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Living with an unorganized husband can be CHAOTIC.
When our lives are chaotic, our marriage is at risk. Why?
Chaos breeds fear. It speaks of a lack of safety. Chaos indicates a lack of focus on the future.
Does this mean that you have to have a perfectly organized and detailed life?
It does mean, however, that there needs to be a level of organization so that you know where the tools are that you need so that you can apply them in your journey in life together.
When we talk about chaos, we’re not just talking about the inside of your home, or the inside of your car, but we’re talking about what’s between your ears.
We’re talking about chaos in the understanding that you and your partner have about your future and how you’re going to get there. We’re talking about those cracks that things slip through all the time.
The price of chaos is frustration, anger, blame. When you have children the price of chaos is hurt feelings. My children still recall when I forgot to pick them up at school.
It’s a hurt they never let go of. Today they laugh about it it’s true, but for a long time, it represented the fact that we didn’t care enough to make sure that they were picked up on time.
This may seem like a small thing but it has a huge impact!
Organized means that everybody knows their responsibilities. Organized means that they know when, how, and with what tools they’re going to accomplish their responsibilities.
It means that everyone’s on the same page and holding each other accountable in a way that’s loving and caring.
Organize means that when you open the refrigerator it’s easy to find what you’re making for dinner. Or when you open a cabinet it’s easy to find the spices you need.
Organize means that when you walk into the living room it’s warm and inviting. Organized means that you have a future in front of you and you’re finances are in alignment with the future that you’re working towards.
Organization happens on many levels.
Everyone has different ideas about what an organization is.
They have different tolerances for chaos.
In a marriage, it’s up to a couple to find a level of organization that’s going to work for both people.
If one person feels henpecked all the time and hasn’t bought into the idea there’s a problem. If another person feels that no matter how hard they try things are always falling apart, there’s going to be a different kind of problem.
Just like couples usually have differing sex drives, couples usually have differing organizational drives.
A joyful marriage is built on the understanding of each individual’s capacity and understanding. It’s built on empathy for one another and a willingness to be flexible on both sides.
You can organize time, money, and space. These are the three areas where chaos can rein in a way that impacts a marriage negatively as well as children in a marriage.
Organizing time is all about coordinating schedules.
Understand the schedules of your children and one another schedules. It’s about managing your expectations about availability. One of the biggest pet challenges in every marriage is work-home balance.
It’s not unusual for individuals to feel obligated to put in long hours. They may even want to because they get individual satisfaction from it in a way that they can’t anywhere else. All too often this is at the expense of their marriage. Of their time with their children. Couples with this problem slip into parallel live syndrome.
Organizing money is all about the future and what you want to create together.
What will you spend money on? What will you not? Where will you keep your money as you save it for the future? What are the things you’ll save it for?
The first step for most couples in organizing money is about paying down debt. Sadly most couples go into debt in the early years of their marriage.
Paying down debt and building a buffer for emergencies are the first two priorities. Once these things are in place, a couple can start putting away money for the future.
For more, check out Dave Ramsey. Ramsey has an excellent money program for young families and even aging families.
The last area but the one that we see most is space. How do organize our home space so that it meets everyone’s needs? Where are we going to keep things so that we both know where they are, and they are not in the way of our daily functioning? How are we going to prioritize our possessions and once they’re prioritized how will we store them in our home? These are all key questions for organizing space.
For most of us struggling with the question of how to organize, we already have a fair amount of clutter in our lives.
The Toyota production system has an approach for this. It’s called the five s’s. The five s’s are sort, set in order, shine, standardized, and sustain.
Years ago a friend of mine taught me an acronym, he said Rich you have to have GUTS.
This stands for give it away. Use it. Throw it away. Or sell it.
The first step towards organization is getting rid of unwanted clutter. Having guts is a great frame for deciding whether you’re going to keep something or eliminate it.
Keeping something just because it might be a value someday is rarely a good idea. The fact is that the cost of square footage is so high that what you’re paying to store that thing that you may or may not use is really not worth it.
You’re better off throwing it away. If in a year or two it turns out that you need that thing that you threw away, you probably saved money even if you have to rebuy it.
The next step to sort is to organize things by category.
For example in the kitchen, it is typical to put all the herbs together in one area, all the baking goods together in another.
You can apply this principle to any area in your house. This makes it easier to find things.
Shine is exactly what it sounds like, clean everything.
Polish everything. Vacuum, scrub the toilets.
Make sure that you do preventative maintenance for your equipment. Like draining the hot water heater once a year for example.
There are all kinds of little maintenance tricks that many families ignore which shortens the life of their equipment.
Standardized means that everybody understands the order of let’s say herb storage.
It means that you’re going to regularly clean. Regularly check equipment. That you’re all going to do things one way.
Standardization might be that everyone who mops the floor uses the same tools, and does it the same way for example.
Sustain is off in the hardest for families. This goes back to scheduling your time. You’re going to want to schedule time to maintain 5S in your household.
Once the season you’re going to want to sort and set an order. Once a week you’re going to want to shine.
If you’re living in high chaos, you might want to start with one room. Get one room into a family usable condition. It doesn’t need to be perfect.
Then move on to another room. Once you have all the rooms up to a certain level, rinse and repeat. Another way you can do it is to go through the whole house sorting. Just getting rid of junk.
Similarly, with time and finances, start with one area. Just get one area working correctly. Then move on to another area and start all over again. The trick is to diminish the sense of overwhelm, by starting small. A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step after all!
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