Your so excited! You have cleaned up your closet, given away all the "stuff" you have been storing in the basement and your ready to begin transforming your life! Just one problem – Your daughters room looks like a cyclone hit it and your husband thinks the $ 500.00 "show" chair you just bought for the bedroom makes a great clothing rack! Yikes – can any new opportunities that are trying to get to me actually make it past the mountain of shoes at the front door?
First ask yourself the question, "Why do I want them to be more organized and less cluttered?" Is it because you believe they will be able to function better? If your answer is yes than the reason is not valid. In order for your family members to buy in to what your trying to get them to do must help them in a way THAT THEY WANT! Remember, your mother standards of being organized and clean probably is not up to your standards of being organized and clean! So it follows that each individual in your family has their own standards of being organized and clean.
So how can you start them on the path of de cluttering and organization? Well it is really about keeping 3 principles in mind
- Think like them! Do things in the way they would!
- Share a common goal! Make them see how it benefits everyon3
- Lead by example! Let them model your behavior.
Are you a creature of habit? Probably, and so are most people in society. In order for things to change you need to establish new habits. The following are a few simple ways you can get started.
Think Like Them Do your kids walk through the front door hang their coats on the banister, and kick off their shoes to where they land? If you know that is their habit than work with it. Install a coat rack by the front door and hang their coats up everyday. Place a shoe rack or better a hall bench with storage in the seat to place their shoes. By doing this it enables them to leave their stuff at the front door but just in designated areas. Still is not working?
Share a Common Goal explain to them that when they left their shoes out in the middle of the floor last week and you tripped over them and hurt yourself. You want to make sure it does not happen to them too and that is why you put the shoes rack in the hall!
Lead By Example even if you prefer to hang your coat in the closet, for a few weeks use the coat rack! Remember people are creatures of habit, show them how to do it and they will follow!
Think Like Them You do the laundry, your iron the clothes, yet no one will carry the laundry basket up the stairs! And when they do clothes never get hung up so what is the point or ironing them in the first place! Buy a two laundry baskets for each person in the house label them with each individuals names. Install a row of hooks on your laundry room wall label one hook for each member of the family. Here is the beauty of the system. After you have finished the laundry place every people clothes in their own basket, and iron and hang each persons items on their own hook. Each family member is responsible for picking up their basket of clean clothes and bringing it to their rooms and their ironed items are already on hangers! At the same time, they each have a second basket for dirty clothes in their rooms. When the bring the clean basket up they empty it and leave it in their room for dirty clothes. The basket that is already in their room filled with dirty clothes must be brought down to the laundry room. You NEVER do it for them if they want clean clothes they are required to bring clothes back and forth to their rooms!
Share a Common Goal explain to them that by handling their own clothes you can get the laundry done in half the time and have more time to do other things the family needs as well there are no mix ups with clothing AND they get their laundry down much faster when the burden is shared and not just transported by one!
Lead by Example Carry your own, make it a habit ever they will run out of clothes and get the idea fast!
Getting someone to do something is not as difficult as you might think. Think about the choices you make. In most instances your are more likely to do something if; you can do it your way, you can achieve something, and it is easy to do on a consistent basis.
The mistake most people make is that they try to organize everyone they way they want to be organized. Labeled boxes and color coding will not work for some individuals but open, easily accessible boxes and open shelving units may be the solution for those people! A coat rack instead of a closet, a easy one tug, all in one duvet instead of tailor bed linens! Attractive garbage bins through the house rather than one that is out of the way!
But what about that $ 500 chair? Each Sunday grab the pile and put it on the bed (his side) with hangers near the pile Start a new ritual that clothes must be put away on that day before bed. He is not buying in? Tell him you were worried you saw a (mouse, bug, earwig) in the pile and you want to make sure that the problem does not get out of hand so by keeping things hung up you can ensure things are in check! When all else fails you need to be creative!
Be creative, get your family involved, after all they deserve it!
© 2007 Fay Chapple