It can be tough when you’re the only one in the family who’s focusing on organizing and decluttering the home.
It’s time to bring on reinforcements!
Here are some quick tips to help get you and your family on the same page.
Children & Spouses
If you have children, it’s important and valuable to teach them organizing skills at a young age. Children can begin putting things away as early as 2 years old!
Spouses may not always have the same desire to organize and declutter that you do. But, it’s important to get significant others on board by explaining to them how you feel about disorganization. Talk to them about clutter free zones in the house. Give them their own drawer or cupboard where their things can go when it gets too cluttered and show them how to tackle a cluttered room when things become “too much.”
To help the process, you may want a little motivation to get the ball rolling.
- Find a common goal- Explain to the family that you can hold a garage sale with the items that no longer serve you. The money you make can be put towards a family vacation. If that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is!
- Explain how donating can help those who are in need. Take this one step further and involve the kids in the process of bringing the items to the shelter, thrift store or community centers that need them.
- Discuss priorities as a family. This is the perfect time to talk about what’s important. Decide as a family what will determine a happy home for you. Discuss the importance of a clutter free home focused on love and each other rather than the stuff in it.
- Share your why. Explain to your family why this is important to you and how it can impact everyone’s lives.
It’s time to show them how it’s done once you’ve discussed why an organized home is important to you and why it should be important to them.
- This will be a more involved show and tell kind of conversation. Show them how to declutter with small more insignificant items and teach them the questions to ask themselves when letting go of the things that no longer serve them.
- Help them create habits around organizing and decluttering. Consider implementing procedures around purchasing new things and storing those things once in the home. For example: when the kids come home from school, they empty their bags and any paper is handed to mom (or in the paper center) and books etc go to the homework station.
- Their bags are hung up in the entryway or stored in the closet. Then once a month or every two weeks, cleaning out the paper area is scheduled on the calendar. Schedule family declutter events.
- Create rules like one in one out.
- Set limits on the gifts that take up space. Encourage creativity in gift giving that doesn’t take up space. Like an experience
- Don’t overwhelm them; take it slow. Letting go can be difficult- especially with children.
Give Them Space
- Give them space to find their way. Remember, another person’s garbage is another person’s treasure. That may be the case in your own home. Your partner or your children may want to keep something valuable to them but isn’t to you. That’s OK. However, if EVERYTHING is a treasure to them, then that’s a different story.
Remember that this is a process. Keep leading by example and they may begin to understand that they don’t NEED to keep the thing they should let go of.
- If they aren’t as excited as you are at organizing and decluttering, you may have to allow them to feel a little pain that a cluttered home provides. Let them understand the pain of “losing” an item. If it’s important to them, help them search, BUT explain that you don’t always have the time to help them in their search and show them the value of being more organized. For children, consider asking them why they couldn’t find the item and what the solution should be so that it doesn’t happen again.
- Create your own clutter free zone like the bedroom. This will show your family how everything has its place and things are easy to find. Generally these areas are welcoming and warm and they will WANT to be in that space instead of other more cluttered spaces.
- Have a reward- pick a family declutter and organize day once a month where they go through a particular area thoroughly and after you go out for dinner as a family to everyone’s fav family restaurant or go to the movies etc.
- Everyone loves to feel appreciated and praised for a job well done. When they follow the rules
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