When people find out that I have a professional organization business, their immediate response is, “I want to see your house!” I’ll say, “Okay, but it looks just like everyone else’s.” Then I watch their face as they completely ignore me and fantasize about a palace of pristinely placed bins with Pinterest-y pretty labels lining every cabinet and shelf.

It really does look like most people’s homes but with some pretty good systems to keep my family and me on track.

Is my pantry organized? Yes, but right now it’s exploding after an epic Costco trip and looks way prettier when we have fewer snacks, cereal boxes and my family cries, “Don’t we have any food to eat that doesn’t need to be cooked?!” (First world problems. I know.) At that near-empty stage is the best time to snap and share those photos for Facebook and Instagram. So don’t be fooled when we in the industry share our photos with you. It’s simply to share ideas. No one actually lives like that….not even us.

It’s not about pretty little containers

My style of organization is about Time Management and yes I know that sounds so dull and boring! Before you leave, give me a chance to explain how I went from a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants girl to someone who has accomplished some pretty huge goals while being married, raising three kids (+ 2 foreign exchange students), and a dog.

You see, I discovered that when I manage my time well I get a lot of stuff accomplished and get off that spinning hamster wheel of never-ending to-do lists, mom-guilt, pity parties of one when I haven’t done anything for myself and no one seems to care.

So, I started dividing up my day into segments that I now call my Time Buckets. Right now as I’m blogging, I am spending time in my “Career” bucket.

Last Saturday night, crammed in the back of my Volvo with my daughter and our student from Italy watching a terrible movie at the drive-in theater I was in my “Family” bucket.

This morning when I dragged my sleepy self out of bed and went for a run, I was operating in my “Physical & Health” bucket.

You see a pattern? These are segments of time I have etched out for myself to accomplish all those things I want and need to do in my life.

Managing your time gives you freedom

As I said, I was a girl who loved spontaneity (still do) but often the result of living a life with little or no structure is chaos.

That’s what I was tired of living. Not being able to find car keys because they didn’t have a spot they belonged in, hitting too many drive thru’s because I had no plan for dinner, and watching too much tv because it was a nice distraction from dealing with life.

I realized that by planning my days, setting timers when tackling tasks that I hated to the depths of my soul, and creating a to-do list with 3-5 items max… I began making PROGRESS. I started accomplishing goals and guess what??

I realized I had more time in my day than I ever imagined.

Organization does not happen overnight.

Time management is the foundation for being organized and of One Organized Mama.

Here are five tips that I teach and preach about that have completely transformed my life:

  • Tackle tasks that you dread in 20-minute increments.
  • Use a timer. The pressure helps keep you focused.
  • To-do lists should only have 3-5 items on them.
  • Each Time Bucket should be given attention at least once a week.
  • Finish what you’ve started. (If it’s a long project then do it with a timer.) 

Once you begin implementing these techniques into your daily routine, you’ll begin to notice that your home feels more manageable. It will take you and your family less time to get ready in the morning, and you’ll save time searching for those keys because you’ll grab them from their spot automatically.

Ultimately, you’ll feel like YOU are in charge of YOUR time and isn’t that what we all are striving for?

Email me at oneorganizedmama@gmail.com for your FREE Time Management Journal printable OR to order your Time Management Journal that walks you through your Time Buckets and daily routine for only $35.

Thank you for taking the time to read and send me those questions!

-Janel