5 Disorder Disasters: Organized!
Lean how to confront clutter fearlessly with five strategies for staying organized.
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You've overcome the biggest obstacle to organization: getting started. But despite your tidiest intentions, life — and clutter — is bound to get in the way. How do you fit staying organized into your schedule without getting stressed?
Betsy Peterson, a professional organizer and the owner of Space and Time, in Oak Ridge, Tenn., says discipline and time management are key. Taking time to stay organized will help calm your nerves, even when dealing with stressful situations, such as party preparations, garage organization, messy kids' rooms and out-of-control keepsake collections.
Here are five simple strategies to keep you organized — and involve your family — without crumbling in the face of clutter.
1. A FAMILY AFFAIR
Your house was clean and organized at one point but has reverted to its cluttered ways. Clothes cover the floor, dishes dirty the sink and toys teeter at the top of the stairs. Either your house has been hit by a tornado or your family is less than tidy. How can you make cleaning a family focus?
Solution: Family meetings are a great way to establish a housekeeping routine. Sherrie LeMasurier, a professional organizer and the co-owner of Keeping Kids Organized, suggests you add tasks one at a time. Start a new system for the grocery list one week and allocate time every week for family clean-up the next.
The meetings can double as problem-solving time. Ask kids why they're not cleaning up after themselves and brainstorm solutions. Do they always leave their clothes out? Solving the problem might be as easy as buying more hangers or a larger dresser.
Whatever chores you choose, be consistent. "Make cleaning a priority for everyone, even if it's only for five minutes a day," says Betsy. A star chart is an effective incentive for kids to do their work daily, especially if there's a prize (like a fun family activity) when the chart is full.
For uncooperative spouses, professional organizer Cyndi Seidler, the owner of Handy Girl Organizers, says the best solution is a heart-to-heart discussion. "Don't ask them to help maintain order for the sake of order," she advises. "Ask them to help you."
Trying to do all the work yourself is maddening. Enlisting your family members makes cleaning more fun — and kids learn valuable life lessons.
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