10 Tips for Getting NYC Family Members On Board with Organizing

  1. Talk to your family about the rewards and benefits of having control over their things and their space. Remind them how nice it is to sleep in a neat room, how easy it is to find what they need, and how much easier life is when you’re organized!
  2. Set realistic expectations. Don’t expect perfection, but start small as new habits take time to become routine.  Start with an area or two the family can agree on that should be neat. Be patient and give a lot of positive feedback for all efforts to maintain neatness.
  3. Spouses and “significant others” often have different opinions about neatness. Make you’re your ideas are reasonable and remember that compromise may be necessary to maintain the peace in the relationship.
  4. Post a family calendar in a prominent place where the family gathers. Make it easy for everyone informed about the activities that involve them.
  5. Establish clear house rules such as picking up the bedroom before going to sleep, dirty clothes go in the hamper, school supplies are ready to go in the morning, etc.
  6. If kids have trouble staying on task, set a timer and let them know they can stop or switch tasks when the timer goes off.
  7. Prepare for the next day the night before. Go over the next day’s activities with your children so they’re prepared and learn good habits at an early age.
  8. Help kids make decisions about what stays and what goes in their room. If they can’t make up their mind about some items, put the items in a sealed box for a couple months – mark the date on the box with a sharpie.  If the box hasn’t been opened in two months, donate it to charity.
  9. Involve your kids in where their toys should be donated so they get in the habit of giving. Let them know how their giving is helping other children who don’t have as much and how it makes them feel special.
  10. Use fun and attractive organizing products for kids – Cool striped folders, bins in their favorite colors, nice locker organizers, kid-friendly labels, and a fun chore chart with rewards for good behavior.

Guest author Terri Stephens is the founder and Chief Professional Organizer of Real Order Professional Organizing, LLC. Since 2003, she’s helped busy homeowners with their clutter and organizing needs in metro Atlanta and surrounding areas. Terri is also a Senior Move Manager and helps older adults and their families with later-life moves.

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