If you are the type of family that can never get to an event on time, or you always forget something when you arrive, then you might benefit from being a little more organized. Children especially can be difficult to get ready and remember what they have to do, so by making the whole family more organized, you can help those that especially need it. Here are some great ways to get your family all moving in the same direction.
Having a Family Meeting
Family meetings might seem the type of thing that only large families do, but the benefits of any family doing this is immense. Firstly, this isn’t the type of meeting where you can have apologies, everyone concerned needs to be there and if they cannot, then the meeting will need to be rearranged. The importance of a family meeting is to tell your children and other members involved, what is happening and what notable events are coming up. It saves the nagging that you would otherwise have to do all month. You can start by holding monthly meetings to see how things go, but if you are finding that this isn’t enough, then you can switch to weekly meetings.
Introduce Color Coding
One way to be super organized is to introduce a color coding system. Each member of the household is allocated a different color, and then they know theirs by what color it is. For example, you can have different colors on the laundry pile, so everyone knows what their laundry is to be put away. You can also have separate boxes in the bathroom for each person’s toiletries. Having different color towels will also help to tell you who left theirs on the floor. You can use it to totally organize all the different parts of the home according to each person. It will save the constant asking where something is or if a shirt is ready.
To make your day more organized, why not ask the family to help you with some of the jobs around the house? Even children as young as 4 or 5 years old will be able to tidy up after themselves. Older children can take out the trash, put the laundry on and even walk the dog. For the younger children, it will be a game, so they won’t mind doing it. As the children get older, it will be a valuable life lesson on how to take care of themselves. The best way to delegate is to allocate jobs to them and yourself and your partner. That way, they won’t see it as a bad thing just for them. You can give them chores to do every day or give them a couple of days off in the week. It is also important to give them time to study, especially if they have exams looming.
Have a Timetable
Adding a timetable to your house is great for reminding people what’s coming up without them having to ask you all the time. You can use one that you create yourself, or you can adopt a planner. The Oversize Planner magnetic refrigerator calendars are great because you can wipe them clean and start again. You can also use the color code system to mark which events are for which member of the family. Encourage your family to write new events on the planner or leave them on a pad that you leave for that purpose. It means you won’t have to keep checking with members of the family for anything coming up.
A good way for your family to keep a check on what they need to do each week is to give them a personal organizer or a diary. It can be a paper version or one that they can use on their phones, just as long as they can refer to it each day. Avoid the temptation to update it for them; they need to learn to keep their own schedules. It is also important to tell them to check their organizers when they are arranging anything as there might be a clash with an existing event.
If your family is doing well at their tasks around the house and with being more organized, then there is no reason not to offer them a reward. Rewards are a good way to encourage the good behavior in your children so that they will continue to do the same next time. The rewards can be given weekly or monthly as you think, though you need to be consistent. The rewards can take many forms, whatever your children like to do. It could be extra time on the computer, having friends to play, or staying up late one night. It is also important to reward you and your partner for keeping things organized, get a babysitter and have a nice meal out one day, or even arrange a weekend away somewhere.
It might sound odd, but if your kids don’t know where something goes, they are more likely just to dump it somewhere. That is why labeling everything is so important, don’t think that a cupboard or drawer is already known, label it anyway just in case. In the kitchen, mark the jars and boxes if you decant cereal so that they know what the right one is. You should also label the shelves on the cupboards just in case your children don’t recognize the can or packet they are looking to use. As well as labels, why not add some recipes as well? Print or write out some simple recipes that your kids can follow if you are out and they fancy a snack. These are for older kids of course.
Having a family that is organized and able to look after themselves to a certain level is a good way to keep the family running smoothly. It also means you have time to do the things you need to do.