If you are anything like me, you are constantly looking for fresh ideas for keeping your family, home and routines as organised as possible, so today I have pulled together a collection of 10 simple ideas for getting your family more organised – some of which work well for our family and others that some of my best blogging buddies have shared as working for theirs.
1. Make your mornings work for you
Now we are not perfect at mornings but since my commitment not to ‘hurry up,’ we arrive at school calm and ready to face the day, albeit skating in the classroom door on the bell most mornings. If you need help with getting everyone out the door on time with less stress, then these ideas are for you;
– Printable Morning Routine Cards: these are great for getting your children into a consistent school morning routine.
– Getting Out the Door on Time Without Saying ‘Hurry Up!’: the challenge I set myself almost two years ago. The post includes lots of great tips from readers.
2. Menu plan
If you don’t already, I really suggest that you start menu planning. It takes the daily headache out of deciding what to cook for dinner and helps you to do a better job at sticking to a budget. Start with dinners, and then, once you have a handle on the process, add lunches and breakfasts. Here are some helpful tips for menu planning;
– Printable Monthly Menu Plan from Picklebums.
– Printable Lunch Box Snack List: give your children a list of lunch box snack ideas and encourage them to pack their own.
– Free Printable Lunch Planner & Lunch Box Ideas from Living Locurto.
– Free Grocery List Printable from My Life and Kids.
3. Create a family command centre or launch pad
Create a central place where the things your family needs as part of their daily routine can be kept. After all, it is much simpler to find and also pack away things when they have a fixed place to be. Here’s some inspiration;
– 25 School Bag Storage Ideas from The Organised Housewife.
– 24 School Bag Nooks from Readers. Via The Organised Housewife
– Keep School Notes and Form and Bills and the Paper Stuff Organised. Via Sesame Ellis
4. Create a weekly visual schedule
Having a central visual schedule or calendar of the week’s activities that all family members can see is great for encouraging the whole family to stay more organised, and it help your children to become independent. I direct Immy to her weekly organiser each school morning so that she can check what she needs to pack in her bag. Here are some other ideas for visual schedules;
– Creating Children’s Routines & Schedules from Planning with Kids.
– How to Create a Weekly Schedule for the Whole Family from Planning with Kids.
5. Set up for success
Think about the problem areas of your routine and look for simple solutions to make those tasks less onerous. For us that means things like;
– Laying out school uniforms the night before or first thing in the morning, before our school girl needs to get dressed.
– Creating a school hair accessories box so that everything is kept together – brush, spray, hair ties, etc.
– Setting up a homework box so that everything needed for homework is easy to access.
– Storing the girl’s dance bags in the bottom drawer of our launch pad so that it is easy for us to keep everything together and ready for dance class afternoons.
Also helpful might be;
– Creating a cleaning kit. Via Planning with Kids.
– Creating a system for Sorting and Storing Kids Clothes.
6. Create a cleaning routine
I believe the best advice for cleaning house is finding what works for you. What you clean, how you clean it and how often will be different for everyone. However, finding your routine and sticking to it can help to take the stress out of cleaning chores. To help you find your cleaning groove, check out;
– 11 Household Tasks You Can Do in Under 20 Minutes. Via Planning with Kids.
– Printable Cleaning Checklist from The Organised Housewife.
7. Involve your children in cleaning and household tasks
Involving the children in cleaning, cooking and other household tasks might feel like more of a chore – after all, it can take much longer and you are almost absolutely guaranteed that the end result won’t be as good as if you did it all yourself, BUT it is teaching your child important life skills and also giving them a greater sense of self worth, achievement and independence. Here are some useful tips for involving the kids;
– The Basket Method is one pick up technique I find helpful for picking up the random toys and clutter that has accumulated around the house by the end of the day. You can see an example in the video below. This method does however work best when the children know where the things they are putting away are to go, so taking some time to create homes for their things with your children is important.
8. Chart their chores
Creating a consistent schedule of chores for children also helps to instill a sense of responsibility. There are a multitude of ways to track these chores, and also to allocate pocket money, and here are a few of my favourites;
– Creating a Family Contribution List from Planning with Kids.
9. Organise your to-do list
I am a list-maker from way back but I have this really frustrating habit of scribbling notes to myself on the nearest scrap of paper which inevitably is misplaced! I am making more of an effort to organise and my to-do lists by sorting the tasks according to type, and keeping everything together in one place – it also helps me to prioritise the tasks as well. This printable to-do list becomes a handy weekly list that I can sort into work-related and family-related tasks.
10. Prioritise what is most important to your family
Every family is different and knowing what is most important for your family will help you to prioritise these organisational tools, and to choose those that are likely to be most effective in your home. Thinking about how you want your children to grow up feeling about your home is a great place to start when considering these priorities.
What would be your #1 tip for keeping your family most organised?