Sunday, February 19, 2012

Creating A House of Order

"Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;" (D&C 109:8)

I desire to have a clean home. An organized home. An orderly home, pertaining to both objects and time. Right now my focus is on time.

The saying "A place for everything and everything in its place" has been running through my head lately, only with a slight twist. "A time for everything and everything in its time." This describes perfectly my most recent homemaking mission, to de-clutter my days, weeks, and months.

Right after having another baby, my life was tossed into what seemed like utter chaos. I felt out of control and frustrated with my apparent lack of ability to accomplish even the most basic of tasks, (such as showering.) My mind was overflowing with goals and to-do lists that I couldn't even find the time to write down. The worst thing for me was wanting to do my very best, to be the wife/mother/homemaker I knew I was capable of being, and falling so short. I pleaded with Heavenly Father to help me find a solution, help me find order and peace in my life.

This was the answer I received:

I stole an hour or two away from my family to write down all of my number one goals. My biggest, most long-term or general goals for the different areas of my life. My goals for myself, my daughters, my marriage, and my home.

I then took each of these long term goals and broke them down into short term goals, goals that were a little more specific and manageable. Some of them had to be refined a second or third time until I had items that could be copied over into one of three lists: daily, weekly, and monthly tasks.

Then I made a daily schedule and placed each daily task in a logical time and order. I also made a weekly schedule of sorts, but instead of fitting each task into hours, I placed them in different days, (Mon, Tue, Wed, etc.) and then I scheduled out about an hour everyday to do my weekly tasks. My monthly items just have to be penciled in at the beginning of each month because of variations in events happening and such. But that's easy enough since there aren't very many of them.

I need to emphasize that, being a mom, it is essentially impossible to "schedule" anything into a particular time slot. So when I say "schedule," I'm really talking about scheduling a certain task in reference to other activities or time of day and allowing for ample flexibility. My focus was on creating patterns, habits, and routines that would enable me to reach all of my goals.

For example,
Long Term Goal: Achieve the Celestial Kingdom
Short Term Goal: Study the scriptures
To Do List: Daily
Schedule: Right after breakfast each morning while I'm waiting for my stomach to settle and for my daughter to finish eating.

Here's an even better example, because it's a bit more unique,
General Goal: Be more attractive for my husband.
More specific goal: Softer hands.
Refined: Put on lotion more often.
To Do list: Daily
Schedule: Right before bed

Can you see how helpful going through this process has been for me? It may not be for everyone but it has changed my life. If something is too overwhelming to be a daily task right now, I push it into the weekly list, (like vacuuming every Tuesday.) If something is too easy to forget about on the monthly list, I also make it a weekly task, (like attempting to make some type of contact with visiting teachees.)

The beauty of this all has been the clarity with which I think now. I feel like I've de-cluttered my mind. I don't sit and fuss over the fact that I have some organizational project that I need to do, but when will I ever have the time? I know that I don't have to worry about that until Saturday afternoon when my husband has agreed to watch the girls so I can de-clutter the house. It's a beautiful system, and I feel at peace.


  1. This is great, Shauna!! Isn't it amazing how the scriptures can apply to so many different aspects of our lives, and how when we actually DO what we're supposed to, our lives are so much better? The Lord loves us! His way is perfect, not just for the life to come, but for this one that we're living right now.

  2. Wow love this! I need to do this. Thanks for being such a good example. Maybe when Brock gets home today I will do this. :)

  3. Shuana! I was just thinking about you. We're up here at the U now, and I was thinking you guys may be up here. I appreciate so much who you are! Keep sharing.