you make sure that you do not waste your life or get stuck while waiting for life circumstances to end?  Make the best of today, even when life goes awry, and decide to see the positive and forge forward!

Like this blog? Guiltless freedom to say no, start your day off right, and how to set goals might be some other great reads.

Five Minute Warning!

When my youngest was still in his first year of life, I read about and heard from several mommies the importance of a five minute warning. A five minute warning is when you tell your child(ren) five minutes before you want to leave somewhere, start something, or do something that they have five minutes to finish what they are doing presently. Whether it’s playing, doing schoolwork, or even a chore, they must wrap up the activity in the next five minutes.

I heard from all sources that this gives children the time to get out of their imagination world and wrap up play time. It also gives them expectations and helps lessen or eliminate temper tantrums. I thought it sounded good. What mom would say no to something that makes life smoother, right? I like less struggle with my kids. Ever since that time, I have been doing this for my kids. And it’s worked great! I wouldn’t go back. I use this warning every.single.day now.

As a mom it’s easy to take care of my kids and manage their schedule. And not just with  play time. I use the five minute warning before bedtime, before we leave the house, and before dinnertime. I use it a lot. I do this because I love my kids, and I want to help manage their life and expectatations. And I know they appreciate it by how they respond.

But, who’s managing MY time?

The obvious answer is me. I don’t live with my mom anymore and I have no authority figure to answer to as an adult, although some days I wish I did have someone to tell me when to go to bed. But, that’s another topic for another blog. My husband is a great encourager, but he doesn’t tell me what to do. So it comes down to me. As far as my time management is concerned, I am in charge of managing what, when, and how long I do something. So, I did an experiment on myself.

Since I see the five minute warning being so effective with my children, I decided to start giving myself a five minute warning. I did this by setting an alarm on my phone. If I get on Facebook, I set a timer for five minutes. If I want to leave at a certain time, I set a five minute warning. If I want to start dinner at a certain time, I give myself a five minute warning. And guess what? It’s working! I, like my children, respond to the warning. It worries me that maybe my children find me as annoying as my alarm, but it still works.

What are you doing to better manage your time? What accountability do you have set up in your life? Could you benefit from this nifty little trick? Maybe you could benefit from trying the same experiment on yourself. Maybe you could give me some different ideas in the comments. I am always open and ready for better time management and efficiency. So, what works for you? What your five minute warning?

Meal planning efficiency, automating your chores, and efficiency with laundry might be some other blogs of interest.

Don’t Throw The Baby Out With The Clutter

It’s a new year, and I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to reorganize and declutter. It’s what I call “Restructuring My Company.” You can read the blog here. I am in full swing mode, and even spent the morning with my kids organizing Lego’s and finding which toys they do and do not play with anymore. It took more than two hours, and we aren’t finished yet. And now my quads hurt from standing and squatting so much. And I had already exercised for the day!

Clutter and I, we don’t mix. We are like oil and water. We are like summer and winter. And since it is winter and I’m indoors a lot, the clutter has got to go! Pack your bags, clutter, it’s time for you to leave.

I am passionate about all things to do with efficiency, organization, and prioritization. In this busy world, we mommies don’t have time to waste. We have to be slaying all day (technically I do slay all day everyday because my last name is Slay, but that’s another blog for another day!).

How can we eliminate or at least minimize clutter? I’d like to share several secrets with you about how to get rid of your clutter for good!

  1. Pick up as you go. I don’t like to clean up and I don’t like to deep clean. Why? It just takes too long. I pick up now instead of later because I know that if I don’t pick up now, I will have to pick up later. It takes less time to pick up now than it will later! It’s likely that the little mess now, the few clothes on the floor now, the toys in the middle of the hall will keep adding if nothing is done about it. The brain sees the mess and thinks, “It’s already here, I’m justified to add to it.” But, if it is picked up right away, there is no excuse. If it’s clean, it’s easier to keep it clean.
  2. Put things in the same place so you can find it easier. Let’s play a game of “have you ever.” Have you ever hunted for your house keys? Glasses? Toys? Shoes?… The list can go on. The worst is when it makes you late for an appointment or work. I don’t like wasting time looking for things, so I put things in the same place everyday. It’s not to be controlling, it’s to save time and to have brainpower for the next task. I don’t have the time to look for keys. I don’t have the patience to look for my glasses. I don’t want to hear the meltdown that comes from a child who lost a toy. I have trained myself and am training my kids to put things back in the same place every.single.time. Yes, it can be annoying at first, but over time it happens automatically and effortlessly. Try it for a month. I bet it saves you time and energy.
  3. Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today. If you have the energy to vacuum, do it. If you have 15 minutes to reorganize your sock drawer, conquer it. Dishes in the sink? Slay it. Get done today what you can so that you can relax, sleep better, and have a more serene atmosphere. Studies show that people sleep better in organized environments. Good news. No one wants to lose sleep, especially when it can be avoided.
  4. Do it even when you don’t feel like it. Everyone, I mean everyone, can spare 15-30 minutes a day to clean and organize. We all make decisions about our time. And with portable devises, it’s easy to still watch your favorite Netflix show while decluttering the hall closet. And over time, it becomes easier to sneak in some time each day. Even if you don’t feel like it, you will be happy you said no to clutter.
  5. Find a plan and keep consistent. I like to clean certain rooms on certain days. It’s how I work. You can read more about my regular routine and how it benefits me (and can benefit you too) here. If you find that 15 minutes a day is making a huge dent with organizing bill statements, keep doing it. If you find that the weekends are the best time to tackle reorganizing a room, make it part of your regular schedule. Whatever works for you, find it and keep working it! It’s your life and your schedule is best for you.
  6. Treat your home like YOU are the guest. Strange thought, right? But, think about it. If you have guests over, you get out nice plates, you actually put napkins on the table, and you probably clean before they come over. New sheets go on beds, and towels magically get washed. If you treated yourself like a guest, it might be easier to clean, to stay organized, and to keep up with your “adult chores.” If you are in your house most often, why shouldn’t you be treated like the most important person to set foot in your home?

I hope these secrets and tips will rejuvenate both your mindset and your home. I hope you will throw the clutter out the window, and I hope you will have a better home life than ever before!