In this podcast episode, I share all about how I have preserved my sanity in my teenage years, 20s, 30s, and 40s by having my own condo.
Putting yourself first
I hope that by sharing how I use my condo, and how it’s evolved over time, will help give you the permission that you need to put yourself first.
I tend to talk about productivity in the fall because it’s a naturally productive time. It’s often a time when people set their goals and intentions for the next 12 months – certainly, I do.
Many people have been in touch with me regarding my recent podcast episodes on time management and productivity, and they have told me that they struggle with applying many of the concepts themselves because they are people pleasers (and with this, I can’t help but feel a little like that must mean that I appear not to be).
The funny thing is, I’ve ALWAYS been a people pleaser. It’s something that has been with me my whole life. It's only in recent years that I’ve started to learn how to put myself first. It has been really hard to do and has taken a lot of careful thought and proactivity on my behalf.
I have often thought that if I put myself first and share this with people, they will think that I am selfish, that I don’t care about others, or that I’m spoiled. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking this.
A little history about my condo
When I was young, I lived in a neighborhood without many children to play with my own age. I was not athletic so that ruled me out of pretty much all extra-curricular activities. So I spent my time playing "teacher" with my younger sister and "training" how to be a babysitter. I also helped my mom with her business, a direct sales clothing company.
I created a game to play with my sister called "Big Friend." My sister and I pretended to be 16, our bikes were cars, our kitchen was a café, and our bedrooms were our apartments. I LOVED my bedroom! When I got punished by my parents, I’d get sent to my room – which was never a punishment in my eyes! I would spend lots of time in there, and would love to reorganize and redecorate it.
My love of the private space and sanctuary of my bedroom continued into college in my dorm room, then on to when I lived in a shared house.
Even when Greg and I moved to the spacious house that we still live in today, I’ve always spent most of my time in one part of the house.
When my children developed separation anxiety at night, I stayed upstairs because they wanted me on the same floor as them.
Since I’m always looking at ways to be productive, I worked in my bedroom until they fell asleep. Because of this, I had started spending the whole evening upstairs – especially when Tivo was invented!
So when the kids go to bed, I stay upstairs, hang out in my bedroom, watch TV, take a bath…. I just spend a lot of time in there. It’s cozy and warm.
I have a TV, my office, and food in my bedroom. I break all of the bedroom rules. In fact, I have a fully functioning office in my bedroom – it's the Organize 365 headquarters!
Even though my kids are teenagers now, one of them still prefers that we’re on the same level in the house. Therefore, I still spend most of my evenings upstairs in my bedroom.
It’s nice to have a private space just for you
The whole point of getting organized is to help you find the time to do the things in life that you want to do.
When you do the 100 Day Home Organization Program, you will find that there is a clear method to the organizational approach that you’re taken through. It starts in the kitchen, which is where the majority of people spend their time in the home. The kitchen is most important for your family.
Next is the primary bedroom and closet. They are most important for your soul! This is where you get dressed, where you sleep, where you regenerate yourself. It’s all about you (and a little about your spouse, of course!).
The rest of the house is for your family, but the bedroom is about you. It’s your condo!
My house is an apartment building
I like that our house is like our own apartment building.
Downstairs, the kitchen is like the café which is where we socialize and catch up. Upstairs, we all have the privacy of our own apartments. Our apartments are decorated to our own taste and style.
I know your bedroom isn’t all yours, but honestly, 99% of the time your spouse really doesn’t care what you do with the bedroom (if your spouse is anything like mine).
If they do, focus on your half of the bedroom! Use an imaginary piece of tape to divide it, if need be.
Do you put yourself first?
If you are feeling like you have to take care of your kids, your job, your spouse, your house, and you are at the end of the list... I want you to move yourself up to the top of the list. I’m not suggesting you do this all the time or even every day. But how about for just an hour a week?
I would love for you to pencil in an hour that is just for you on your calendar.
In addition, why not do an organizational task this week just on your stuff, on your area and no one else’s.
When you get yourself organized, your family follows suit. There is an energy that comes from that positive place.
For me, when I want to have "me time," I take great comfort hanging out in my condo!