Are you working on getting organized before heading into something new for your family? Whether you are in the middle of going back to school, cleaning for fall, or just trying to feel more comfortable in your home, organization can help you to make huge progress. Sometimes cleaning can be the default setting. Organization should be as important for families as cleaning is. We have some organization tips for families to help you organize your home.
Organizational Tips for Families
Please keep in mind that organization is unique to each person’s situation. We can help you with some great tips for organization but you will have to adjust these to better fit your personal situation.
Organizing a Child’s Room
One area where organization can be a game changer is in a child’s room. While many children struggle with cleaning up, it can help to have a system to keep things organized. Many children will struggle with cleaning if they see too much stuff and don’t know where to put it. Having a simple organization system in place can be a game changer. Make sure that the system fits the age and abilities of the child.
5 Tips for Organizing a Child’s Room:
- Have stuffed animal storage – One of the quickest clutter creators in a child’s room is an overabundance of stuffed animals. They can quickly take over a room. Not only do stuffed animals need to be picked up regularly, they can hold onto dust mites and dirt easily. Having them in a storage container can keep them off the floor and make them easier to wash when needed.
- Label drawers for younger children – Younger children may struggle to remember what goes in each drawer when it comes to clothing. Print out labels with either the name if they are reading or a picture of the item if they are not. This simple labeling process can help them to put things in their place consistently.
- Have a designated toy storage – Toys can quickly get out of control in a child’s room. Pieces can get lost and toys can end up all over the place. Having a simple storage system in place can help to avoid having toys take over a space.
- Try one toy in, one toy out – If toys tend to get cluttered in your home, try a one toy in, one toy out approach. This would mean that when a new toy comes into the house an old toy gets donated or removed from the home. This will help keep toy rooms organized.
- Provide age-appropriate cleaning supplies -Be sure to discuss the safe use of any cleaning supplies you give your children and be sure they are mature enough to handle using them. A kid-safe, pet-safe all-purpose cleaner is a good supply to start with.
Organizing Common Areas
Another area a lack of organization can show all to clearly is in the common areas. These are areas such as the living room, dining room, kitchen, and even the restroom. Having a place for these items and a system of organization can help to avoid some of the mess. If everyone is able to work together, messes in these areas will be easy to control with simple organization. Here are some tips for organizing the common areas in your home.
4 Tips for Organizing in Common Areas:
- Have containers/locations for personal belongings – In each area, it is important to have containers or places where personal belongings should be stored. Having a location for these items can help to avoid mess from clutter.
- Set up a station for when people first come in the door – In many homes when people first enter the door things are often dropped somewhere near the door. This could include paperwork, shoes, backpacks, toys, and anything else people are carrying. If at all possible, set up locations near the door so that these items can be stored more effectively if they won’t be put away right away.
- Take advantage of bins and drawers – Bins and drawers can be a great place to store items that don’t fit in other areas as well. These can also be a fantastic way to keep items out of sight that may look more cluttered.
- Declutter often – Common areas are one of the quickest areas in the home to store clutter. Take time to declutter these areas often. If you don’t have a place for it or a system to organize it, it may be time to donate it or dispose of it.
Organizing Paper Items
One of the quickest growing messes in most homes is paper. Bills come in and make it into a stack. Drawings are placed on the fridge or in a pile. Notes from school are stacked and ready to be addressed. Before you know it, these items can quickly take over. Having a simple system for organizing paper items can make a world of difference.
4 Tips for Organizing Paper Items:
- Have an art binder – Do you keep art pieces from your children? Whether they are drawings made when they were small or other small memories, these items can quickly add up. Build a binder with folders to store this artwork. At the end of each year, pick out one item from each month to save.
- Establish one place for bills/mail to go – Bills and mail quickly become cluttered stacks. Set up a place in your home where these items are meant to go. This could be a folder, drawer, filing cabinet, or something else. Sit down and address all of these items weekly to avoid them taking over that area.
- Scan items you don’t need to physically keep – Not all paperwork needs to be kept. Instead, take a photo of these items or scan them and store them on a portable hard drive for future reference when needed.
- Establish an emergency binder – An emergency binder is a great place to store all paperwork you would need in case of an emergency. This binder is a good central location for all birth certificates, insurance policies, and any other pertinent paperwork that might be easily misplaced. By establishing an emergency binder you will tackle the clutter from some of this paperwork while making it easily accessible in an emergency.