Have you ever been to a friend’s home and felt welcomed immediately just by how they have set up their home? How would you like your home to have the same feeling? If the thought of neighbors and friends stopping by to a house that always looks fabulous, a few changes to your routine could be a great place to start. A home free of clutter and dirt is just a few steps away! To start, let’s address clutter.
Everything in its Place: Getting to the place where you want to be is never as easy as it seems. The key at this point is to make a commitment to clearing away the unnecessary clutter and to create a system that can be followed by the whole family. A helpful mode of thought is to imagine your home as a store rather than a house. In a retail environment, items are usually grouped together based on use. Craft supplies and school supplies live well together while books and toys may need their own section in your home. Organizational tools are a great investment at this time. Labeling drawers, cupboards and storage containers can go a long way towards encouraging the entire family to put items back where they belong the first time around.
Tools of the Trade: A basket dedicated to the task of gathering and sorting is a wonderful way to gain an upper hand on clutter. During the bedtime hour, all out-of-place items are placed in the basket. A second walk-through of the home returns all items to their designated location. This task is a wonderful way to get the kids involved in the cleanup process and can even be a moneymaker! A fine of a nickel imposed on the person who forgot to clean up after themselves can quickly encourage family members in the right direction!
Chore time: Assigning chores to each person can help everyone see how they are contributing to the entire family. Individual chores such as making your own bed, taking care of your own dirty dishes, bringing your own clothes to the laundry room are all easy tasks for most children to follow, along with mom and dad! As these daily habits become normal activities, everyone will feel like they are helping out each day.
No habits are made overnight. But work on the changes each day and the rewards will be obvious. Don’t forget: the best time to start is always right now!