15 Sep Habits of an Organized Family
Keeping yourself organized is one thing, but having an organized family is an entirely different task.
If you’re struggling with keeping your home in order with several people running in and out of it every day, don’t worry! You’re not alone. Whether your family consists of two people or nine, or whether there’s one generation or three under your roof, you can implement some basic organizing principles to keep your home running smoothly. Learning the habits of an organized family will take time, but your efforts will definitely pay off.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of “training” your family to maintain tidy spaces, take small steps at a time. Choose one or two of our favorite habits to start, and then build from there. Even the smallest of behavior changes will make a difference!
Read on for some of our most effective habits of an organized family.
Never Leave a Room Empty-Handed
Did you leave a stray pen on the kitchen counter? Take it back to your office on your way to the bathroom. Getting up to take the dog out? Grab that glass you left on the side table last night and put it in the dishwasher as you go. An organized family is one that starts to integrate tidying into their daily activities.
This habit is easily teachable, too. Ask your son to put his homework in his backpack on his way up the stairs at night. Remind your daughter that she can put her hairbrush back in bathroom drawer on her way to the car in the mornings. A simple explanation and reminder will be beneficial not only for your kids, but for your peace of mind, too.
Take a mindful pause before you leave any room and see what you can do to tidy that room as you leave. The little things you put away here and there may seem like a small effort. But when everyone in your house gets into this habit, clutter will soon be a problem of the past.
Plan the Night Before
Mornings are chaotic with everyone in the household running in different directions, but mornings are no match for the organized family when you put in a little prep work. In the evenings, review what you need to do and where you need to be the next day. Block out time in your schedule for errands, tasks, or transporting other family members to school or appointments.
Make a point to sit down every evening to look over the next day’s schedule. Gather any items you’ll need the next day, such as merchandise you need to return, or items to take to the post office. In the morning, it’ll take you no time at all to grab everything and get out the door on time.
Tip: Involve your kids in the organizing process by asking them where it makes sense to them to put their homework, backpack, or other items they need daily. They’re more likely to put things away if storage places make sense to them. And hey, maybe they’ll have an idea that works even better than the spot you chose!
Keep Papers and Schedules in a Central Command Center
Mail is easy to throw on the counter and forget about when you get home in the evenings. Appointments or social commitments are easy to miss when they’re not written down. But managing papers and staying on top of the calendar can be just as easy with a little bit of strategic planning. To make sure everyone is on the same page, set up a family command center in a central location in your home.
Although you can add anything you need, your command center should have a calendar and a categorized system for papers, mail, and task lists. Try hanging an attractive dry erase or paper calendar, some simple vertical files for mail and documents, and a clipboard or chalkboard for family member to do lists. Or, if you prefer to go digital, check out Cozi, a valuable app to keep everyone connected and communicating.
Create Routines and Schedules
Creating a routine and establishing a habit are nearly one in the same. What tasks do you put off until they HAVE to be done? List out all of the tasks you want or need to do in your home, such as cleaning the bathrooms, laundry, or grocery shopping. Then, add those tasks to your family calendar or to do list as recurring events or tasks.
Talk with your family and determine the times when certain tasks are or aren’t likely to be done. For example, if your spouse has a 7 AM meeting every Thursday, it wouldn’t make sense to ask them to unload the dishwasher on Thursday mornings. Eventually, these new behaviors will become second nature to your family members, and to you.
If you have children who are old enough to help, teach them to be a part of these schedules. You could assign each child a specific day of the week to do their own laundry, or create a printed chore chart. Implement a system to remind them of things to be done daily, weekly, or monthly.
Tip: Enlist other members of your family to help you label! They’ll learn where everything is as you go, and you won’t have to do all the labeling yourself!
Home management can be a daunting task, no matter the size or dynamic of your family. But, it doesn’t have to be! Talk to your family about implementing one or more of these habits, and let A Fresh Space help you set up systems to keep your home running smoothly. With a few new habits, you’ll find yourself with a much more organized family!
Photo Credit: The Container Store