Step By Step

I have a bad habit of making a task list in my mind, as I walk around the house, of everything that needs to be done RIGHT NOW! Can you relate?

We have just transitioned from summer break into the school year.  And all of the things I put off and let go over the summer are right in my face demanding attention.  I will make this confession public – I just cleaned my hardwoods for the first time in 2 or 3 MONTHS.  We have managed to sweep the crumbs and dirt in the kitchen (because my kitchen looks like someone dumped a bread bag out in it EVERY DAY).  But taking time to do anything beyond spot cleaning didn’t happen this summer.  And you know what, I don’t regret it at all.  My priority this summer was to see that the kids had fun and that I was present with them; I wanted to strengthen our connections with one another.  And THAT happened.  Here are some pictures of my cuties and what we were up to this summer!

So before I share with you how I’m jumping back into the never ending pile of tasks and responsibility, I want to say this.  Relationships come before tasks, ALWAYS!  Both are necessary, we have to make time for both, and we can’t just sit around and talk or play all day (although that would be great, wouldn’t it?!).  I am a firm believer that physical chaos spills into relational chaos. However, sacrificing a connection with someone to complete a functional task is never worth it.  At the end of life, we won’t remember what we did, but rather the connections we had along the way.

Above image of our family by Timeless Fotographie


Now that I’ve said all of that, here’s what you can do to get out of that rut of overwhelmed feelings that end in paralysis.

1.  Do one thing

Set your mind that only ONE thing can be done at a time.  Working on a task in a state of anxiety about what comes next can slow you down, not to mention makes the whole process miserable.

2.  Make a decision about where to start

I usually start with what has an immediate deadline (bills, items to be returned to a store, etc.). If nothing fits that category, I move onto the thing that is bugging me the most.  This morning it was my floors. There is no perfect start.  I think that’s worthy of a repeat, listen to this again and let it sink deep:  There is no perfect start.  It is not about what you start with or how – it is important that you make a decision and start moving!

3.  Start small

One step at a time, remember?   If its organizing a crazy, out of control room – go through one drawer of the nightstand/dresser/end table/kitchen cabinets and clean it out.  If its working through a pile of paperwork on your desk, give yourself 30 minutes of undivided attention to work through it.  Whatever it is, start small.

4.  Take time to relish the satisfaction of completing something

We never grow out of the need for affirmation.  No matter the task, take the time to step back and smile at your work!  This is something I am working on myself; I don’t take the time to appreciate what I’ve done and I just go onto the next thing and eventually get grumpy. Celebrating your accomplishment will fuel your desire to tackle something else.

5.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help

There is no shame in reaching out.  Knowing your limits is a strength, not a weakness.  We were created to be interdependent.  We are not superman or superwoman or supermom…  We need each other.  So ask friends or family members for help.  If you have room in your budget, consider hiring a housekeeper to clean twice a month so that’s one less thing you have to juggle.  If you home is out of control, consider hiring a professional organizer; we are here to help.  I love being able to watch the tension and weight lift off of someone as they finally begin reclaiming their space.

I hope this inspires you to start moving forward again.  Sometimes, you just have focus on putting one foot in front of the other.  I know you can do it!

Thanks for reading,


Get Organized.  Simply Live.