From the Desk of Clearissa Coward’s Command Center/Divinely Organized
Ten Steps To An Organized Household – Getting Starting
This article was featured on BlogHer. It is a great how-to to get and keep your household organized. I guarantee that if you will follow Ten Steps to an Organized household in this article your home will be organized and without overwhelming you. Being organized is a process and once the process is mastered, anyone can live an organized and uncluttered life. Read the article in its entirety and put the ten steps into action and your family and your home will thank you.
Your son’s basketball uniform has not been laundered and he has a game in an hour. Your daughter has a field trip tomorrow and you can’t find the permission form. The family pet missed yet another grooming appointment and you haven’t a clue what to prepare for dinner with the meager fixings in the pantry. Sound familiar? I know, I know, I have taken it a bit over the top, but I’m certain most of us have experienced at least one or more of these scenarios if not all. You could even be telling yourself – that’s life and it is what it is, But it is not the way it has to be.
If you take an extra few minutes every evening to get organized, you would never have to deal with these and other unorganized issues again. Below I will give you 10 suggestions to add to your daily routine to help you organize your family and your household. Later we will delve a bit deeper and with more ideas.
1. Start the Night Before:
Incorporate a new go-to phrase – “organize tonight for tomorrow” into your life. Once you get into the swing of things, each chore should only take a few minutes. If your children are athletes or participating in any after-school activities, preparing for tomorrow today will become a life changer. Assign the calendar review on a weekly basis, to each person in the household that is old enough to handle the chore. Set aside a specific time to develop your weekly schedule over the weekend, that will be your responsibility. Once you have planned all after school events, chores for the children and/or your spouse, i.e., grocery shopping, laundry, meals for the week, etc., post the planner in a central location. Assign the chore of monitoring the week’s schedule to a member of the family. Every evening, once everyone gathers for the evening (before or after dinner) have the planner monitor for the week go over the plans for the next day. The earlier you can go over the planner, the better because it affords you more time to assess and correct anything that is not going as planned.
2. Involve the Entire Family:
Ensure everyone knows what they will wear the next day and everything is prepped for all after school activities. If tomorrow is practice or game day, make sure uniforms are clean and bags are packed. This is also a great time to go over any homework issues, or to sign any papers that need to be returned to the school. Pack backpacks and place them in the same place every day (I also prepare lunches the night before as well). This will alleviate the need to search for things during the morning rush.
3. A load of Laundry:
If there are more than 2 people in your household, do one complete load of laundry every day. Complete means going from washing to putting them away. Do not leave clothes in the dryer. Do not leave clothes in the laundry basket. Do not fold and leave clothes on a chair. Fold and have everyone put their clothing away. If your family consists of 2 or less, you can do a load every other day. The goal is to keep your laundry loads small enough to be handled completely.
4. A Clean and Organized Kitchen:
Make sure your dishes are done every day. The kitchen is normally the hub of the home and if the kitchen is unorganized, the schedule if not going to work. Do not allow your dishes to pile up and always make sure you have the ingredients for tomorrow’s dinner on hand. Always have a backup meal planned just in case you do not have time to make a quick run to the market for your first choice.
5. Bath time:
After bath time, make sure bathrooms are wiped down and all soiled laundry is placed in the laundry room for tomorrow’s load of laundry. Make this a routine. It may be painful at first but after awhile, it will go along like clockwork. While you or your spouse wipes down the bathrooms, the other can supervise the children as they tidy up their rooms for the night. Putting things away before going to bed will also become a habit, especially if your children are young. If they are young children, include the “clean up song”, they love this. Trust me!
6. Use a Timer:
A timer can be a huge help in the beginning of the process. If you set a timer for each evening chore. 10 minutes for this, 15 minutes for that and when the timer goes off, move on to the next evening chore, you will be surprised how much you can accomplish if you stick to the plan. This is not done to make the chores regimented; the timer is used to ensure you do not get bogged down in one chore and end of foregoing another. And again, the kids will love this. Make it a game like the amazing race. Believe it or not, this can become a fun time for you and the children. 🙂
If there are school age children in the house, set aside time for homework as well. This could be while you are preparing dinner or it could be that you and your spouse can take turns so that no one gets bored with the routine. Remember to make the homework supervisor assignments when you build your weekly schedule over the weekend. As few last minute surprises as possible helps the process run smoothly.
8. Make this a Family Affair:
Make sure you share the load. Do not try to do all of this yourself. Make sure your spouse is onboard and involve the children as soon as they are old enough to understand and participate
If you do not have a specific chore list, use a simple list. But do use a list. Do not skip this step.
If you are a “list person” your chore list should be in a checklist format for each day during the week. Stay tuned, I have one that I will place on my website as a free download after the holidays.
10. Don’t Give Up:
If you have a bad day where the routine goes off track, do not give up. Just begin again the very next day. You may have to double up on the laundry, or it may take a little longer to catch up on the kitchen chores, but it’s worth it! You are not a failure if one day does not go as planned. Just begin again and stick to the plan as best you can.
As always, my mantra is, start small. Do not try to implement all of the tips at once and do not be discouraged if it takes a little while to get everyone on-board. Just be consistent and perhaps choose 1 or 2 of the habits to try for a week or two before adding another. I always advise to begin small and build. You did not become unorganized overnight and you will not become the organization guru overnight either. Give yourself a break. Organization is a process. Just remember to be consistent and soon the routine will become just that…routine. Remember all things are possible!!
Until next time…
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