In a recent survey of our readers that took our 3-day course to organize your kitchen for good, many responded that they find it difficult to get their household members on-board with keeping the house in order. These Steps to Finally Get Your Family Organized provides solutions to motivate your household members while creating lasting organizing habits.
1. Make sure you are doing your part first. When it comes to convincing others to follow your lead, the “do as I say and not as I do” approach doesn’t always work. Most people (especially kids) learn from example. If they see you are making an effort to keep the house clean and organized, they will take after that example. If you are not keeping an orderly home, how can you expect everyone else to keep one?
2. Have a household/family meeting. Schedule a household/family meeting if you don’t already have one regularly. Make a point to bring up how you need help to keep the house in order. Discuss the benefits of keeping the home tidy and organized (healthier family, less home repairs, sense of accomplishment, etc).
3. Create chore charts or task lists. Make sure others know what is expected of them. After you de-clutter and organize your home, keeping the space clean, neat and organized needs to be a task that everyone contributes to or it ends up cluttered again. Create a checklist of tasks that should be completed regularly and assign to family members accordingly. When you have completely organized a new space, be sure to walk through the space with every household member and explain how the new space is set up so they continue to put things back where they belong.
4. Foster strong organization habits early on. Young children should develop cleaning and organizing habits early on to create strong organization skills. This can be as easy as asking them to make their bed in the morning and clean up their toys at night.
5. Label, label, label! If everyone knows where something goes, they will put it back in the designated home. We have a basket system in our pantry (you can see it here) and it keeps our entire family on track when baking, cooking or putting away groceries. Label baskets, boxes, bins, shelves and everything else so there is no question where something belongs when it comes time to put things away.
6. Make clean up time fun. Sing a clean-up song (younger children love this song), play some motivating, upbeat music or create a challenge/race to see who can clean up the fastest. Make it feel like you are spending fun, quality time together rather than doing work.
7. Provide rewards for help around the house. Offer to reward household members if they complete tasks. Rewards may be in the form of money, toys, an edible treat or a fun experience. Decide what rewards are appropriate for your household members. We recently introduced a “chore treasure box” with dollar store items to our young children. If they complete certain chores daily/weekly, they get to pick an item from the treasure box. Make sure you set the rules straight for the reward system so everyone knows what they have to do in order to be given the reward.
If you want everyone in your household to help with keeping spaces clean and organized, make sure that you are doing your part first. Help everyone in your household understand the importance of keeping a tidy space and communicate benefits during household meeting. Designate individual responsibilities on a checklist so everyone knows what is expected of them. Label anything and everything so items stay in their “home.” Provide a reward for completing tasks and keeping the house tidy. Following these 7 steps to get your family onboard with organizing will help create lasting habits and a clean home going forward.
Be sure to read our recent post with 115 Ways to Start Living a Simple, Happy Life for some helpful hints to simplify daily systems and activities. If you need help with organization and time management, check out 8 Ways to Find More Time in Your Day. Don’t forget to sign up to take our free 3-day course to organize your kitchen for good here!
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