Home Organization Takes Serenity-Acceptance-Courage-Wisdom

Written by Neat Freak

God grant me the Serenity
to Accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
and Wisdom to know the difference.

craft drawersCreative Commons License photo credit: evelynishere

The origin of The Serenity Prayer is unknown, and often debated.  Every group who recites it, claims it.  So, I’m claiming it now.  When I’m on a mission to organize my home, I become very tired and weary, and feel the need for a hand-up.  Our busy lives, trying to juggle home, family, and work, leave little time to think about getting organized.  But, when we are not organized at home or work, we feel overwhelmed, missing out on the sense of well-being that we deserve.  What did I accomplish today, other than getting further behind in my work, piling stuff higher to the ceilings, and spinning in circles trying to get my life and home organized?

Having an organized home may not seem that important in the grand scheme of things.  But, the truth is, when we have structure in our routines and in our homes, we feel better in control and, ultimately, happier.  When we live in chaos, we feel disjointed, unsure, and uncertain of our abilities.  How many times have we looked through the piles of paperwork heaped on our tables and counters, panicked because we can’t find a permission slip for our child’s field trip, or the electric bill that’s already late, or our child’s science report that’s due today, or any number of items that require immediate attention.  Do you start doubting your qualifications as a parent, homemaker, or professional?  Let’s put The Serenity Prayer to work in a step-by-step approach to organizing your home and life.

God grant me the Serenity
When I start an arduous task like organizing my home, I like to begin with a bit of serenity.  Whether you find serenity in prayer, tea, exercise, or closing your eyes for a few minutes, a little peaceful reflection is in order.  Take some time to reflect on the reasons you’ve chosen this particular task, what you hope to accomplish by tackling this chore, the method in which you choose to execute the assignment, and even the rewards you’ll receive once the job is complete.

Accept the things I cannot change
Now that you’ve examined your motivations and expectations, I’ll bet you see a few flaws.  The house you live in has a number of occupants that don’t necessarily share your quest for organization… or at least not in the same way you envision.  For instance, say your family loves to leave videos piled in front of the television so they can wade through them at their leisure.  How will they view your attempt to box all the videos neatly away?  Is this an issue that your family is unwilling to negotiate?  Can you accept the fact that the family room has videos strewn on the floor?  If not, and you insist on putting the videos in a closet somewhere, your family may see you as trying to gain unreasonable control.  They will feel that you are not listening to their needs or wants.  The success of your mission depends on the involvement of the entire family. By including your family’s opinion, you eliminate the misunderstandings which will, at some point, lead to sabotage.  Yes, you can gently lead them in your direction, but here’s where acceptance will be your saving grace.  Pick your battles, and accept the little things that your family will not change.

Courage to change the things I can
It takes courage to, first of all, admit that you need to change your bad habits.  One of my motivations behind organizing my home was that I felt inadequate.  I was late for appointments.  My son almost missed a field trip because I lost the permission slip.  A birthday present for my niece was lost somewhere in the house and never found.   I felt I was apologizing to everyone for things I’d forgotten or missed.  My chaotic house was not really at fault.  I needed to change the way I was spending my time. It takes courage to put your house in order.  Taking a few minutes each day with your family, putting away the dishes, folding clothes, and picking up puzzles and games, is usually not met with happy rejoinders.  Turning off the television against cries of protest, and reminding your family that they all agreed to pick up the clutter before bedtime, takes a great deal of courage.  Changing your family’s routine to include keeping your home organized is courageous, indeed!

Wisdom to know the difference
If you feel that you have been beating your head against a wall, trying to get your family organized, you probably haven’t sorted out what you can and can’t change.  This is where choosing your battles comes in.  You are wise enough to know when you are fighting a losing battle.  At what point do you give up and give in?  Are you losing sight of the big picture by focusing on a losing battle?  If everyone in your family likes the videos piled next to the television, do you want to fight about putting them in a closet?  Ask yourself if this is something that you can change.  If not, how about your family’s habit of leaving their clothes on the floor?  This could be something that your family will change.  You and your family have agreed to organize your home, so knowing the difference between what you can change in their lives and what you can’t change, and respecting your family’s wishes, makes everyone feel ownership and pride in their newly organized home.

When you plan the strategies you will take to organize your home, take a few extra moments to consider the impact your mission may have on your family. The involvement of everyone in your family will smooth out the bumps you’ll experience along the way. Using the structure of The Serenity Prayer might just give you a place to start, and peace in your household.

Now that you found out how easy it is to get and stay organized, it’s time to start… check back here for more Home Organization Ideas.


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