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What things can we do as a family to organize the house together?

Getting kids and spouses to participate in organizing the house is sometimes like herding kittens – near impossible.  UNLESS…you make it fun.  Here are some ideas to get everyone to pitch in.

Les Mess Cards.  One fun way to get kids to help out is to use the Les Mess cards (http://www.lesmess.com/).  Each card has a simple activity and a time associated with it. For example, one card says:
30 to 60 minutes
Organize your toys, then you may play with them if your parents say it’s ok

Give them a try – it will make cleaning up a fun thing to do with your kids.

The Commercial Clean.  Every time you watch TV this week, use the two-minute commercial breaks to make a little headway on kitchen cleanup. Arm everyone who is watching TV with a sponge. At the start of every commercial break, head into the kitchen and scrub one thing. By the end of the evening, you should be in much better shape than you started – and you got to enjoy your shows!

Make a NOT to-do list.  The best way to start establishing habits is by seeing them written down and organized on a list. Keep your list handy, whether on a clean sheet of paper, or in a notebook.  Now take items off your list and create a list of things that can easily be done by a family member and ask them to complete the task.  Sometimes getting things done is all in the asking.  Use the Buttoned Up WouldYou.pad to ask for help from your loved ones.  (The request has already been made for you, all you have to do is fill in the appropriate blanks and highlight your overall level of gratitude! A perfect way to get the help you need to get help organizing your home.)

A home for everything.  It sounds so obvious, but you’d be surprised at how often this little thing is overlooked. Your family cannot put things away if they don’t have a place to go. Work with them to choose some fun (inexpensive) shelves, cubby holes, bookcases or storage boxes for their things. Work with them to figure out how to label the boxes (let the kids them pick silly names — anything to make it fun!) and decorate the labels you make for each shelf. The more involved the family is in the process of defining the structure, the more invested they will be in the process of staying organized.

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