Getting organized: What do you really value?

Now look for ways to make some of those chores fit your values. If you have a value of time with your children, perhaps you can take a child with you to run errands or let them work alongside you while you do your chores. Not only will you have more time together, but they really do need to learn to do those things anyway. I didn't think decluttering served a valuable purpose -- it was always just something I was supposed to do-assignment from society? One day I realized that by getting rid of the extra stuff I was making my life easier. I wouldn't have to search through all those things to find my keys or my can opener if I didn't have all of those things. It was like a light-bulb went on over my head. I didn't have to do this to keep my husband off my back. I didn't have to do it to avoid the comments from my mother-in-law. I could do it for myself! It sounds so simple, but it really changed my whole attitude toward that job. Think about it. How many chores are you doing for someone else that you'd be much happier doing for yourself, to further your own values?


Are there some tasks that just don't seem to fit any of your values. Why are you doing them? Did someone tell you that you had to do them? Does everyone else do them? Are those really good reasons to do something when you could be using the time to do something that you want or need to do? It sounds terrible, but you have to find a way out. It is emotionally exhausting to keep doing things that go against our values. If you have a lot of these tasks and are feeling drained -- that's why! Find someone else or let the task go undone? If nothing that you value personally will be harmed by skipping out on it, and if your mental health is suffering by doing it -- it doesn't take a genius to see what you should be doing. Okay, so you might face some serious pressure from family or friends and it might seem easier to just go along-but it's not easier in the long term. If it's important to them, let them do it! Otherwise, tell them that you are making some changes so that you can accomplish what's important to you and that this is one of them. Save your time and energy for things that are important to you.

It might help to take your list of daily tasks -- at least do one day's worth -- and write the value beside each task. Start with your first task of the day, such as making your bed. Keep the list with you as you work and look at why you are doing each task. As you get bored with the plan of the moment, go back and look at this list. Write the value beside each task for that day. Do them for you. Make sure you don't have a lot of those tasks that don't fit your values. Motivate yourself with your "reasons" for doing each task. You still have to do the work, and it won't always be easy or fun, but you can do it --now that you know "what's in it for you."


About the Author: Bonnie Rice is a housewife and mother, struggling to get organized. She enjoys sharing her progress and ideas that work. Bonnie lives in Quincy, Illinois with her husband, four sons. Organization is not a hobby, it's a form of self defense!

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