Making It Easier

making it easier

I was listening to The Lively Show podcast this morning, and the episode was with Gabrielle Blair, founder of DesignMom.com and co-founder of Alt Summit.

One of the subjects Gabrielle mentioned stopped me in my tracks and made me ZING! This is what can help so many people.

It breaks down to (in my own words) Make It Easy.

Let me give you an example. Recently, Mr S and I had a 'discussion' about how he would enter the kitchen and close 5 cupboard doors pretty much every time. Given that I'm the only other person who lives in my house that can open high cupboard doors... I couldn't blame the kids. Oops. Not even on my radar. I made it a habit to close the doors and it took a few weeks, but now I am a proud Door Closer. I had to examine WHY I didn't close the doors. I realised that one of the doors had a hook stuck on the back that held my measuring cups and spoons. Every time I closed the door behind me, it made a huge clanging banging sound. I hate sudden noises (yep, I have toddlers) and this was a barrier to me.

How did I make it easier? I took the hook off the door and found new homes for the measuring cups and spoons. It didn't fix my Door Closing habit, but it helped.

Gabrielle gave an example about changing your space to help your mood. I paraphrase here, but it was along the lines of 'If you hit your foot on the dresser every morning it will make you cranky, and then if your kids do xyz that will make you cranky with your kids.' So, dial it back. Dresser in the wrong spot? Move the dresser. Replace the dresser. Change it up.

The secret rule of adulthood that goes along with this one is:

The first step to solving a problem is working out WHY it's a problem.

 My desk, now with added child toy value. shown with optional cranky cat ornament. note that box of bills to be filed stashed neatly under my desk?

My desk, now with added child toy value. shown with optional cranky cat ornament. note that box of bills to be filed stashed neatly under my desk?

My dining table is a huge clutter collector. It's the first flat surface you see when you walk in the door. So easy to put the shopping bags on or to empty my handbag out whilst I try to find my sunglasses. I'm working on putting the shopping bags on the table, taking off my shoes, putting my keys away THEN going and emptying the shopping bags immediately and putting them on the hook next to the door, ready to go back to the car.

So now you've investigated why it's a problem, explore the situation. In the instance of my dining table, it was a Clutter Hot Spot because there's no designated space to put shopping bags on when you come in the door. There's also never going to be a designated space to put shopping bags on, so I need to multitask and work with what I've got.

Do you never feel like blogging because your desk is messy? I have no idea what you're talking about. Go to town on it. Throw it out if you don't need it or won't use it. If you will, find a home for it. Then protect that clean space like your firstborn child. There's currently a My Little Pony DVD, various bills, a Frozen drink bottle, a  box of tissues, a hair clip and three trains on my desk. I will amend this situation shortly, but I'm stealing time to write this post as the kids play in the bath.

Another example for me was our cat scratching everything on my bedside table at various hours of the night. Solution? Tidy my top drawer and everything lives in there in it's own compartments. Now Lucy the cat is somewhere else doing something else and I am asleep.

This might seem like a longwinded explanation but it's truly a simple solution once you get stuck into it.

What's the problem?
Why is it a problem?
How can I fix this problem?

If there's high levels of emotions involved, take a step back. Imagine that you are perhaps just the listening ear to a good friend as they tell you about their problem. What would you say to them? That's the exact advice you should take yourself. We're often far kinder to other people than we are ourselves and really, we should be just as kind to ourselves. After all, we're the ones who have to live with us every day.

Call it a life hack, call it sage advice, but my motto for life is simply Make It Easy.

Have you made things easier for yourself? Tell me everything! I'd love to know how.