Pandemic or not, families are not necessarily the most tidy or organized. Parents may be and kids not so much, or a kid or two is organized. Families with ADHD especially find organizing and tidying difficult. How can you get started and maintain a tidy and organized home? Check out these tips.
Have less to keep tidy and organized
Start with less. Let go of what is not being used, loved or needed. That is difficult because by nature we think “just in case” is our guideline for owning stuff. It may not be that you want to be a minimalist however you can have less incrementally. Having less can start with some data. Just how many pairs of undies do you need in a week? We think it is a bigger number just in case we don’t do laundry. It can also start with where you store your stuff. All your clothes can fit in your closet or dresser, no matter how small. Get a realistic number of how many to have and set a boundary for where it belongs.
Assign a home to stuff to keep tidy and organized
When stuff is not put away, it is clutter. When stuff is not put away, it is untidy. Be sure that every item in your home, car or office has a specific spot to be put away. This way, when it is time to clean up there is no discussion on where to place an item. Start by finding items that have never had a home since purchased. Then group like items together that are used together. If there is too much to store together, it is time to declutter. You will find being organized is the key to keeping tidy.
Model home tidying
A family meeting is the starting point to setting standards for your family. Start by discussing what the goals are for tidying and then set a time to do the work. Most families need a daily time. That can be immediately after dinner so that everyone is prepared for the next day. That includes bringing dishes to the kitchen, gathering recycling, and getting laundry put away. Create a chart that states what is to be completed during the tidying time. Everyone working together, at the same time, means that everyone is contributing.
Make tidying fun
Yes! Tidying can be fun! We all have playlists and videos. Make a family tidying video and create a Spotify list for tidying. Serve a treat! Announce ahead of time the tidying rewards for your family! Set up Google Home or Alexa routines to help you stay on track. Ask your kids to help you make this more collaborative and fun. Keep tidying to a short time with a timer set for 15 minutes. Everyone wants to get this job done.
Create routines for tidying
Routines are the hardest part of keeping tidy. Families lose momentum and all of a sudden everyone is overwhelmed. If you can tidy daily in the same work flow, that is the best. Everyone eats dinner, and then it is time to tidy. If not, be sure to tidy as frequently as possible. The intention to tidy daily may not happen, and it may be only 2 days a week, however this way you have some control. If you find you are not tidying at the same time daily, tidy when you can daily. The best way to keep routines going is to tie these to another task that is firmly set. Use automated reminders like Siri, Google Home and Alexa to signal the start of tidying time.