Plan to Succeed for an Organized Home

Planning separates the hapless house from the happy home. We've got four tools for keeping an organized and efficient home.

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3. Habit Checklists and to-do lists organize efficient living, but they don’t get the work done themselves. How do you follow through on your good planning? Enter habit: the secret engine of an organized life at home. Once formed, habits are like the little engine that could, pulling family members along in their (orderly) wake.

Encouraging good habits and banishing bad ones is key to streamlining life and routing chaos and disorder. Best of all, habits are self-sustaining. Once you form them, they will work for you without further effort. Bring a brace of good habits to work for your organized home. As you plan, incorporate checklist items or to-do entries into existing routines to maximize the power of habit. Household planning Is as critical as planning in any other area of life. Winging it leads to disorder, chaos, and stress. Planning is a powerful tool for an organized home.

4. The Household Notebook What’s a blockbuster tool for a well-organized home life? A family organizer: a personal planner for the household. I call it the Household Notebook, and no home should be without one. The Household Notebook is a simple three-ring binder that contains all the information needed for daily life in an organized home, in an easy-to-find, easy-to-use format. It’s a family calendar, an address book, and an information resource all in one. The Notebook is designed to corral all the handouts and schedules, sticky notes, and slips of paper, and give back answers: when is the soccer tournament banquet? What is the telephone number for the choir director? How much will it cost to order pizza for Friday night supper — and what’s the number to call?

Excerpted from Houseworks, by Cynthia Townley Ewer

Text Copyright © 2006, 2010, Cynthia Townley Ewer, extracts from Houseworks, reproduced with permission from Dorling Kindersley Limited

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