getting organised to live slow

Not just for lists, inspiring messages too.

Not just for lists, inspiring messages too.

Once upon a time I was a list person. I loved having lists. They always made me feel organised, like I was getting stuff done. But somewhere in the midst of early motherhood, I must have forgotten what sort of person I was. I stopped writing lists, and one of the busiest times of my life almost buried me. From the outside I’m sure things didn’t look all that bad, but the internal chaos of being disorganised really took its toll.

Not that long ago I painted a blackboard on one of our kitchen walls. I’d always wanted one, but didn’t realise until I’d done it that it would help me reconnect with my list loving past. My partner was absolutely horrified when I started the blackboard project, because I literally just drew it on the wall with a lead pencil and a 30cm ruler, then painted it free hand. It’s tall, but not very wide, I was a bit limited with the choice of walls, but it’s fantastic. It has completely changed my life.

It’s not my only place for lists now, but it was the starting point for me to launch into my current phase of trying to map out and organise every part of my life as a homesteader, housekeeper, mother and writer. It’s a work in progress, as there are so many aspects of all these ‘bits’ of my life which can become overwhelming if there’s no structure or plan. Even though I was a list maker, I was never a planner, not on the home front anyway.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the systems my Mum had in place when we were growing up, which to be perfectly honest I’d looked at with disdain in the past. Shopping on a set day, meal planning, bulk buying, a cleaning schedule, a washing schedule, an ironing schedule. Well the ironing schedule is never going to happen, but the rest of it is starting to make perfect sense to me. Mum worked full-time, had 4 kids and ran a very tight ship. She didn’t have a whole lot of down time, or ‘her’ time, but she did have some really strong slow living values. These elements were really apparent in the way she ran our family, and that’s obviously influenced me. She made a really big deal about simple family activities, she connected deeply with each of us, she created family rituals and traditions and she helped create beautiful memories for all of us.

I look at how organised she was, and I think about how much simpler my life would be if I followed in her footsteps. The disorganised route intrinsically carries with it the side effects of chaos and stress. The simple, organised path offers everything which slow living stands for. It creates the mental space for slowness. That’s the whole point. Any resistance I may have had to domestic organisation in the past is slipping from me. I’m pursuing my planning path, and drawing up vision boards for every aspect of my life…one element at a time. It’s an instantly calming process.

Shared with Essentially Jess for IBOT


20 thoughts on “getting organised to live slow

  1. I love that quote – I might have to put it up in my new office, once it’s set up… I have fallen off the organised wagon and I have started missing a few important things. Em – also visiting from #teamIBOT

  2. I hear you – I love lists and have always got a few on the go. I had never thought about the routines that my Mom had when we were growing up but now that you mention it, it probably did make for a more organised and less frantic life. I wonder if at 49 I’m too old to get into that routine ?????
    Have the best day !
    Me xox

  3. I love this post and how meaningful the quote is. I’ve been talking about being more organised as well, it gives me a better and calmer frame of mind to tackle all the tasks I have on hand x

  4. I loved this Michelle. I could totally relate to this ” I must have forgotten what sort of person I was” I am there now trying to reconnect but I am surrounded by disorganisation. Your Mum sounds amazing working full time with 4 children. Having set days for things maybe I need to do this as I am totally all over tha place. I work part time and still cannot get my house organised. I shall be following you journey with interest. Ps. Love the Blackboard idea. We have a whiteboard in our kitchen that I used to use……

    • Hey Druime, you’re all set up to start with a white board ready and waiting! I think it’s really interesting that I can do cleaning in a random fashion, and I never feel organised, and yet if I do the same amount of cleaning but I’m following a weekly plan, I feel organised and the house feels cleaner. It’s weird.

  5. I love lists, they help keep e from drowning. I am like you though learning to add the planning back in . Deb xx

  6. I write lists, but then forget to look it. Going back to uni next week, means that there’s a few things that must be changed. I’m hoping to have a little whiteboard in the kitchen to jot down the important things,

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