As many of you know my Mom was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer recently. Another friend is fostering two young ones. One is struggling with chronic illness. Another has a foreign student living with them that they are helping with English to get into the local college. There are accidents, little ones underfoot, a heavy work schedule.

How does one organize and simplify when life gets chaotic? You simplify for the life you are living now. Not the ideal life where you have more time, things never go wrong, and you have plenty of energy. There is probably not going to be a three-hour chunk of time for you to re-organize the pantry or weed your whole garden.

The life you are living right now is real life and no cleaning fairy is going to come in and rescue you. So think in smaller chunks and fewer projects. What are the 1-2 most pressing needs in your home? What is causing the most stress or time loss?

Now when this week can you put a 5 minutes here or there for your project? Is it portable like papers or planning you can do during waiting time?

Looking at your list what can you cross off, delegate, put off for another week? It doesn’t all have to get done now and probably wouldn’t even if it’s on your list. But, you will feel more stressed if there is a lot more on your list than you can do in a normal week.

Finally, practice scanning as you go about your day. Are there things from this room that can go into the next room? Is there something in the closet you can declutter as you get dressed? Can you write down what you ate this past week so you have a menu if you don’t have time for menu planning? Can you put more bills on automatic payment? Are you actually finished with the task you are doing or did you get sidetracked?

You can do this a little at a time. 15 minutes a day is 91 hours a year.

 

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Photo by Emily May

Need help breaking a project down? Join the Pleasant Project class.

 

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