Your home’s a mess? Don’t be surprised! Buckle down and get organized!
It’s tricky enough to keep your household clean and tidy when there are just two of you, but add in a family and it can seem like a never-ending nightmare. Busy families involve work commitments, ferrying the children to and from school and extra activities, having downtime to spend with friends and other family members, and juggling shopping, volunteering and your own leisure activities.
Yet it’s perfectly possible to get well organized without it being a huge drain on your time resources. Indeed, you’ll probably find that a few simple strategies will free up more time for yourselves, and that can’t be bad.
You’ll know when you need to start getting a handle on organization because the chances are there are clothes ready for the laundry that haven’t been dealt with, paperwork that’s piling up and dirt lurking on floor, or other services that really need attention.
But don’t panic. Here are a few tips to help you with keeping your family home organized.
It sounds simple and it is, provided you take a little time to assess what needs to be done on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. When you’ve prepared your to-do list, make sure you prioritize it so that the key things required to have a smooth-running household are implemented first.
Developing a calendar of the various activities and appointments means no one should miss out on anything, so that means start and finish dates for school term and half-term breaks, medical appointments and school or college sporting matches. Put in birthdays and anniversaries and, of course, the day the trash has to go out.
You can use a paper calendar for the kitchen wall and encourage everyone to check it daily, and also back up by synchronizing calendars on computers, tablets and phones. You’ll be surprised at how organized you will feel.
Tidying and storage
It’s so often forgotten by house builders but good storage facilities are essential to help you keep on top of the inevitable mess that comes with having kids. If your built-in storage isn’t up to the job, designate spaces for mail, school work, backpacks and coupons, so everyone knows where things are, to stymie that familiar cry of “I can’t find it!’.
Kids, of course, have toys, often lots of them, and they have a nasty knack of hanging around on floors for you or anyone else to trip over. This is where storage containers, and particularly toy storage bins, come into their own – one for each child’s bedroom, one for downstairs for things such as board games and puzzles that the family can enjoy together, and one for outside, for any outdoor playthings. It’s amazing how removing clutter can give the home a new lease of life, increasing space and making it much easier to clean.
Most of us keep things that we don’t really want or need but find it hard to get rid of. Yet decluttering old cosmetic products, such as lipsticks, shampoos and skin care products, can free up your crowded bathroom shelves in no time. Keep only what you’re going to use and always try to recycle where you can. This includes old magazines, junk mail and empty envelopes. Clear your surfaces and see the difference.
You might also have trinkets and ornaments put away, with the intention of bringing them out sometime. Go through them, decide what you really don’t need to keep, and take them to a thrift store or sell them online.
Cleaning is often thought of as a bit of a chore, but in fact, it can be very straightforward if you’re organized, and it contributes to a healthy and happy household. After cooking and eating, clear away all dirty dishes and pans into the dishwasher, or hand wash where necessary in the sink. Encourage the children to help as a normal part of what they do around the house. Wipe down all surfaces regularly – it’s quick when you haven’t let dirt accumulate, and vacuum once a week unless some areas get very soiled.
A place for keys
Set aside a dedicated place for your house and car keys so no time is wasted looking for them. It’s not difficult to encourage a habit and take the stress out of forever searching.
Organized and satisfied
Good household organization is immensely satisfying and will take a big load off your mind. Keep focused, get the family involved, and you’ll have a slick operation that benefits everyone.