Is your home a source of chaos for you? Do you have too many projects and not enough time/money/willingness/energy to complete them? Whatever happened to “Home Sweet Home?” Consider a few of these tips to halt the home chaos (which results when there are no pockets there).
- If you clean more than once a week, or think about cleaning more than once a week, you’ll drive yourself crazy with cleaning. You should set the “standard” for how long this takes (actually time yourself) and then put that much time on your calendar every week. *Everyone* who lives in the home should be a participant in the 90-minute or 3-hour or 32-minute cleaning time. Children can be set to complete age-appropriate tasks and can learn that helping means allowance. Even if you hire a cleaning service, there is still a certain amount of cleaning that must be done by the members of the household. Everyone should help with this.
- Hire someone else to clean your house. All the big jobs can be done by this person and it reduces chaos, strain, stress, and fussing around the house. Everybody who hires a cleaning service believes it to be money well spent.
- Have a “charity day” at least once or twice a year. Everyone in the home should find several items to give to charity. Clothing (both outgrown or unworn), books, home decorations, small appliances (in working condition), toys and other such items can be put to good use in someone else’s home. Reducing the clutter reduces the chaos.
- Eat together. No one eats until everyone is seated. A pleasant conversation should be initiated. Avoid drilling one another with punitive questions, e.g., “Have you finished your homework?” or “Did you clean up your room yet?” or “Have you called about the new phone line, yet?!”
- Limit household debt. Nothing is more stressful than dreading the mailbox and its inevitable bills. Avoid buying anything on time payments.
- Lower your voice. Do you really want to sound cranky with every word you say? My brother (who has five children) has a rule in his house that the person who is speaking must go to the room of the person he/she wants to talk to. This limits yelling from room to room. It’s very nice, actually.
- Get a pet and treat it well. Then treat your family with the same courtesy.
- Set boundaries about your home. If you are a person who considers your home to be a haven (like I do), then you will want to make it clear that others aren’t allowed to just drop by and come in.
- Let your answering machine or voice mail take your calls. Even with the no-call rules in homes, many groups are getting around that rule and are still calling with sales pitches, surveys, recorded calls, and the like. Don’t answer the phone unless you are fine with being interrupted from whatever else you were doing.
- Have a space in your home that is YOUR space. It’s not anyone else’s. It might be an entire room or floor, or it might be one small area. It’s yours and it has only the items in it that you love and that bring you peace. You deserve that and it can be your sanctuary.
Our homes (be they palatial mansions, apartments, condos, starter homes, double-wides, garage apartments, or whatever) are the places where we should have some pockets. It’s in our homes that we can nurture ourselves to be able to deal with the rest of life’s chaos.
Do everything in your power to deliberately put in pockets at home.
And if you liked these tips, feel free to check out Putting Pockets in Your Personal Life: 52 Tips to Implement Immediately. If you know you are operating without any “pockets,” and you realize that you have lost sight of the difference between calm and crazed, then this booklet will help you regain that realization and subsequently DO something about it.
Inside, you’ll find practical ideas to implement, letting you actually choose to put in pockets in your personal life (i.e., some protected space, both the physical and metaphorical). With these 52 tips in-hand, and you’ll be well on your way to greater peace of mind and productivity.