When people find out I have a professional organizing business, they often want to talk to me about the state of their own home and how it could be more organized. For many, an organized home feels like a very elusive thing. But the good news is…organized homes DO exist! And an organized home CAN be a reality, even for the organizationally-challenged! ?
Some of my friends and family members are actually uber-organized, and I thought I'd take this month to share some of their wisdom.
Bottom line: an organized home is all about two things
- Good habits/systems
- People who regularly maintain those good habits/systems
All those “tips” you’ve heard over the years…for the most part, they work! The key to making them work is building a “culture of organization” where everyone pitches in to keep up the systems that have been set in place.
ORGANIZER FAVE: I love this rolling cart because you can move it into another room to make more space in an instant when you are entertaining!
What helps Kaumaka's family in Honolulu stay organized:
- Having a designated space for school bags so the kids know where to put them when they come home and where to get them when leave in the am. No “where’s my bag, homework etc”
- Having a designated bin for each child for the school year. Weed out papers daily and put possible momentos in the bin. At the end of the school year, go through it and keep a few items and toss the rest.
- Having a designated area for the kids to do their thing and keep clutter in that space. Label and have containers for groups of toys (pens, playdoh, blocks, puzzles, legos etc) so they can take out items to play and then clean up, knowing where the items go.
- Each one of us has a laundry hamper that’s labeled. The boys know to put their clothes in their hamper so it eliminates clean up by me!
ORGANIZER FAVE: More mobile storage!
What helps Kathy's family in Honolulu stay organized:
- My biggest help is a giant calendar that I hang on my fridge so the whole family can see what is going on for the day. Otherwise I get 6 thousand questions. ???
- The other thing is a place for everything and it must always get put back in the same place so others can find it when needed.
ORGANIZER FAVE: We are ROLLING in the storage this month!
What helps Nita's family in Hollister, CA stay organized:
- The kids each have a laminated (age-appropriate) checklist for what they need to accomplish each morning and each night. These include things like making their bed, putting their close in the hamper, etc. The boys know they need to have their checklist complete before they come out to have breakfast before school. It’s what they’ve always done so it doesn’t feel like “work” to them…it’s just their regular habit/routine.
- When we come home from a trip, everyone is tired and wants to relax. But, with five boys and two parents, we have a lot of things to unpack and put away. Our family habit is that everyone pitches in to take care of that right when we get home. The car is unloaded, the boys empty out their suitcases and put the laundry in the laundry room, any food in coolers is put away…it takes 15-30 minutes, but we’re so happy the next day when we don’t have suitcases all over the house and a ton of unpacking to do.
One thing that strikes me about all these great real-life tips: the systems these very-organized ladies have set up make things “easy” for their kids. Like in Kindergarten, expectations are set and the kids deliver, because they are clear on what’s expected of them! While they may be years past kindergarten, the same concept applies!