A disorganized family life can seem absolutely overwhelming. It is one thing to organize your desk or keep track of the appointments, but when you attempt to keep an entire family of individuals heading in different directions, it can be daunting! Instead of throwing up your hands and giving up before you start, there are ways to go from disorganized to organized in three simple, flexible steps:
1. Get rid of EVERYTHING you don’t need or love-This is an obvious one but one of those realities of life that it can take many of us years to learn. The great thing about this first step is that it gives you permission to let go of guilt (why keep those toys the kids don’t play with-even if Grandma gave them?). If you cannot completely part with items, box them up and store them. It may be easier to discard or donate them in a year or two when you have learned to live without. Go through each room of the house-this includes kitchen, bathrooms, and closets and just purge. Get rid of everything that is taking up space, making clutter and making organization tough.
2. Choose a storage system and stick to it-Often, households end up with clutter that actually comes from various storage systems they have tried over the years. Whether it is boxes, crates, labeling, extra shelving in the garage or some other means of organization-don’t be tempted to try one thing in one room and go for something completely different in another part of the house. Do a little research and find or develop a storage system that you like and that the family can all work with-then use it everywhere. Children will get used to the consistency and it will make it much easier to get organized and stay on top of things. Make use of quality furniture that serves an organizational purpose instead of making do with scraps and finds. It is far better to invest in efficiency and useful systems at the onset-it may cost more up front but if you use it forever and it keeps your family organized, it is well worth the expense.
3. Keep everything centralized-The final tip for family household organization is to keep things centralized. One main family calendar; one “headquarters” where mail comes in, bills are paid, etc.; one area where are the cleaning supplies are stored, one closet for towels and linens, etc. Instead of sticking things here and there or trying to have a few items in different places for “convenience” sake, keep things centralized. This can help with clutter and it can also help with “inventory” control. You will better be able to tell when you are running out of toothpaste or toilet paper if you have a centralized place for storage.
By downsizing and getting rid of unnecessary items, choosing an organizational system you love and can all work with, and keeping information and supplies centralized in your home, you will be well on your way to transforming chaos into organization.