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Making Dents

My home is a mess, full to the brim with stuff and it gets me overwhelmed. It seems that no matter what I do I barely make a dent in it – but… dents are being made!

The Organised Mum Method

One of the biggest The biggest influence on my change of lifestyle and mindset had been a fabulous lady named Gemma Bray aka “The Organised Mum”. For anyone who doesn’t know who this is, she is a literal gem who runs a blog (https://www.theorganisedmum.blog) but I first discovered her via Instagram account of the same name.

Her method is so simple, yet revolutionary. All of the main housework jobs are divided across 5 days, a room each day in which you aim to do in a quick blast of only 30 mins per day. The claim is that you can have a clean and organised home by spending only 45 mins per day doing house work, and have the weekends off. Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? Well, I decided to give it a go…

If at first you don’t succeed…

I first dipped a toe into #TeamTOMM about November time, but at that time I failed miserably. I was doing my usual “everything needs to be perfect first” method of procrastinating. I had, a few months prior to this, begun the KonMari decluttering system and had only got part way through. I wanted that to be finished before I started The Organised Mum stuff, because then the rooms would be clear enough for me to clean properly. However this was not possible due to the sheer volume of items to be decluttered. This held me back from even starting as I couldn’t make progress with the KonMari without my husband’s input, and he was busy with the other project which was (is!) holding me up – the extensive renovation of our hall, stairs and landing. I just felt like my home, and my head weren’t in the right place to really get into a new regime. However, the mess in my home was really getting me down. I then noticed that The Organised Mum had a bootcamp week for houses in a state such as mine. I had a word with myself and decided it was time to give it a go for real.

I did day one, went overboard and burnt myself out! That’s it with me. I tend to be all or nothing, no happy medium. Then ensues the obligatory guilt and feeling like a failure.

…take a new approach!

After that the busy season in the run up to Christmas began and all efforts at any sort of organisation went out the window. My anxiety levels went through the roof again and I knew something needed to change.

That’s when I decided to make some New Year’s Resolutions with a difference this time. I wanted to really change things up, and I knew that in order for things to be different from any other year it was my mindset that really needed to change. I could have decided upon any sort of resolution and failed miserably as is usually the case for so many of us, so I decided that my only resolution was to be a healthier, happier me.

I took a good hard look at my life and noted the things that were holding me back and made suggestions as to how I could make changes to stop these things from continuing to hurt me for another year, with one caveat, that it was to be a process not a magic wand moment. If things were really going to be different it wouldn’t happen overnight. I would have to be patient, most importantly with myself.

Week 1: TOMM

I started week 1 on new years eve.

Monday was living room day. No problem here as I do try to keep the downstairs under control. Also, hubby was still off work so he kept the toddler under control while I whizzed around at lightning speed. Even he was impressed with what is achieved in 30 minutes!

Tuesday sees bedroom day. We have 4 bedrooms; 2 on the first floor which we sleep in and 2 on the second floor which we abandon items in and which also house our 2 cats’ beds and litter trays. The top floor, for me, is a bigger ongoing project and takes up a huge amount of my energies just even thinking about it. So with only 30 minutes available to me I decided to spend it wisely and tackle the rooms we actually use. I started with our bedroom as I try to keep the toddlers fairly clear, whereas ours becomes a bit of a dumping ground/laundry room. Well, I did my 30 minutes and barely made a dent. I only got our room about half way to where it should be. I didn’t get into any of the other 3 bedrooms. I was starting to feel defeated and fall into the old habit of throwing in the towel when I don’t meet my own expectations. I thought to myself, “This is useless, I’ve barely made a dent in it!”, but that’s when something in my head made the shift; I realised that a dent had been made. I realised that it didn’t all have to be perfect and it didn’t all have to happen right away. This is a longterm plan, a shift in lifestyle a change in my approach. I just needed to keep making these dents and soon I would get to where I wanted to be. I would meet my expectations, but in time.

With this new realisation the remainder of the week was easy…. or so it should have been! Thursday is kitchen day, but instead of looking at the list of tasks for kitchen day I picked up the list for the Friday focus deep clean of the kitchen. I didn’t realise my mistake until my 30 minutes was up. I did wonder though as I was deep cleaning the oven and thinking surely people don’t do this every week! Once I realised my mistake I adapted my plan and made it work for me though.

Fridays on The Organised Mum Method rotate weekly with the focus being on a different room/ area each week over 8 weeks. As this was week 1 the Friday Focus should have been in the kid’s room, but as I did the Friday Focus in the Kitchen the previous day, I decided to swap the Friday focus for that week, complete the Thursday kitchen list and then do the Kid’s room focus later in the month in place of the Kitchen Friday Focus. Now that might sound a bit confusing, but it signified an important progression in my thinking process. Previously I would have just thought, “I’ve messed up already and I haven’t even made it through the first week! Why bother!” but instead I adapted and carried on.

I even found myself wanting to do more. I was so pleased with my lovely clean kitchen that I found myself going out there and cleaning up after dinner where before I would have gone and put my feet up, giving everything another little wipe down before bed time. I thought, “Hey this is contagious!”

Keeping it up

Now I’ll be the first to admit that this isn’t a miracle cure, it does take motivation and perseverance. There will be days or weeks when I won’t get it all done. In fact week 2 was a bit of a wash out due to a lingering flu and a teething toddler, but I picked it up again in week 3. With every passing week I am getting more and more on top of things. I am enjoying my home and my family more. The thing that is so appealing about this method is that it is methodical. Gemma has broken all the housework up into manageable chunks meaning that if you give it 45 minutes a day you can have the rest of the day to enjoy your home, or your family, or anything else you desire!

I cannot recommend The Organised Mum Method highly enough, but above that I highly recommend being gentle with yourself. Don’t expect too much of yourself and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t meet your own expectations, and most importantly JUST KEEP MAKING DENTS!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @life_hack_mum_

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