An Organized Woman Interview: Stacy

The “An Organized Woman Interview Series” has been a big hit on the blog!  If you are new to this series be sure to check out our other nominees- Sabrina and Emily.

If you know an organized woman you would love to see interviewed fill out the form at the end of the article.

An Organized Woman: Stacy

I am excited to introduce you to Stacy- a real life hero in my world.  I think you will find she is a natural cheerleader with a big heart who has an amazing ability to see the practical side of life.

She doesn’t spend a lot of time beating herself up about what she can’t do.  She doesn’t apologize for saying no to some things to make room for better things.

If you need some motivation about getting and staying on a routine, Stacy is your woman!

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I have always been organized in certain areas.  As a teen, I was hyper-focused on my homework and grades, but my living space and social life were completely disorganized.  I felt like I was only able to stay focused on one thing at a time.

As my roles have changed in my life so has my organization.  I’ve learned that I have to re-prioritize depending on the life stage I’m in.  Routines and organization have helped me make more of the time I have and be better at the roles I try to fill.

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I’m a creature of habit.  I actually don’t make lists (Gasp!)- I have routines.  I love my routines because I know what I’m going to do each day of the week!  Nothing takes more than an hour.

Everything in our house has a designated home.  It’s important for me to be able to have my routine work- if things are disorganized my routines wouldn’t be enough.

Here’s a printable download of Stacy’s cleaning routines to help us all get started:

Stacy’s Cleaning Routine

  • Mondays: Bathrooms- top to bottom!
  • Tuesdays- master bedroom, sheets, vacuum bedroom, dust furniture.
  • Wednesday- Kitchen- the most time-consuming day for me.  Every other week- clean out the fridge- get rid of leftovers, wipe down shelves etc.
  • Thursday- groceries/shopping day- I have a clean kitchen to put everything in!  I reserve Thursday for big projects- like windows or deep cleaning the carpet.
  • Friday- dust, floors- vacuum and mop
  • During the week- I spot clean if I need to, but really I try to stick to my routine so I don’t over do it or feel like cleaning is taking up too much of my life.  If that means some rooms are a little messy during the week- I accept that.
  • I do least one load of laundry a day- I put in a load in the morning, switch washer to dryer, fold and put away

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For the most part, my family follows the routines.  I am a regular mom and I’ve been known to scream at my kids: “Why is your backpack here!?” or “Put your shoes away!” just like any other mom!

I have completely given up control over my girls’ rooms.  We were in a pattern of ugly, heated discussions about their bedrooms and my relationship with my teenage daughters was more important to me than their rooms being clean.  I do expect them to keep their things out of the living areas of the house, but their rooms are their business.

We have a family motto:  If one person is working, everyone is working.  We like to play, but it’s not fair if mom is cleaning the house and everyone else is laying around watching a movie!  Everyone pitching in for 15 minutes to get the area cleaned up makes it so we can all go play.

This motto applies to the work and school day as well.  My husband works during the day, my kids are at school working during the day, I try to get as much done as I possibly can during the day so there’s not a bunch to do in the evening.  I am a part-time student and I volunteer in the community so that work gets done while everyone else is at work.  If my family is working, I’m working.

I do take time for myself.  I go on walks or out with a friend.  I try to be kind to myself.

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That is such a hard question!  I don’t really have a good answer.  Leading a minimalist life means the less we have the easier it is.  We are a bit nomadic- we have moved around a TON- life is just easier with less stuff!

It is so hard to try to shift the mindset, though.

I have a daughter who is a hoarder. We have struggled with buying her different organizing systems, we have tried to help her downsize, and have worked with her to have better organizational skills.  Figuring out the balance with giving her control with how much the mess effects our home has been a struggle.

Every few months we offer to help deep clean her room.  The conversation goes something like this:

“I’m available between 3 pm-5 pm on Saturday if you need help.”

Now, if I go into her room and there’s mold or vermin or bugs (basically if your room becomes a science experiment) you have handed over control to me.  She knows that means everything has to go.  She knows the boundary and will not be surprised by the consequences if things get that far.  The boundary is there for health reasons of course, but it affects my mood too and it protects my relationship with my daughter.

an organized woman

I get up before everyone else.  I feel like if I’m up and ready before everyone else, things just go smoother.  I like to have some quiet time/take a breath before the day starts. Rushing and stress are things I don’t handle well.

I exercise 2 times a week, but every other day I shower and get ready before everyone else is up.  I make it a priority to eat breakfast with my family.

My bedtime routine is a complete disaster.  I’m a morning person, my husband is a night owl.  I’m ready to go to bed at 9 or 9:30 and if he wants to stay up until midnight. 🙂   My morning routine is pretty solid,but evenings just fall apart.

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Kind of.  I have found that they work really great in the beginning and then completely fall apart. They tend to become more work for me.

In the end what works for our family is just if mom asks you to do something- you do it. It’s not a set thing.  I have to accept that not everyone is like me and thrives on routine!  With busy teen kids, by the time they get home and do homework, have dinner- they have been working all day.

I believe in not pushing your personality on your children.  Recognizing they are different than me has saved my sanity on multiple occasions.  I learned early on that I had to let go of them having specific routines.

I have found that being flexible works best for us.

We sort of have a system.  🙂

I find it extremely important to sort the mail as soon as I get it.  I throw away 90% of it because of electronic billing.  School papers have been hard, but as my girls have gotten older I have handed over complete responsibility to them to handle important papers that need to be signed.  It has helped to teach them natural consequences too!

Important dates that come through get put on the calendar immediately so I can throw away the paper.

My filing system includes a drawer in my desk for important papers- bills that need to be paid etc.  (I pay them on a budget day which is every other Thursday).

Other than that I just try to get rid of as much as possible.

Sunday nights I make the menu and grocery list for the next week so it’s ready to go for the shopping day on Thursday.  We have a lot of family time on Sundays so I can ask what everyone wants to eat.  They each pick one meal and I find we have fewer complaints that way!

#1 Be kind to yourself.

#2 Let go of what doesn’t matter so much and do only what you need to in order to get by. 

#3 One moment at a time.  If you only have 15 minutes to work on a project- that’s OK!

#4 Take a moment and imagine you were speaking to a friend- what would you tell them?  Now tell yourself that same advice.  We are always kinder to a friend than we are to ourselves.

#5 Get help if you need it! It takes a village to make a home.  You need a sisterhood and you need people.  Let people help you.  Let go of pride.

#6 Help others when you can. When my 2nd daughter was born we were living a foreign country and had no family to help.  I remember a mom that helped me with my other daughter and how much I appreciated her love and support.  Now that my girls are older I try to help others.

Don’t you just love Stacy’s outlook?  I tried the rule: “If one person’s working, everyone’s working” in our home a few weeks ago and it totally backfired.  My 11-year-old was unloading the dishwasher while I read a book and kindly reminded me that he was working so I needed to be too. 

Nominate An Organized Woman for our interview series!

Do you have a woman in your life you would love to see interviewed for our An Organized Woman series?  Just fill out the form below and I’ll be in touch!

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