How Do You Get Your Family Onboard With Keeping Your Home Organized?
Trying to maintain an organized home can be challenging for families because the process is riddled with potential stressors. According to a Huffington Post survey, the 5th most common stress trigger for Americans is worrying that their home isn’t clean or organized enough. When you think about it, it makes sense – with a family, you have multiple people with differing views on what organization looks like and how to approach it, all living under one roof.
Indeed, it can feel like an impossible feat to get your family onboard with keeping your home organized. However, we’ve gathered a few tips & tricks to help you and your family be optimistic when it comes to this task.
We’ve read that professional organizers have worked with children as young as age 2 on tidying! How? Well, we recommend you start off by talking with your little ones, not at. Ask them questions about their bedroom, as well as their toy-room or bathroom (if applicable), and what they think about those spaces. Talking with them about their ideas not only gives your child a sense of ownership in the process but creates a positive experience. If the experience was positive, they won’t be as hesitant to do it again.
Tip A: Empoweringparents.com suggests that you help your child get started with their decluttering. They are also adamant about the following: DO NOT ORGANIZE THEIR ROOM FOR THEM. It may be difficult to resist, as your child may be slower than you in this process, pickier or less focused than what you’re used to. Remember: you’re teaching a valuable life skill, and that takes time and patience.
Tip B: Use positive reinforcement, not bribery. We don’t recommend you start off by telling your child they’ll be given sweets or gifts for organizing their space. We do think, however, that after they are done for the day, that you reward them in some way or manner for working on their project and sticking to it.
If you have teenagers, incorporate organizing into their daily or weekly chores.
We recommend you give them as much control as possible when it comes to the process: where (which rooms other than their bedroom they want to be in charge of) and when would they prefer to do it. Offer to play their favorite music and pick up their favorite snacks – really have them get into it! This also includes having them create a list of what needs to be done and how they want to do it. Just like with your younger children, you’re creating a sense of ownership. But on a much more literal level. For example: unless they ask, don’t sit with them as they organize or point out what they missed immediately when they show you their hard work.
Tip: If you give your teenager an allowance (or are thinking about it), having them declutter their personal space and other areas of the house, like the garage or kitchen pantry, for example, is a great incentive and sets an expectation that money/allowances are not given, they’re earned.
When it comes to your partner and decluttering, discuss your expectations.
It’s important to understand where your partner or spouse is coming from when it comes to organizational habits – even if you disagree 100%! This creates common ground to achieve the following goal: we want our home to look nice but not at the expense of our time or energy beyond what we each can spare. After you discuss both of your personal approaches to organizing, such as your style and clutter tolerance, you can then determine together if you need to invest in any custom-made storage solutions, as well as create a daily/weekly/monthly/annual to do list that works for both of your schedules. Couples that declutter together, stay together!
Make organizing fun!
Turn it into something the whole family can do together, and even look forward to. Some ideas are:
- Make it a game – and there are plenty of themes to go around: Who Tidy’s Best?, Beat the Clock, and Who Can Organize the Most Rooms?
- Invite willing friends over for the kids and teenagers – organization loves company!
- Create a playlist that gets everyone pumped (and save it for future clean-outs).
- Propose this competitive offer: whoever organizes the most spaces and/or does the best job, gets to choose that evening’s take-out order and/or dessert, or choose the movie to watch. Alternate who the judges are each time, so everyone feels included and has an opportunity to win.
- Take micro breaks together, like walks outside or a family naptime.
Some family homes are messes, while others appear as if they have everything in its proper place. But most people fall somewhere in between these two extremes. The bottom line that impacts each of us? We all want to be organized at home because of the perks that it brings – less stress, more productivity, a lovelier home – the list goes on. In order to achieve a beneficial level of organization, however, everyone at home should get involved in the decluttering process, so it doesn’t fall on just mom, dad, or any one person, but the family as a whole.
Interested in learning more about getting organized or The Closet Works’ installations? Request a free consultation with one of our professional Designers today.