I don't want to be a juggling octopus anymore.
How do you combine being the perfect business owner from Monday to Friday, with being the perfect parent every evening, and weekend? On top of that, you’re also expected to be toned and healthy all year round. Oh, and a great partner, friend, sibling and child. I’m starting to realise that I’m simply asking too much of myself (and yes, society is partially to blame).
So, how do we start?
In my previous blog I wrote about practising self-care, and how it’s key to keeping your life in balance. It’s important that you give yourself enough love and attention because no one else is going to do it for you. Only when you’re content can you start giving that same love and attention to other people and things.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided it was about time to clean the house. I was ready to get rid of old (ugly and plastic) toys; I decluttered all five wardrobes; even the drawers in the kitchen were given a good clean. Basically, everything that I hadn’t used in the past year was given the boot.
I felt inspired by Marie Kondo's book Spark Joy. I discovered her secrets about creating an impeccable home, and her tips are absolutely fantastic. They really help when I’m trying to figure out whether to throw something away or not. In my mind she taught me how to distinguish the items that are important from those that aren’t, on both a physical and emotional level. I’ll tell you more about her method in a minute.
Create your own methods that help you feel in control
If there’s something that I find really important it’s products that are well-designed and well-made. I keep this in the back of my mind when I’m looking for new clothes, homeware, or when I’m busily designing my own ByAlex playmats and cushions. The reason why spring-cleaning works so well is because it helps me focus on the products that we have lying around that are of great quality, and it means there are fewer things lying around that we can make a mess with. Essentially it also means I have more time and attention for the kids.
This process also helps me cut loose from any adhesive patterns I have. When I was little, we lived in a big house with a lot of stuff. Every corner was filled with something; our house was cluttered, and we didn’t have the room to let our thoughts and emotions run wild. This is something I want to steer away from because I want my family to feel like they can explore their thoughts, rather than feeling stuck and enclosed in their own home.
And this process is really working. I could recommend it to anyone, but I don’t want to add anything extra to your plate this spring. So please take it easy; take it step by step and let’s go through this process together. Why not start with the first category: toys and other kids’ stuff. This will instantly tidy up the play area, and it will take a huge weight off your shoulders. Marie Kondo says to start off by asking this simple question: Does it spark joy? If it does, keep it. If doesn’t, then say thank you and bin it.
Are you ready?
So, how about it? Grab a bag and start sorting through all those toys. Begin with anything that’s broken, incomplete or simply ugly. Toys that your kids have outgrown can be given a second life (do ou have any friends with babies or younger kids?). Restyle the play corner, and only include the attractive toys, puzzles and artwork that they created. Then make yourself a cup of tea and sit down. How do you feel now?
Whenever I've gone through this process, I always feel content and at ease, like I’m back in control and completely organised. We should try to instill this feeling in our daily lives.