3 Steps to easily involving family members in keeping life organized

by Tina ~ May 22nd, 2012.

The most common question Moms ask me is “How do I get the family involved in staying organized?” These simple, smart steps will get you on that path…

1. Set yourself up with baskets around the house.stubborn boy

  • By the front door: Label baskets: To the Car (shopping returns, work, school), To the Basement (tools, sports equipment, etc.).
  • At the bottom of the main floor stairs: Have a basket for each family member on a step. Both they and you will know where to put stuff on its way upstairs.
  • In the kitchen: Have baskets for incoming, outgoing, and school. See our blog entry on Organizing your Kitchen Hub for how to have an easy yet more detailed way of keeping the family organized.
  • In the mud room/back door: Have a basket for each family member, one for sports equipment.

The lesson here is “give it somewhere to live and you’ll find it there!”

2. Do a daily 5 Minute Blitz involving everyone.

Everyone grabs a tote bag, bin, or basket and scans each room for their things that don’t belong there, like papers, clothes, toys, crafts, bags, blankets, etc. Each item gets returned to its proper place. 5 days of 5 minutes tidying totals 25 minutes weekly. Multiply that by 3 or 4 family members and there’s almost 2 hours!

3. Assign expectations, and provide privileges and consequences. 

Although we already knew what our list of expectations for our daughter would look like, we had her tell us what she thought should be on it. That way, she’s involved and takes ownership. Together, we came up with a list that included: brushing her teeth without arguing, having proper manners, and putting toys and clothes away. As she’s grown, the list has matured as well to include things like getting her homework done, and cleaning the kitty litter.

Give incentives for doing chores like stickers on a chart, buttons in a jar, or money towards Friday night pizza. This activity helps kids learn to earn. Make what they are earning something they really value or love (a special food treat, internet or TV time, or after school visits to friends’ houses, for example). If they don’t do their part, the consequence is that they don’t get the sticker, button, etc., and therefore, at the end of the day or week, they have not earned the privilege. Consequences work!

Do these things early in a child’s life, and teamwork will become second nature for them. Actively reducing that out of control feeling will become routine for you!

What kind of incentives do you use to get your kids to help out with organizing and other household chores?


Photo by Giuseppe Porzani / PhotoXPress.com

Categories: home organization, organizing families.
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1 Response to 3 Steps to easily involving family members in keeping life organized

  1. Ellen Delap

    Thanks for these 3 steps. You are so SPOT on with your strategy! If it is hard for you as a parent to be consistent, get your kids in on the action for you too. Build a team approach and you are all working together on organizing.

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