Finally Got Your House Organized? How Are You Going To Keep it That Way?

Written by Neat Freak

Kudos to you!  You finally got your house organized, which we know was not an easy task.  But, what happens once you get your house organized?  Things start creeping back in and cluttering the place up again.  This can be very disheartening, and the most challenging part of trying to live an organized life. 

Keeping your house organized once you have a handle on the clutter is a task that will involve everyone in the family.  Without cooperation from your family, the piles will accumulate once more.  Old habits have to be replaced with new habits.  Establishing daily routines that allow time for putting things back in their place will help your family maintain the order you’ve created.  Even though “a place for everything and everything in its place” is your new motto, it takes effort to put things back in place.  So, maintenance is crucial to the system working, but you must structure some time into your day to make it work.  There are a few simple ways to keep the whole family involved in keeping the clutter from growing again.

Assign each family member one area of the house to be their “clutter free” area.  You’ll want to assign these areas in an age appropriate manner.  The oldest child could have kitchen detail, whereas the youngest may be in charge of the entryway.  Each family member will go through their area with a basket or box and put anything that is not supposed to be in that room in the box.  They will also put anything that is meant to be in the room in its proper place.  Then, each family member brings their box into a designated area, possibly the dining room, and they sort through the items together to see what belongs where.  Each person claims their own “wayward” items and returns them to the correct room and place.  Or, the whole family can work on each room together, gathering only items that belong in their own assigned area and returning the items to the place they belong.

If you have more than one floor in your home, running up and down stairs all day to put things away is a waste of time and can get rather tiresome.  By keeping a bin or basket at the top and bottom of the stairs (off to the side in a safe spot), your family can deposit items they find that belong on another floor.  Then, when someone passes by the basket, they can carry it to the other floor and deposit those items where they belong.  This is a nice way for even the youngest child to participate.  They may not know exactly where an item goes upstairs, but they know it goes somewhere up there.  Your little one can put it in the basket and feel like they are a big helper.

A play room or area that is used for storing toys is a special challenge.  Of course, bins and shelves are important for organizing the space, but how to keep it picked up is a special challenge, especially for the littlest ones.  By taping pictures of the toys on the outside of the bins, drawers, or shelves, you help remind the children where their things go.  Children like to feel helpful, too, but sometimes don’t understand the process of putting away their toys.  When you turn this chore into a matching game, you not only get a clean room, but your child is having fun and learning in the process.

Dirty clothes are always a difficult challenge.  They pile up, despite our best efforts.  Whether you have a laundry room or not, you need to designate a place for dirty laundry.  Choose at least four large hampers and label them “white”, “dark”, “linens” and “special”.  Each member of the family can toss their own clothes into one of the four baskets, as long as they are old enough to know the difference, of course.  The person who does the laundry will make the final decisions when it comes to sorting, but at least now everything is somewhat organized, in one place, and off the floor.

These are just a few suggestions for maintaining your newly organized spaces.  Each particular room in your house will offer different challenges for your family.  If you involve your family in the decision making process, you may even be surprised to find a few inventive ideas coming from your youngsters!  Give these ideas a try, throw in a few new ones, and see if you can’t finally keep the chaos at bay! 

When it comes time to tackle another project to organize your home and life, come back and see us again.  There are a lot more tips and ideas right here to help you get started!  Happy organizing!

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