Let’s be honest, taking care of children makes for a disorganised way of life. Schedules go out the window, time gets away from you and even the most structured people find themselves losing control. For the most part, that’s entirely OK, young kids should be a priority.
Their well-being is first and foremost, but how can parents take back some of that power without upsetting the flow of sleep schedules, play dates and meal times?
Diana Baliva, founder of Closet Philosophy, understands the demands of being a mum. As a parent of a bubbly five-year-old, she knows what it’s like to get to the end of the day and feel exhausted, but she explains that making a concerted effort to make time for your own tasks will make a discernible difference to your own mindset and way of life.
“Having things organised gives me clarity and minimises chaos and stress,” says Diana. “Also the process of clearing and de-cluttering is like a meditation for me.”
Yes, she’s talking up the idea of an organised home as the ultimate way to regain control, in what is often a busy, if not chaotic, home.
“When everything has a place or home it makes getting through the busy day that little bit easier and faster.”
An organised home also allows for the family to functions easier. If the objective is to get the children to be more independent, then they can only achieve that goal if they know excatly where to find their shoes and socks. If you’re upending laundry baskets to find the other sock as the family is setting off down the dirveway, then you’re adding to the chaos. Children will mirror your behaviour.
“An organised home makes things 100 per cent easier and having things easily accessible enables the family to be more independent. For example, getting the kids dressed for school becomes that little bit easier if everything is in its place, they can find what they need quickly and know it's always in the same place. That way you can spend more time on things out of your control like convincing them to put the uniform on.”
Where to start?
The bedroom! Diana explains its’s the most obvious place to start, and will get your day moving in the right direction.
“It's the start and end of every day. I always make sure I make the beds and nothing is on the floor. I hang any unworn clothes or at least put them on a chair,” she says.
“Ultimately it's the wardrobe that needs to be in order too, that way you can dress yourself and the family with ease and hang away clothes quickly.”
Diana also likes to create what she calls a "staging area". This can be done with a clothes rack, if you have space, a chair, or simply a hook on the back of the door.
“On it I hang or fold the clothes for the next day. Preparing this the night before takes some of the stress away in the mornings’ frantic rush to get out the door.”
Teaching your children good habits will pay dividends in the long run, and they can learn to pack away toys as a toddler.
One of Diana’s childhood memories is of her as a four-year-old hanging out in her dad’s workshop, playing with his tools and pop rivets.
“There was nothing fancy about this workshop and he didn't have very much, but what he had he absolutely needed. Each tool and machine had a purpose and function to get the job done. I distinctly remember the space and its layout. All the machinery was in one half of the workshop, I remember because I wasn't allowed on that side,” she laughs.
“The other half only had a cupboard, a metal chest of draws and a work bench. Everything had a place and I knew where to find them. And at the end of every day the workshop looked like he hadn't been in there at all.”
What she learned through her parents as a child served her well through her life, first as a buyer for high-end fashion brands travelling around the world, and now as a mum and founder of Closet Philosophy.
Fast facts from Closet Philosphy to regain control of the family home
* Keep only what you need
* Everything needs to have a purpose and a function
* Everything has a place and shoud be packed away in neat and tidy way
*If you’re short on floor space, take advantage of vertical space.
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