Guest post by Hannah Whittenly
For an organized person, living with disorganized family members can be quite stressful. If you would like to keep a nicely organized house without triggering fights with your spouse or making your children anxious, you may need to consider putting systems in place around the home. Often, an organized individual copes with the clutter and chaos for as long as they can, then gets fed up and goes on a cleaning spree, which makes everyone around them someone uncomfortable. To avoid this pattern, you’ll need to spend some time analyzing how your family members utilize the space and then act accordingly.
Before you start reorganizing things into a picture perfect vision of your version of organization, take a few deep breaths. Slowly step away from the trash bags and cleaners, and instead spend some time observing your family members in their natural habitat. How do they actually use each separate living space? For example, does your son actually do his homework at his bedroom desk, or does he prefer to plop himself down at the kitchen island each evening? If spaces and furniture items aren’t being used for their intended purposes, spend some time asking your family members about why this is the case, so that you can make adjustments where necessary.
Next, spend some time moving through your home and eliminating any items that are trash, unloved, outgrown, unused, or unnecessary. You may find that just this step gets rid of a large amount of the clutter that you’ve been living with and makes your home feel quite a bit lighter and airier. As you go through the decluttering process, follow these tips about what not to do, as well. Work in small, manageable projects and be sure to allow enough time for rest and family fun, so that no one gets overwhelmed or stressed out.
After you’ve decluttered and removed any extraneous items from your house, it’s time to think about creating new organization systems that take your families existing living patterns into account. If a room’s furniture arrangement or intended usage isn’t working for your loved ones, now is the time to think about reorganizing things, removing large furniture items, or repurposing things so that they are more useful for everyone. If you want to be able to eat dinner at a dining room table that’s always overflowing with crafts, it may be time to create an area for creating art. If you’d like to be able to park your car in the garage, some garage organization may be in order.
While it may be tempting to take the entire house by storm, build up some momentum, and work until you drop from exhaustion, this is a bad plan. In the end, you’ll likely wind up frustrated and any changes you make may not stick for the long term. Instead, make a careful plan and organize one area of your home at a time. In this manner, you’ll be able to clearly see the fruits of your labor in a finished project that everyone can enjoy. This will give your family enthusiasm to start the next small task, allowing them to build momentum.
As you move through cleaning and reorganizing your home, allow time for your family members to adjust to the new way of doing things. After all, it’s taken quite a while for your home to get messy and disorganized, and they’ve grown accustomed to it. It will take them time to adjust to the new normal, as well.