Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Monday, September 7, 2009

How to Stay Organized When No One around You Is

Hope you're having a nice Labor Day weekend. We've had some time off and one of our daughters came for a visit. So nice - we played games, watched a movie, laughed, shopped. Today's blog is a guest blog by Adrienne Carlson. Enjoy!

How to Stay Organized When No One around You Is

As a child, I was notorious for losing stuff; my parents despaired of me being able to keep any of my belongings safe and I was never allowed to own anything valuable for this reason. But as I grew older, I underwent a remarkable transformation – I became very organized, so much so that my parents wondered if aliens had conducted experiments on me. Somehow, I began to detest clutter of any kind and made it a point to set schedules and stick to them. I followed the policy of a place for everything and everything in its place and the rest was easy enough.

Until the day I got married that is – much to my dismay, I discovered that my spouse was a pack rat, someone who hoarded stuff, and never bothered to pick up after himself. Now I know that love is blind, but after a while the clutter and confusion tend to overcome even the strongest of emotions, and this lead to the first fights in our married life. After a few days of constant bickering, we decided to do something constructive, or at least I did. I resolved to stop fighting a losing battle and instead, work out a system where I could stay organized even when my significant other was the exact opposite. For organization to take center stage:

Anticipation is the key: When you are the only one who is neat and organized in a family, you must anticipate your partner’s habits and plan accordingly. For example, it’s not enough to just plan your day and schedule; you must also anticipate your spouse’s habits and messiness and leave enough time for you to clean up after them. Yes, it is extra work for you, but on the bright side, it allows you to become a better organizer in the limited time that you have.

Separate spaces play a large role: Unless you each have your own space in which to do your own thing, organization can become an uphill task with the summit never in sight. If your spouse is innately messy and unorganized, you must allow them their own space in which they can be themselves. If not, tensions could run really high and you’re going to find yourselves fighting more often than not. It’s better to reach a truce.

Ignorance is sometimes bliss: There are times when you must ignore the mess or clutter if you wish to avoid constant arguments. Instead, just wait for a quiet moment to get your point across; explain how being organized or at least trying to be makes a huge difference in the amount of time you have and in how efficiently you do your work.

It takes a bit of extra planning, but it’s still possible to stay organized even when no one around you is.

This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson, who regularly writes on the topic of christian college online. Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions at her email address.