HOW TO DE­CLUT­TER MORN­INGS

If you’re al­ways in a rush, stream­line your rou­tine with Peter’s help

Inside Out (Australia) - - Contents - WORDS PETER WALSH

Rise and shine with Peter’s tips

QOur alarms go off at 6.30am, the chaos of the morn­ing be­gins and we al­ways feel like we’re run­ning late. Ei­ther one of the kids has walked out the door for­get­ting to grab their home­work or I’ve mis­placed my keys. Can you give me some ad­vice to help me make my morn­ing run a A lit­tle more smooth? Michelle, An­nan­dale, NSW I know you’re wait­ing for me to re­veal magic hints that will shave those pre­cious min­utes off your sched­ule. Frankly, I’m sure, if you were to Google it, you would find pages of ‘hacks’ where peo­ple demon­strate things such as how to ap­ply your make-up while sip­ping your tea and walk­ing the dog. Some of these ideas are good, but they don’t al­ways make the big change in peo­ple’s lives that I be­lieve they’re look­ing for.

In­stead, Michelle, I’m go­ing to of­fer you the two most im­por­tant pieces of or­gan­is­ing ad­vice I can give you. If you learn just these two things and in­cor­po­rate them into your life, you will save time and feel far more re­laxed and in con­trol – ev­ery sin­gle day.

Tip 1: Ev­ery­thing has its place.

I am a big fan of what I call ‘old wis­dom’ and re­call that my grand­mother of­ten used to say there should be “a place for ev­ery­thing and ev­ery­thing should be in its place”.

Think how you might ap­ply this to your home and daily life. What things do you con­stantly need or use ev­ery morn­ing? Make a list. My guess is they’re things like keys, wal­let or purse, kids’ school­bags and home­work, lunches, and per­haps a few other things spe­cific to you and your fam­ily.

If you des­ig­nate a place where each of these things lives, and if they’re all near each other by the door, you’ll quickly and eas­ily see what’s there and what you still need to gather. When you don’t have to scram­ble to look, you’ll feel far more in con­trol. And the added ben­e­fit is that ev­ery­one in your fam­ily knows where things be­long when it comes time to put them away. Tip 2: Rou­tines are your friend. If you em­brace this friend, I prom­ise your life will be eas­ier! Quit the habit of just putting things down. In­stead, put them away. When you walk in the door, put the keys in the ex­act same spot ev­ery time. When you put your purse or wal­let down, make sure it’s ex­actly where it’s sup­posed to be. When the kids fin­ish their home­work, the last step for them should be to gather it up, put it back in their school­bag and put the bag right by the front door, in the space des­ig­nated for their bags.

Ad­di­tion­ally, set up time rou­tines. When are the lunches thought out? When are the out­fits ar­ranged? Who feeds the pets and walks the dog each day, and when? Don’t get into a stress­ful sit­u­a­tion – plan ahead.

Solid rou­tines help es­tab­lish a clear sense of or­der. I’m a big be­liever that the more you get done at night be­fore bed, the faster and eas­ier your morn­ings will be­come. Look, things hap­pen. We know they will. So, in­stead of get­ting thrown off track when some­thing un­ex­pected turns up, plan ex­tra time for it.

Or­gan­is­ing isn’t just about your stuff – it’s about the way you live your life. The most or­gan­ised peo­ple do have some magic, in their time-prepa­ra­tion and abil­ity to think ahead. Be that per­son. Start small. Set up one new rou­tine for your­self and your fam­ily, get ev­ery­one on board and stick to it. Then, as­sum­ing it’s as pain­less as I ex­pect it to be, add more. Soon, you’ll be liv­ing a far more or­gan­ised, less-stress­ful life. Trust me!

Peter Walsh, the ‘get your whole life or­gan­ised guy’, is an Aussie cur­rently based in Los An­ge­les.

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