Try to Only Have Options

Emily van Rijn

Tips to Keep From Being Overwhelmed #1

Do you find it easy to keep an entire house in order? I find it very overwhelming! A few years ago, it was normal to feel overwhelmed and behind in my house. I never felt like I was on top of things in spite of being so busy. It's not nice to feel like that all the time! Over the last few years I have learned some tips/ideas that have really helped me. Last year my in-laws from the other side of the world suddenly turned up on our doorstep as a surprise for my husband's birthday. Usually I prefer to know when anybody is coming, as I like to make sure my house is in order first. But to my surprise, I felt no embarrassment or panic when they came inside. In spite of not feeling very well, our house was basically clean and tidy as if I had known they were coming. This was a big victory for me! It could have happened that they had turned up when it was very messy, but even when it gets very messy now, it can still be tidied very quickly. I say this only to prove that these tips have made a huge difference. And I share them with the hope that they will help someone else who struggles with keeping  up with their house. Some of them I may have shared before, but it helps to hear things more than once!

1. Try to only have options.

Last year I spent one night and a whole day in hospital with Lydia. I needed a fresh change of clothes so I asked Johan to bring me one. But I realized that he couldn't just grab anything out of my closet! There were some new skirts I had that were too tight–I was hoping I could lose a bit of weight so I could fit them comfortably! I didn't want him to bring one of them, so I had to tell him a specific outfit to bring to be sure I would be comfortable wearing it. There was also leftovers in the fridge that I wasn't sure if they were still safe to eat. Johan ate them! Since this experience I have tried to only have options for right now hanging in my closet. Clothes that I like and that fit comfortably. And in the fridge and pantry I try to make sure there is only food that is an option. Rotten food or clothes that are too small or stained etc. are not options. This can apply to many different things. Pens that don't work and pencils that are too short to sharpen aren't an option–they're rubbish! Shoes you never choose to wear because they're uncomfortable etc, aren't an option. Mugs you never want to drink from are not an option–they're just clutter. Clothes in the children's closet that are too small aren't an option. Having things that aren't options can make a house very overwhelming! If you have clothes you really want to keep but can't fit right now, you could store in a separate place instead of hanging them in the closet.

 So this is one tip that I've found very helpful! It's easier to do at certain stages than at others, but it's a good goal to have.

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