Spring has arrived and summer is quickly approaching. Days and lighter and the weather is warmer. But, the clutter continues. How can you balance keeping your home life out of chaos and still be able to enjoy the season? Try some of these family-friendly tips for tackling weekday clutter.
Start Small – Often times, our clients get stuck in an “all or nothing” approach to handling clutter. There never seems to be enough time to really take care of everything around the house, so the project remains overwhelming and undone. It’s important to remember that even small progress is progress and that even simply not adding more disorder can be a huge step in the right direction. There’s no need to clean the entire house each day or tackle the craft room at 6pm. Start by having the kids gather all their dirty laundry and taking it to the laundry room. Or, by setting a goal to do one load of dishes each day. Alternatively, have the family all tackle a part of the house for a quick 5 minute burst of clutter-clearing. You’d be amazing at what can be done in just 5 minutes.
Be Realistic and Specific – It took more than one day for the clutter to gather around the house, it’s going to take more than one day and more than one attempt at a new system for things to get under control. The best thing you can do to support your and your family’s efforts is to be realistic. Set time-based goals for helping out around the house if the projects seem too large. Take 10 minutes to work on folding laundry, rather than telling yourself you have to get through a whole load. Also, when including the kids, give them specific tasks such as “Gather all the trash from the living room” then “put your toys back up in your room” rather than simple telling them to “go clean the living room”. This will ensure they know what is expected of them and also allow them to focus on one discrete task at a time.
Make it fun – Maintenance systems don’t have to be boring! Incorporate music, racing, or luck of the draw when it comes to chore time. If you have a poor attitude toward chores, it’s likely your kids will adapt a similar outlook on the process.
Be consistent – This is the toughest and also the most crucial part of any good family routine. There will be days when you don’t want to spend 10 minutes working together on the home organization project you’ve chosen or when it seems easier to just pick up the mudroom yourself rather than convince the kids to help out. But, don’t give up! Once you get past the initial rough patch of building a new habit, the benefits of a good family chore routine will grow more and more each day.