Is it difficult to get your family to help out with keeping the house organized and running smoothly? Here are a few tips to help encourage everyone to pitch in:
• If you have a tween or teen like me, who has suddenly morphed into a clothes throwing, leaving cabinets open, letting food rot in the basement alien- rest assured that this is (unfortunately) an age appropriate stage. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t require the adolescent to clean up after themselves but is meant to bring you comfort that you are not the only one living with a stinky sullen slob.
• Children as young as toddlers can learn to put their toys away. By having them help with clean up time, you are teaching them responsibility for their actions (you take it out, you put it away) but also a fundamental organizing principle- everything has a place.
• Kids as young as 5 or 6 years old can begin helping to fold towels and laundry and put their clothing away. Make sure that you don’t expect perfection at this age, but rather focus on teaching your child about teamwork and being a contributing member of the family.
• Communicate to your spouse or significant other if you are feeling overwhelmed or if they are not helping keep the house in order. Once you have created a home where everything has a place, it is not unreasonable to expect everyone to be on board with putting belongings in their place. Explain your rationale for becoming more organized to your spouse (less stress, more calm, your sanity) so that they can become invested in the goal as well.
• Limit toys to keep clutter to a minimum. My youngest is a stuffed animal addict so I had to limit the number he is allowed to own at one time. Otherwise, his floor looked like a plush zoo. (A tip for stuffed animals is to hang them in a toy hammock) The same can be true for girls and their doll accessories. Find a trunk or box that is an acceptable size and if your child’s toys fit in it great, if not they need to swap with you. Relinquish one to put a new one in.
• The biggest motivator to getting your family to cooperate is your mood. You set the tone in your house and your children respond to how you feel. So, make sure to make cleaning and organizing fun, praise them for positive efforts and motivate them to stay on track.
Posted by Melissa of Multitasking Mama
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