5 Ways to Stay Organized…

…when disorganization is one of your weaknesses.

This morning, I sat on my comfy couch and wrote in my 2013 calendar.  As I was doing this, I was reminded of something a friend of mine said to me recently- you are so organized!  It still makes me laugh, because the truth is that disorganization is one of my biggest weaknesses and one of my constant struggles.

Perhaps you have similar struggles.  If so, this post is for you.  As with any weakness, we don’t get to say that’s just the way I am, but we also need to understand that we don’t need to be the most organized person on earth in order to overcome the weakness.

Here are my 5 Ways to Stay Organized– tips for the disorganized among us

1.  Figure out a plan that works for you– my entire life has been a struggle with disorganization.  I would try to be like my sister and keep things neat and organized, but I would fail constantly and then feel miserable.

As I have grown older, I have come to realize that life is not about trying to look like someone else- it is being who you are and bringing glory to God through that.  This means that we should learn from others, but we should not try to be like them- our goal should be to be like Christ.

So don’t feel guilty if you don’t use an online calendar or if using coupons makes your head swim.  Find what works for you and then do it to the best of your ability- as working for the Lord and not for men (Colossians 3:23).

2.  Build routines into your day- this morning was a lovely return to routine for me.  I love having my kids at home, but it throws our whole schedule up in the air.  And for an undisciplined person, this wreaks havoc in my heart.  Consistency is important to any organizational plan.

So establish routines that help you.  I wrote this blog post in my head while I swept the floors this morning.  Your routine might include praying in the shower, loading the dishwasher, filling the crockpot.  Whatever it is, routine is important to maintain your goals.

3.  Establish traditions- this is key for me.  My husband laughs at me sometimes, but this emphasis on tradition is one of the ways that I overcome my weakness.  It keeps me from becoming lazy and not accomplishing the things that I find important.

As an example, it is my family’s tradition to eat pork, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes on New Years Day.  I made sure that I had all of the ingredients for our dinner, but when it came time to make it, my family was a mess.  We had a rough day and I was feeling like an absolute failure as a parent.  As my husband looked at my tear stained face, he suggested that we order a pizza.  It would have been easy to say yes to this suggestion.  But I knew that I would be disappointed later for my lack of follow through.

So, we made our dinner and set our table according to our tradition and my plans.  And it ended up being lovely and just what our family needed.  We had a sweet time of fellowship together and God restored our relationships as we prayed with one another.

Traditions allow us to fight against our weaknesses.

4.  Don’t allow guilt to drive your decisions- as a result of my lack of organization, one of my biggest struggles is responding out of guilt.  I feel guilty asking my kids to keep their rooms organized when mine is in disarray.  I get upset when my family members don’t clean up after themselves and then the inevitable guilt sets in when I see my own messes all over the place.

I am slowly learning that this guilty response is actually hurting my family.  My kids have the same struggles as their mommy.  It is my responsibility to help them in this struggle.  My weaknesses and guilt are not an excuse for me to not train my children in the way that they should live.

By admitting my weaknesses to my children, I have the opportunity to show them that we all need to depend on the Lord-we desperately need His strength at work in us.  Instead of a guilt response, I have the opportunity to show them grace- just as my heavenly Father shows grace to me, over and over and over again.

5.   Let your actions be an overflow of your love for God and for others- Whether you are super organized or completely disorganized, you need to understand the importance of seeking to glorify God in all that you do.  

If I have a perfectly organized house and consistently accomplish all of the things on my to do list, but have not LOVE, I am only seeking my own glory and living out of pride.

If my house is a mess and I am always feeling guilty and have not LOVE, I am not trusting in God and seeking Him to be at work in me.

(1 Corinthians 13 in my own words)

I need to remember both of these things as I work at being more organized and seek to overcome my weakness.  Because there are dangers on both sides of this issue and if I lose my focus of loving God and loving others, I will just be an empty shell of who God wants me to be.  But when I let my love for Him dictate my actions, I WANT to keep my house clean and I WANT to set an example for my children and I WANT to work hard.

Did you know that blogging has been one of the best things I have ever done to help me to become more organized?  By sharing my thoughts in this place, I give myself accountability- which is one of the things that a disorganized person needs.  If I say it here, I am more compelled to follow through.

As I wrote on my calendar, my thoughts were drawn to my one word for 2013- faithful.  My prayer for this year is that I will be faithful to doing what God has called me to do and this means trusting Him with my weaknesses.

And now I need to go and do some dishes and some laundry!