Good household discipline make the difference between daily crisis management and a smooth running family life, but where do you start? We show you how to get organised in just one day, with six easy and effective ways to turn chaos into calm.
1. Create a laundry system
Nothing multiplies faster than laundry in a family home. The key is to contain and separate the stages.
Give each family member their own laundry hamper, and insist on them using it.
Designate one or two washing days a week, make sure everyone knows what they are – and as with all good household systems get older children involved, perhaps taking turns to put washes in.
Finally, invest in an ironing and a mending basket to transfer clean clothes to accordingly and prevent them hanging around the house.
Want some more ideas on how the kids can help around the house? See these tips on chores that the little ones can do.
2. Buy baskets
A simple, highly effective tip for keeping the children’s toy tsunami in check throughout the house.
Invest in large wicker baskets and place one in the corner of shared spaces so you can clear up quickly and easily at the end of the day by chucking everything in – or train your children to do it instead!
3. Stock up
While you’re shopping, buy a few birthday and greeting cards at a time. Creating a card and present drawer is a great way to take the last-minute stress out of special occasions and children’s parties.
Get into the habit of keeping it stocked – if you see small presents when you’re out, and budget allows, buy before you have to. That way you’ll always have something to hand when the occasion arises.
4. Make a family binder
Save time hunting around for notes, numbers or pieces of paper by making a one-stop day-to-day family binder.
Divide up into topics such as medical, vital phone directory (including your details for babysitters), finance, occasions (birthdays, anniversaries), schools, travel and activities and hole punch/store in plastic folders everything that relates to these, so you’ll always have information to hand.
5. Set up a family calendar
Set up a joint family calendar (Google calendar, through a gmail account, is easy and free to use) where family members can input their social, work or important dates.
This will help you co-ordinate movements, lifts, babysitting etc so you don’t get caught out by date or time clashes. A calendar is also a useful tool for reminders and scheduling chores among family members.
Alternatively, you might prefer a family wall calendar where you can record everyone’s events and store all relevant letters, cards or papers.
6. Have a paper management system
Managing the endless paperwork that flows through a house is essential to feel organised.
Create a tabletop action file or in tray, a basic filing system for routine activities like bill paying and home maintenance and a long-term filing system for things like tax records and legal documents.
Put everything in your action file and decant accordingly once or twice a week. Also embrace the one-touch paper system – you should only touch any piece of paper once before either filing, dealing with or binning it to keep things moving!
Not all tips work for everyone, so it’s important you select those that can easily be slipped into your own routine. If you’re still looking for more inspiration, take a look at these tips on how to save time on household chores.