So, you’ve finally become more organized Congrats! You’ve decluttered your home (maybe you did the 30 day challenge!) and put organized systems all around your kitchen, bathrooms, and so on. You’re feeling proud of all your hard work, as you should!
But then… life happens. More specifically, your spouse, partner, or kids go in and undo all your hard work in less than one day. Trust me, I get it! It can be frustrating when you want to be organized, but don’t feel that your family is on board or understands why it’s so important to you.
My family has not always been organized, and yet, slowly but surely, they have started to come around! Rather than getting upset, correcting them, and giving up, I’ve learned how to gently nudge them in the right (more organized) direction.
5 Tips to help your spouse and kids with organization:
Alright, so this first one is hard- but probably the most important. Unless you were born with it, most people don’t become organized over night. It takes motivation, practice, and time. You have to realize that your partner and/or kids are different from you, so you may need to lower your expectations a bit, and realize it will simply take time!
The best way someone (especially kids) will learn is by YOU modeling the actions! Show them over and over again how much better your quality of life is when things stay organized. You can also clean out their spaces for them. They’ll be sure to notice a difference, and will hopefully keep up what you’ve modeled. A great way to help them keep up with what you’ve already done is to label EVERYTHING. People are disorganized because they don’t want to take the time to think about where something goes. If it’s labeled, they won’t have to give it a second though. See my post on the best labels to use for organizing here.
3. Positive Reinforcement
For kids, this is fairly simple. Use a chore board to help them keep track of small tasks, like making their bed or putting their clothes away. Or, have a cleaning night with pizza as a reward! For a significant other, use verbal affirmations as much as possible! I often like to use getting in shape as an example. If you had a personal trainer who constantly nagged you to do more pushups, quit eating bread, and told you how terrible you are at working out, you’d probably give up! However, a personal trainer that encourages you every time you do a push up, is the kind you’ll want to stick with, and it will motivate you to keep practicing and get stronger. Same goes for being positive with your family when it comes to organizing!
4. Designated Spaces
Give your spouse or significant other a designated space for their things. Do you notice that they drop their keys and wallet on the kitchen counter every day when they walk in the door? Get a small tray just for them, and put it by the front door. Do they have a bunch of ratty college T-shirts and old trinkets? Get them a bin to store keepsakes in!
5. Use Their Love Language
If you haven’t heard of the 5 Love Languages, it’s an excellent tool to connect with your spouse and kids in the way that they like to receive love. The 5 languages are: words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch, quality time, and gifts. As an example, if your spouse’s love language is quality time, use a fun challenge like my 30 Day Decluttering Challenge to spend time together AND organize! If your kid’s love language is words of affirmation, verbally affirm and write them notes every time they put something back in the right spot or help you around the house.
These aren’t just ideas, these are the strategies I actually used (and still use) to encourage my family to develop clean and organized habits! Again, I don’t expect them to ever be at my level, and instead focus on being thankful when they choose to keep the systems I’ve developed in place. Remember, organizing is not about perfection 😉
PS If you want more strategies and tips for organizing your home and life, sign up for my Organizing Masterclass! It’s a self-led course you can take any time to learn how to set up systems and enjoy a more calm, peaceful, and happy home. The pre-sale is happening NOW, and you can use the code “PRESALEOCT” for $10 plus free access to my private membership group where you can be part of a community of like-minded women and get direct Q and A answers from me! Click here for more info.
In the meantime, happy organizing – together!