November is a month of prep – We have holidays, parties, family gatherings and lots of shopping on our minds, so for this month’s Decluttering Challenge, let’s take a look at our daily routines and set some systems in place to keep us in alignment as the holidays approach.
Designing routines is also fabulous Self Care. Just a few minutes planning and removing the unnecessary from our schedule will remind us to take better care of ourselves as well as keep us organized.
So let’s examine what’s going on in your world right now…
Grab a journal or piece of paper and allow yourself to relive your typical week in writing. I invite you to get as detailed as possible in this exercise:
- When I wake up in the morning, the first thing that I do is:
- My first priority is to:
- My typical morning routine is:
- After I get myself ready, I:
- I eat breakfast at ____.
- I spend most of my day:
- My daily breaks are:
- I spend ______ minutes a day exercising.
- I spend ______ minutes a day journaling.
- I spend ______ minutes a day meditating.
- I eat lunch at ____.
- At the end of the day when I come home or finish working, I (if you’re a stay at home mom/wife, use any prompt that feels right here):
- The first thing I do when I am home & finished with work/school/major tasks, I:
- I cook/eat dinner at:
- My cleaning/tidy up routine is:
- I spend ____ hours watching TV/Reading/Playing/Visiting with friends or family.
- My cleansing routine is:
- My typical evening routine is:
- I change for bed at _____.
- I am in bed by_____.
- Lights out/I am asleep _____.
- Any others you’d like to add…
If these answers are no-brainers and not a big deal to you, perhaps I can convince you to take a deeper look at how you organize your day. Having a clear idea of how you spend your time is super important to create lasting habits. Even if these are not yet a reality, you are subconsciously training your mind to follow these patterns as you plan them out. So go ahead and act “as if”… Write down what you would like to do if you don’t have daily routines.
Having an evening routine that you stick to every single day is one of the most effective ways of getting and staying organized!
Creating a few rigid rules about how the kitchen clean-up goes down, or when you start mozying up to bed will give you the freedom to have carefully crafted time to yourself. That’s the fun part. When you’ve done the work mapping out your daily schedule and getting serious about your evening routine, you will see clutter disappearing from your life.
So let’s start with your ideal evening routine. How would that look? What can you do tonight to set you up for success tomorrow?
Open up a new sheet of paper and design that ideal time. Some things you may want to consider:
- Writing a To Do List for the next day
- Plan tomorrow’s meal (do you need to thaw some meat or prep veggies for the crockpot?)
- Pick out tomorrow’s clothes (do they need to be ironed?)
- Make sure all dishes are clean/in dishwasher & sink is shiny
- Everything is tidy and re-homed
- Pack a “go-bag” with everything you need tomorrow
- Know where your keys are (identify one place for them and always use it)
- Take your shower/bath/wash your face…
- Put your phone on airplane mode
- Go to bed at least 7-8 hours before you have to wake up!
(Feel free to share your list with the group)
The next important routine is how you treat yourself in the morning. This will make or break you as you move throughout your day, because if you haven’t gotten enough sleep or you aren’t prepared for what the day demands, you may be running around like a cut chicken.
Sound familiar? Well, let’s remedy that…
If you’re waking up to a blaring alarm that you dread, pressing the snooze at least twice before stumbling to the bathroom, then off to a mad rush because you’re running late – you’re doing it all wrong!
Program your phone alarm with a motivational message or uplifting song as a loving gift to yourself. I love angelic messages being sung to me as I drift out of dream-land.
There are five things that are so, so, so important to me in my morning routine, and I make sure that I go to sleep early enough so that I have the time to experience them every single day. This has become my non-negotiable ritual that make the rest of my day feeling on-point:
- I walk my dog out in nature with my husband – no cell phones!
- I eat a healthy breakfast & take my supplements.
- I meditate, focusing on my 4x4x4x4 breath (usually outside getting grounded under my favorite tree)
- I journal.
- I do yoga and/or dance.
People tell me ALL the time that they don’t have time to themselves, but I can tell you, if you can sacrifice an hour of TV/Internet & go to sleep earlier, you can have the luxury of an hour to yourself every single morning. My morning ritual can be stretched out for as long as I have time alloted, but I have a super-condensed version so that I can still enjoy bits of it on a limited amount when needed.
“My morning non-negotiables are”…
Being a Professional Organizer, it’s my natural instinct to stick to routines. So I will share with you some of the routines that I keep, and I invite you to create your own ideal schedule for these subjects:
- Meal Planning
- Bill Paying
- Self Care
- Grocery Shopping/Errands
I print these out and have them posted around my home. For instance, I have a huge list of extreme self-care ideas posted on the inside of my medicine cabinet so that I remember to do them. I also program my phone with alarms to go off during certain times of the day/week as a reminder to stick to my routine. Having a reliable reminder every night to start getting ready for sleep is such a helpful way to stay on track.
And last but not least, we have the decluttering to work on…
Identifying a routine around getting organized is very important if this is something you struggle with. When you have a plan and clear, actionable steps towards addressing it, you will have progress. And as long as you’re striving for progress over perfection, you will feel the weight of the world lifted from your shoulders.
As we move through November, identify one area that has clutter and make a commitment to yourself to work at chiseling it down by December 1st. If you need help with this, post in our group and I’ll be happy to cheer you on. Just remember, if it doesn’t have a home, it becomes clutter. So identify where it lives, re-home it, purge or donate the rest.
Come back to the VIP Group and participate in the prompts this month. Check in and share how you’re doing. By sharing your progress or struggles, you can get a ton of support as well as help many others going through this with you.
A Message From Renee
If you enjoy these challenges, I encourage you to participate by commenting on the prompts in our group. Stay active, share ideas, progress, questions… If there is something you’d like to see, please request it! Being an active member of this community lets me know you are gaining value from it. The more activity, the more I share. When it gets quiet, I stop sharing. Providing free content in this group is my way of giving back – it is my mission to help as many women find freedom in their lives by renewing their space, body, mind & spirit.