5 Basic Ways to Use Your Strengths in Your Home
Raise your hand if you ever have self doubt!
That got your attention didn't it! If you are anything like me, you are constantly wondering if you are doing things right. I don't know if it's the way I was raised, wanting to better myself, or a lack of confidence (probably a mix of all 3!) but I always wonder if I could be doing something better, or the "right" way.
Today I'm going to address how we can overcome the feeling of self doubt within our homes and embrace our strengths.
I definitely struggle with this but have come to understand that no matter how I am completing something, if it works for me I am winning. And that is what is most important.
A lot of my new clients will ask me when the "right" time is to clean their home, organize their spaces or start the decluttering process. They think that there must be some hidden answer that works for everyone.
As far as the starting, that time is NOW. There is no reason to wait until next Monday, or January, or after your children leave home. You can start working on one small space at a time in order to make it exactly what you want it to be!
As far as when to spend time organizing your home, I'm going to just come right out and say it: whenever it gets done will be the right time.
I am a total morning person. And I'll be honest about something - I love to organize (obviously) but I despise cleaning. Like will do anything to get out of it. Ask my husband :)
When I get up at 5 am I feel unstoppable and believe me, anything on my list will get accomplished. (If you're looking for how to set up your own daily routine, you can find that post here!) Even the cleaning. I can tackle anything when it is quiet in my house and the promise of a new and successful day is before me. But ask me to do that same list at 7:30 pm? NOT A CHANCE. I know myself, and know that I am ready to chill out and relax once the busy day is over.
Through trial and error, I figured out that I needed to do my cleaning in short bursts first thing in the morning. I schedule a 15 minute window for me to work like a crazy person on a rotating cleaning schedule, and (miracle!) it gets done (most days, what can I say. I'm human!)
I know another strength of mine is that I work well with a list. I do not do well just tackling "whatever I feel like" as this won't work for me (because I won't feel like doing any of it HA). So I have a rotating cleaning schedule that I follow to the tee. I know this way everything will eventually be tackled and I don't have to worry about the times I miss a day or two.
What is going to work for you is the time you have, in the manner you prefer. If that is 15 minutes on your lunch break and you tackle the area that needs it most, then go for it! If it is half an hour after the kids are in bed and you follow a routine, great! If it is 4:30 in the morning - I'm with you! And if it is at 1 am, then it's at 1 am!
You are the best measure of the best time for you, and you alone know your strengths and what will and what won't work for you.
Don't schedule your cleaning or organizing for a time you know it won't happen! Anything important in my day I schedule for first thing. It's just the way I am. By acknowledging this and understanding this, I conquer the things I have to.
With that in mind, the following are a few strengths I know some you have and exactly how to make them work for you in your daily routine!!
Strength #1: The Early Bird
We've established that this is me and if you are with me, welcome friend! You like to tackle your day before anything can stop you. I hear ya.
There can be so many distractions during our days, and I find that getting everything I deem to be necessary out of the way first just sets me up for successful day every time.
If this is you, your best bet is to start with a killer morning routine. Write down the things that are non-negotiable for you in your day and get them done first thing! Here is my morning routine at the moment:
It absolutely gets re-evaluated all the time, and items can be added or deleted as I find my priorities adjust. But when I do the important things first, I have time for my family and my work as needed for the rest of the day and that is such a win for me!
Strength #2: The Night Owl
If this is you, you have my respect. My good friends have many stories of sitting down to tell me all about the excitement of their day, or watch a great movie, and within minutes I am struggling to keep my eyes open. Oh and this is usually right around 8 pm :)
Those of you who are energized by the night are incredible if you ask me. And really, your time is unlimited! Well, other then sleep of course :) Make sure you're getting enough of that!
If you are the type of person whose strength is energy in the evening, then a perfect evening routine should be on your to-do list!
As with the morning routine, adjust it to suit your current and changing needs. Start with something simple and slowly add onto it! Try it for a while and readjust as necessary. Take advantage of the fact that this is your time to work hard!
Strength #3: At Home During the Day
Whether you are a stay at home mom who is working super hard every day to keep your little ones busy, you stay at home while your children are at school, or you work from home, this affords you extra hidden moments all throughout your day to get little things done!
So many people get overwhelmed when they think that they don't have a huge chunk of time for cleaning or organizing, but I believe so strongly and tell all my clients all of the time that you can do anything in 15 minutes! Small steps lead to big changes!
Let's say you get up at the same time as your children. You get your kids off to school and you now have half an hour until you start working from home.
Get in a quick workout first thing when they are gone! Then around lunch, throw in a load of laundry. Take a break at 2:15 to tidy up a focus space, and after school fold the laundry while your kids tell you all about their day.
This is an ideal strength to have as there are endless possibilities for how you can rearrange your day to make it work for you!
As with the above strengths, readjust as necessary until you find your sweet spot!
Strength #4: You've Got Helpers! (AKA Children)
Yep, I'm listing this as a strength.
So often we think about our kids as something we have to work around, but we can teach them responsibility at the same time we get them to help which will in turn lessen our workload so our homes are more manageable!
Now let me be clear right off the bat, I'm not saying they are our slaves or they must take on everything for you (as good as that sounds), however I do believe it is good for children to learn that they are contributors of the household!
Will this take a bit more of a time commitment off the bat? 100%. My son is still learning how to properly wipe down the sink in the morning and I do have to slightly supervise. However he is doing it and learning and eventually, one day, he'll know how and be confident and I will move him on to something else. It sure helps my morning routine knowing that it will at least get half wiped down until I do a full clean again next week!
Delegate some chores to your children! This teaches responsibility and allows them to contribute.
If this is new for you, start small as you don't want to overwhelm them. Give them a few simple tasks so they can feel the success and satisfaction of helping in a meaningful way. Praise them!
We do a "commission" system in our home where our children are paid a commission for their chores instead of an allowance. We feel this teaches them that hard work will amount to an income which they can use to purchase items they really want. Not only are we teaching them responsibility, but also financial lessons rolled right in!
Having help in the house will make a huge difference as you are able to tackle things that only you can do!
Strength #5: You Are a Machine
Are you that person who can tackle anything in a small amount of time? You just rush around until it is finished? Well then SPEED is your strength.
My mother is this person. While I am very detail oriented and meticulous, she can whip through a space like a tornado and get it finished in no time. It's incredible. I only hope one day to be able to complete things the way she can!
If this is your strength, fit those things you need to do in your home where you can! You are so fast and efficient at the tasks, set a timer for 15 minutes and do whatever you can! The old adage of "if it takes 1 minute, do it now" will be your best friend. Others are contemplative and it may take them longer (especially when talking decluttering and organizing) but if you are able to make split second decisions and are decisive and fast, use this strength to your advantage!
You may be an early bird who has children and can work super fast. That is 3 different strengths! Or maybe you are a night owl who works from home. Excellent!
Whatever your strengths, use them to your advantage. Using your strengths will help you to feel that the things you have to do are marginally easier to tackle and handle, and you won't feel like it puts a strain on your day. Remember, we are about progress not perfection!