Family Organizing | General Organizing | Routines
10 Routines That Help Keep Families Organized
Today, families are busier than ever and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The following is a list of helpful organizing routines that can make all the difference in keeping families organized, and reducing stress at home as the weeks roll by.
1. Daily & Weekly Routines
We all function better once a system is in place. Routines are especially important for children, so forming habits that take place daily or weekly, like having set times for homework, and chores can be soothing for both parent and child. Parents having set weekly routines for getting things done, like paying bills, and doing laundry are also helpful. Routines not only help keep families organized, but they also reduce stress and enable us to feel more in control.
2. The 15 Minute Family Huddle
Every week, have a short family meeting to discuss the week’s upcoming appointments, activities, and other details. Use this planning session to go over all of the upcoming week’s to-dos. This is when details can be added to the calendar, like errands, deadlines, or phone calls that need to be made. These meetings help families feel more in control as the week progresses. Forgotten details are less likely, ensuring that stress levels stay low and last-minute emergencies are avoided.
3. 10 Minutes Each Night
Have each family member take 10 minutes before bedtime to get ready for the next day. Choose outfits, prepare lunches, pack everything that needs to go to school, and set it by the door. Also, gather together after school supplies for activities. Doing this will make the mornings run smoother and will prevent items from being forgotten.
4. Delegate Household Tasks
This should never be a one-man job even for a stay at home parent. Each family member should be engaged in this process and can be assigned age-appropriate household tasks. Even if your kids are busy, making them responsible for completing at least one scheduled chore, will teach them valuable skills that transfer to adulthood. It takes teamwork to keep families organized and running smoothly, reinforcing this fact when kids are young will solidify this attitude as they grow older.
5. Have a Place for Everything
Having permanent homes for everything ensures that clutter is kept at bay and time is not wasted looking for things. Assign homes to everything you own and make sure other family members know where things go. Reinforce the rule that things need to be returned to their permanent homes when they are not being used.
6. Practice Clutter Cutting Habits
By teaching kids helpful tidying habits like making their bed each morning, and hanging up their backpacks every day, they learn valuable skills that will carry over into adulthood. Reinforcing these important habits goes a long way not only in keeping families organized but in helping kids develop habitual organizing skills that will last a lifetime.
7. Put a Twice a Year Purge on Your Calendar
Families today have a substantial amount of stuff coming into the home on a regular basis. For this reason, it is important to take time twice a year to de-clutter and purge items that are no longer being used. By moving unwanted items out of the house on a regular basis, you balance what is coming in with what’s going out. Establish a box labeled DONATE and make sure each family member knows where to put their unwanted items. Then drop the donated boxes off at a local charity twice a year.
8. Practice Saying No
Today, many families overbook their days, not wanting to miss out on activities and opportunities. We also struggle with saying “no” to our kids and to requests for commitments because we feel pressured. But learning to say no when we have reached a limit is the best thing that we can do for ourselves and for our kids. Try to limit the number of activities you and your children participate in. This will ensure that your family has time to get important tasks done and stay organized on a daily basis. It also it will allow you to build in “down” time into each day. Scheduling “down” time where nothing is going on will give your family time to unwind and refuel.
9. Establish One Family Calendar
Another way to keep your family organized, is to have one central family calendar that everyone uses, whether that be a paper calendar or a digital one that everyone’s phones are synced to. Having everything on one central calendar will ensure that nothing is forgotten.
10. Don’t Put Things Off Until The Last Minute
Just as it is much less stressful not to wait until the last minute to do a homework assignment, it promotes peace to get predictable, scheduled activities out of the way ahead of time rather than waiting until the last minute. For Example: Shopping for Saturday nights’ dinner party well in advance rather than waiting until Saturday morning, allows extra time for any unexpected surprises that might pop up.
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