Three Steps To Help Keep Order During Chaotic Times


I recently had a check-in call with a client who is a mother of two young kids and a business owner with her husband. During the call she recalled her hectic life over the past 3 months. Between a newborn and a toddler running around causing mayhem and her tutoring company gearing up for finals, there wasn’t much time and energy left over to keep the house organized.

One thing she pointed out to me during the call was that even though things became messy due to their work schedules, after finals were over, she was able to pick up the pieces much faster. Due to our work together to set up organizational systems early on, she was able to re-establish a tidy house more effectively.


This conversation got me thinking about the many families out there who go through busy, stressful, and often, messy times and the important things to remember before, during and after these periods.

Set up systems during down times. 
It’s important when things are slower to make the time to set up organized systems for your home and family. Scan all of your kids artwork, get that shoe rack you’ve been eyeing for the pile of cluttered shoes, install a mail organizer instead of letting it pile up on your dining table or kitchen counter. Or make it a family effort by giving little tasks to your kids so that everyone feels like they are helping. If you’re sticking with realistic ideas/expectations, whatever they may be, finding the extra hour to do it will ensure that when you’re trying to get back to a tidy house, putting things back together will be so easy you could do it with your eyes closed!

Be realistic.
Knowing how much time a project will take can be difficult. But you know your life and schedule better than anyone else.  Be realistic with how much time you have and how long it may take you. Not setting up a plan of action only to then fall short of finishing can leave you feeling discouraged and potentially put you in the mindset to not complete the project. If your dream is to have a Pinterest-perfect laundry room, that’s great, but be realistic on how long it will take you and how your family will adhere to the vision you have. Start with organizing the detergents, or setting up a folding area, chipping away at things so it feels less overwhelming.  It may be you have to tweak some things so that your idea of perfection matches the reality of your life.


Forgive yourself.
There are times when life is super busy and the dishes go unwashed for a few days, laundry piles up or your hair has more dry shampoo in it than you ever thought it could absorb. It’s okay. It’s so easy to start blaming yourself or letting negative thoughts fester. There are always going to be busy periods and setbacks, but if you’ve set up systems and set aside time to organize, you’ll be amazed at how quickly your house bounces back.  Just remember to always take a deep breath and know the mess is not representative of who you are, or that you have failed in some way. It’s just temporary.

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Anna Bauer is a Professional Organizer and owner of Sorted by Anna helping clients in New York and the tri state area. With home, business and moving services, Anna helps set up long term space-saving solutions that fit each busy lifestyle and personality. Packing and unpacking, decluttering, simplifying and room redesign consultations. Sorted by Anna helps clients achieve order, function and efficiency so they can truly love their space again!

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