Here are a few tips to help you keep everyone in your family organized:
- Organize yourself first. If you’re disorganized there’s no way you’re going to be able to keep track of anyone else’s itinerary. Use whatever system works best for you; day planner, mobile device, computer calendar or good old fashioned pen and pencil.
- Create solutions that fit the person’s personality. Some people are detailed and able to follow through, others…not so much. Address the challenge your family member is facing. For example, if your daughter has a good system for organizing her school work but fails to follow through then her challenge is in the follow through. Help her create new habits.
Additionally, some people like very structured organization while others are more relaxed about it. As long as they can immediately find what they need and mistakes are not made then the system works. For example, one child may keep a calendar on their wall of all their practices, meetings and homework. Another child may keep the information on their iPad and have it send them messages when things are due. Both systems, while very different, can work.
- Create a central zone. While individual family members may be able to keep track of their own tasks and responsibilities it can be difficult to pull it all together as a family. Many families create a central information zone. You might use a chalk board or dry erase board. You might use a large hanging calendar. One great idea is to create a monthly calendar on a piece of poster board. However, instead of writing on the calendar you use post-its for each day. You can color code the post-its for each family member and write down their schedule. That way everyone can tell at a glance what’s going on for the entire family.
- Their own space. The entry way of your home is a perfect example of a location where everyone needs their own space. Children come home from school and just dump their stuff on the floor. Your spouse comes home and drops his or her keys on the table. Eventually it all gets muddled together. It’s a mess and things get lost. Create a space for each person. Use a coat rack, shelf or baskets. Label them and teach everyone to put their items in their space. That goes for you and your spouse too. Central mail, keys and charging stations also help ensure items never get lost.
You can embrace this “own space” concept in other rooms too. The laundry room, bathroom and even the living room can each offer storage space for each family member. It helps keep things organized, minimizes lost items and squabbles.
Keeping your family organized is no small task! Organize yourself first. Pay attention to each personality in your family and try to create systems that work for them. Finally, provide space for each family member in key areas of your home.
- Research shows us that kids whose families who have a routine do better in school and are more socially confident. Especially given the trauma some children will have faced with the floods, having a routine will also provide a sense of security that at least some things haven’t changed. Have a look at your family routine and tweak it where necessary or create a new one if you don’t already have one.
- What are the two things you want to achieve this year as a family? It could be taking a family holiday, eating 5 out of 7 dinner meals together each week, or the kids picking up after themselves. As a family, write down the steps you need to take to achieve your family goals and everyone sign off on it. Then post these goals and steps where you can all see them and start to tick off the steps as you achieve them.
- Leave room for fun and creativity. We all obviously need fun and the chance to let our hair down so go have a play in the park or do face painting at home on each other or go to a theme park. Be spontaneous and enjoy.