House & Home

How To Organize Without Feeling Defeated When Your Family Won’t Help

Well, it’s 6:30 am and my boys have both been to timeout already. It’s going to be a challenge to get through this day without feeling defeated. I don’t have the energy for this.

Do you ever just feel completely frayed at the edges like you’re going to scream out loud? These are the days when I wish my husband was the type of guy to say, “Let me take them to the park for a few hours so you can have some alone time”.

Oh well.

Thankfully, my daughter is still sleeping which not only gives me a reprieve from her morning attitude but, also reminds me that, someday, the boys will be 11-years old and will sleep until the sun is actually up.

Basically, I just need to survive these last few years of my 30s and then, my 40s are going to be rad. I’m hoping that between now and then I can change a few things, learn some new stuff and just be more at peace with my life. I hate feeling angry all the time.

Organizing without feeling defeated

Organizing is one of those things that I would like to change – in many aspects of my life. Right now, it feels pointless. Like, I organize a closet and then in just a few weeks, it’s back to being a complete mess. Or, I organize our schedule and the kids get sick. Or, I organize a trip for us to all to take and, the day before we’re set to leave I’m so tired that I don’t even want to pack or go anywhere.

The idea of organizing sounds wonderful though. Planning the trip is always so much fun and I love making the list of things that we’re going to take and stuff that we’re going to do when we get there.

For the first few days, opening that closet door to see everything lined up and organized is such a relief. It feels like I actually have a little part of my life in order.

But, when it all comes undone and doesn’t turn out the way that I imagined, it feels like completely useless. I’m not sure how to do it without feeling defeated when no one helps keep it up.

It’s all in my head

I was watching a video of a Tony Robbins seminar on YouTube and he said something that stuck with me, “Replace expectation with appreciation”.

In other words, having an expectation that every time that I open that closet door, everything in there is going to be exactly the way that I want it, is setting myself up for disappointment.

Instead, I should be focusing on appreciating the parts of it that are still tidy and organized. Or, I could focus on appreciating that we have a life that affords us so much stuff that we even NEED organizing.

How many mothers in underdeveloped countries even HAVE closets!?! And, here I am feeling like my life is completely unfulfilling because no one in my home will help me keep a closet organized.


Tony Robbins took it one step further and said, “What if you stopped expecting everyone in your life to act the way that you think they should? What if you just appreciated them for who they are?”

I think it would take some time and serious therapy before I could actually feel appreciation for some of the behavior that the people in my house exhibit sometimes. But, I have definitely been making an effort to stop expecting them to act the way that I think they should.

Parenting without expectations

It’s a catch-22, right? Like, if I don’t expect my kids to act a certain way and set the bar and hold them to it, aren’t they just going to grow up to be assholes?

It was kind of a tough concept for me to wrap my mind around too. But, I finally reasoned that I know what behavior my kids are capable of and I want them to act that way because it makes things easier for me.

But, I can’t expect that from them because they don’t experience situations the same way that I do. When I organize a closet, I want my kids to maintain it by hanging their clothes and neatly placing their shoes.

But, their experience is that they are excited and happy when they get home so, throw their shoes into the closet and their jacket onto to back of a chair so they can get to their toys or game.

They’re not trying to cause me problems or added stress. And, it’s not my job to hang up their jacket and tidy their shoes while I silently curse them under my breath. And, eventually, give up altogether because no one else cares so why should I?

My job is to ask them to come back to the closet and do those things themselves … please.

I appreciate that they are happy to be home and they’re excited to do whatever they have in their head to do but, I need them to contribute and handle their responsibilities first.

Simple organizing systems

Turn expectation to appreciation.

It’s been a pretty powerful mindset shift for me these last few weeks. Of course, there are days that start off like today where I wake up tired and feel completely broken before I even get started.

But, it’s not an on-off switch or a pill that cures.

It’s a daily practice that I have to really make an effort to implement every day. Just like I have to put in a little bit of work each day to maintain any organizing efforts that I make.

I have to put in a little bit of energy each day to turn expectation to appreciation.

For the organizing efforts, I found these few hacks that I thought looked cool and might help keep some order:

Use a kitchen lid rack to organize your purses

Found from: Fabulous Fashions For Sensible Style

Use empty wet wipe or baby wipe containers for grocery sacks. Then, use the grocery sacks for liners in your wastebaskets


Found from: Listotic

Got an assortment of tall boots? Use pant hangers to keep them organized and in good shape!


Found from: DIY & Crafts

Been to a thrift store and found an old fruit basket? Use it to keep your bathtub free from clutter.


Found from: 8 Foot Six

Organize any small space and add a magazine rack to the inside of your bathroom vanity cupboard for storage of hair tools and more!


Found from: Sugar Bee Crafts

Install a shelf above the bathroom door for added storage


Found from: Martha Stewart

Use ice cube trays in a drawer to organize earrings, little hair barrettes, and other tiny things that clutter bathroom drawers.


Found from: Belle Maison 23


Having kids at home with me all day while I work from home is not easy. In fact, there are days when they completely trash the house in the first 15-minutes they are awake. But, luckily, I have some simple organizing hacks that I count on to help me get things back into order ... before we head to the park for outside time!
Working from home with 5-year old and 4-year old boys is chaos. And, they can tear the house apart in 10-minutes flat. But, luckily, I have some easy organizing hacks that I can use to get things straightened up fairly quickly.

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