If I were to be completely honest with you, darling, it’s that despite my love for order, I’m often a workweek slob. You could walk into my home any Saturday afternoon or Monday morning and you’d find a home that is neat and tidy. But drop by on a Wednesday afternoon, and you’d color yourself surprised at the pile of mail on top of my shredder, mountains of unfolded laundry, and the state of my coffee table.
One of my core beliefs is that clutter will block you from living your best life. Those piles and that mountain will never fail to distract me. I may be an expert on the ways that clutter – mental, physical, and spiritual – will always get in the way of what you most desire, but that’s because I’ve had to become such an expert because I am not naturally organized. This is something that drove my mother crazy and, I must admit, can frustrate poor JB. And it’s also something I must constantly address when it comes to living a curated, conscious, daily life.
The psychic weight of stuff just drags you down.
Truly having a place for everything and having everything in its place will give you more peace that you might imagine. Sounds simple, I know, and I am the first to admit that life isn’t always simple. In fact, when it comes to the practical side of living life, there are a lot of moving parts, especially during a busy workweek.
There’s the morning rush that inevitably begins the day for most of us. I mean, you have to get everyone up, dressed, fed, and out the door. When I was parenting small children – and teenagers – I was sure at least once a week that the attempt to get everyone to school and work on time would be the death of me.
There’s the end of the day time, too. With briefcases and backpacks and hangry people. Make dinner! Do homework! Get to bed at a decent hour! Is it any wonder that we kind of drop our stuff and let it just stay where it lands? That by the time you go to the grocery store and manage to get (most) of it put away, you don’t have the energy to cook?
By the time the weekend arrives, the last thing I want to do is clean house.
Yet, if I slip into my workweek slob tendencies, I either have to tidy up before the weekend arrives or spend Saturday morning cleaning instead of relaxing. Who wants to do that?
Just because I’m an empty-nester who works from home doesn’t mean that I’ve cured myself of being a workweek slob. Sometimes, I feel as if working from home exacerbates the challenge of keeping things neat and tidy.
Ten Ways to Kick the Habit of Being a Workweek Slob
One – Create a Launchpad for Each Person in Your House
Who wants to search for keys, that left sneaker or a backpack at 7 AM? Not me! And I am guessing not you! By creating a space where each person can drop their things when they walk in the door, you will reduce some of those workweek headaches. And, as part of the going to bed routine, ensure that everyone gathers what they need for the next day and place it in their spot: backpacks, sneakers, purses, homework, permission slips, etc.
Two – Streamline Your Closet
There’s a Zen-like quality to an organized closet, isn’t there? It’s one of the reason one of my favorite little love nuggets is to match JB’s suits with shirts and ties. It streamlines the process for his busiest workweeks.
You probably don’t wear a suit and tie to work every day, but streamlining your closet so that getting dressed each morning feels like a nourishing act instead of a challenge of jumbled clothes will give you peace. This means that you need to get rid of everything in your closet that doesn’t fit or you don’t love. You need to organize your closet in a way that is logical, whether that means putting full outfits together or arranging your clothes by color and type.
(And while you’re thinking about clothes, don’t forget to invest in some new undies or delicious lingerie!)
Three – Plan What You’re Going to Wear
Is there anything more frustrating than not knowing what you want to wear when you needed to leave five minutes ago? One of the kindest things you can do for yourself – and your children – is to plan what everyone is going to wear ahead of time. I like planning at least a week at a time, though I’ll only ask you to commit to planning at least the night before.
Knowing what everyone is going to wear, there is no looking for that blouse that goes with a particular pair of pants, the purple shirt your child must wear on Thursdays, or discovering that the blouse you need to complete your ‘presentation’ outfit is dirty, or still at the cleaner’s. Besides, research has shown that what you wear does make a difference in how you feel about you. So, ensure you feel great each day by putting your best foot forward with a little planning.
It may also help if you create a work uniform or choose capsule wardrobe, so that everything in your closet easily mixes and matches. Doing so also cuts down on decision fatigue, saving that brain power for decisions that really matter.
Four – Create a Weekly Menu
Part of what adds to the workweek slobby-ness is not knowing what to make for dinner. (Or breakfast or lunch.) By creating a meal plan, you can ensure that you have the groceries you need. This cuts out on last minute trips to the store when you’re too tired to put things away. It also reduces the number of nights when you pull random ingredients out of the pantry and hope they create a meal.
Five – Recognize Your Household Hotspots
Everyone has hotspots. These are usually flat surfaces that folks tend to lay stuff down and before you know it, there’s a big old pile of stuff. As a part of my end of the workday routine, I put out the growing fires before hot spots become big flames of clutter.
Six – Don’t Over-commit Each Weeknight
Families – whether it’s just you, you and a partner, or you and a half-dozen children – need time at home. Over-committing each night with choir practice, soccer, dinners, book club, PTA meetings, etc. will mean that there’s less time at home to relax and more time for your workweek slob habits to grow. Commit to at least one weeknight that everyone is home on time.
I am all about kids being active in wherever their passions take them. I am a big proponent of book clubs and girl’s nights. But you can’t tend a home if you aren’t there. So, commit to doing things you love. And commit to at least one night at home to relax and tidy up!
Seven – Create a Laundry Routine
Back before the advent of washing machines, each household had a laundry day. This isn’t always practical for most households. Yet, having a laundry routine will help. This means that have a weekly routine of when to wash the towels, the sheets, the whites, the school clothes, the workout clothes, etc. Doing something the same day, every week, means that there’s a solid routine in place for getting things clean and put away.
The bonus side of a laundry schedule is that the whole family can get on-board. This means they learn the benefits and consequences of laundry being in the hamper. For example, is school clothes are washed on Thursdays, there’s no chance that the purple shirt found under someone’s bed is going to be washed Monday morning. (By the way, I’m a big fan of kids being responsible for their own laundry once they hit middle school.)
Eight – Set Up Routines for Your Weakest Habits and Soft Spots
I tend to get stuck in the stage of clean, unfolded clothes. I don’t mind washing them or drying them, but then comes the folding and the hanging and putting them away. That’s my weakest habit. Oh, and I hate unloading the dishwasher. That’s one of my soft spots. Yet, nothing says workweek slob to me more than piles of laundry or dishes in the sink! So, I’ve created routines around those soft spots of mine.
I’ve committed to no dishes in the sink when we go to bed. I unload the dishwasher every morning as I wait for the coffee to brew. In fact, I make a game out of it and race the coffee pot, doing my best to get everything put away before the coffee pot beeps. I save a favorite HGTV show for laundry folding time. (Right now, it’s Good Bones based out of Indianapolis.) I fold and hang stuff during the show and put it away during the commercial breaks.
Nine – Create Solid Routines and Rituals
The number one routine I recommend for everyone is an evening routine. One that allows you to close out the day and prep for the next morning. It can be as specific as laying out your clothes for the next day, gathering all the loose parts of life and putting them in each person’s launchpad, and having lunch ready to go, or as general as beginning your bedtime routine at a specific time to ensure that you do get enough sleep.
Ten – Make Ditching the Workweek Slob Habit a Team Effort
Sometimes the worst thing about even light cleaning is that you feel like you’re in it alone. One trick is to make certain tasks a team effort. Perhaps you and your partner could do the dishes or fold and put away laundry together. You can watch a favorite TV show or listen to a podcast while you work, or you can use the time to have adult conversation.
Even if it’s a task you wouldn’t typically need help for, it’s okay to ask for assistance from time to time. It lets you turn a chore into a time to engage, and makes the entire thing more pleasant.
If all of these tips and tricks seem like a lot to consider, if learning to live a tidier life feels daunting, remember that like any habit, breaking the cycle of being a workweek slob takes time. It’s also okay to fail from time to time. Some nights, you’re going to end up leaving the dishes in the sink, because life happens, and things come up that will sap your energy or require extra attention. This isn’t about perfection; it’s about improving the quality of your daily life. Because you, darling, are worth it!
Do you want to ditch your Workweek Slob Habits but there’s just too much stuff to organize?
One of the biggest lessons I have learned is that you cannot welcome new things into your life if you don’t release some of the old stuff. You need to begin to purge things from your life. Getting clear in your life by dealing with your physical clutter (big clutter and small clutter) will allow you to direct your precious energy towards creating the clear path to living your best possible life.
Join me for 30 Days to Clarity: Clutter Busting Edition*
2019 Course Dates:
- Hello, New Year: Beginning Sunday, January 06, 2019
- Welcoming Spring: Beginning Sunday, April 14, 2019
- Before the Holidays: Beginning Sunday, October 20, 2019
(*Note: As of 2018, this course is lifetime access. That means, you’re IN at no additional cost anytime the class runs.)
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