Today, families are busier than ever and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The following is a list of helpful family organizing tips and routines that can make all the difference in keeping families organized and reducing stress at home as the weeks roll by.
1. Daily & Weekly Organizing 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, bedtime 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 from week to week.
2. The 15-Minute Family Organizing Huddle
Every week, schedule a short family meeting to discuss the week’s upcoming appointments, school homework assignments, 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. This ensures that important details are less likely to be forgotten and last-minute emergencies are avoided.
3. Do a10-Minute Prep 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 to Keep Your Family Organized
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. I
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 every single item in your home and make sure other family members know where things go too. 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 also 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 regularly. For this reason, it is important to take time to declutter your home and get rid of items that are no longer being used. By moving unwanted items out of the house regularly, you balance what is coming in with what’s going out and this will keep your home and family organized long term.
The more stuff you own, the harder it is to keep it organized. Keep this in mind if you really want to simplify your home and life and keep your family organized from day to day. Take a critical eye to everything you own and let go of everything that is no longer serving you.
8. Establish a Family DONATE Box.
Want a decluttering trick that results in automatic decluttering without any effort? Who wouldn’t right? Keep an empty box out of the way, but in an accessible location in your home year-round, and write DONATE on the side of it.
Communicate with your family to toss no longer used items in the box as they come across them. Once your family gets into the habit of tossing unwanted items into the box, you will be surprised at how fast the boxes fill up. At least they do in my house! Now all you have to do is get the boxes into your car and drop them off at a charity.
9. Practice Saying No
Today, many families overbook their days, not wanting to miss out on activities and opportunities. It is common to struggle with saying “no” to our kid’s requests for commitments because we feel pressured. But learning to say no when you have reached a limit is the best thing that we can do for ourselves and our kids. We only have so much time each day.
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 will allow you to build in “down” time into each day. Scheduling “down” time when nothing is going on will give your family time to unwind and refuel.
10. Establish One Family Calendar To Keep Your Family Organized
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. This will ensure that nothing is forgotten and there is no overlapping appointments.
11. Don’t Put Things Off Until The Last
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.
Taking steps in advance to get things done before the last minute will go a long way in keeping your family organized and feeling in control.
If you would like support managing your busy family, learn more about how to get one on one help from me by visiting my Virtual Organizing page.
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