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Organizing and Maintaining a Home is a Family Affair



Getting your home organized and keeping it that way has many benefits. It’s great that you are comfortable with having a friend or family member drop by at any time. A well-organized home is less stressful and will save you time and money. Reducing clutter opens your home for healthful living. Maintenance of your home is critical because organizing is not a once and done deal.


So, if we agree that the home should be organized and maintained, who is responsible?


If you live in the home, it is your responsibility. Individual or private areas of the home are the responsibility of the person who uses that space. The man cave is the responsibility of the person who enjoys that space. If more than one person uses the space it is the responsibility of all who use it. Bedrooms are the responsibility of those who sleep there. Common areas are the responsibility of all.

How this responsibility is divided amongst family members is dependent on many factors.


· Physical ability

If a person is ill or has physical or mental disabilities, the organizing and maintaining needs to be modified to fit their situation. If the person cannot do laundry, they might sort and fold clothes. If they can’t clean up in the kitchen or cook, they might help plan menus.


· Time

Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day but how much of that is discretionary time varies. If a person is on a job – either in a workspace or dedicated time from home – they can’t do organizing or maintenance work during that time period. Factor in the time available to work in the home and divide up the tasks accordingly. Know that many tasks can be done in 10-minutes or less. Check out these cards that give step-by-step directions for short tasks that can be done by most people in your family.

For fun check out this video of a 3-year-old using one of the cards.


· Motivation

Some areas of the home are more important to one member. If one person does most of the cooking, the way the kitchen is organized and maintained means more to that person. They will probably be the main source of putting together the organizational plan. They may do more of the maintenance than others in the family but not all of it.


· Age

Children as young as two can start putting their toys away in a bin or collecting silverware off the table after a meal. Toddlers love to help and feel proud of their accomplishments. There are chore charts that can help you determine what is reasonable but of course each child is different so modify accordingly. Diane Quintana and I wrote a couple of children’s books for the younger set to help teach organizational skills. Check out Benji’s Messy Room and Suzie’s Messy Room for tips and ideas.


If you feel that your home needs some reorganization and that the maintenance tasks are not shared by others in the family, hold a family meeting. Talk about what is working and what is not working in your home. Come up with a plan to improve.


Everyone will benefit if everyone enjoys a clutter free space.


If you want help or just some accountability in organizing a space in your home or working out a maintenance plan, join Diane Quintana and me on our Clear Space For You clutter support group.


Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, award-winning author, as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients tackle the toughest organizational issues. Jonda does hands on organizing and virtual organizing. For more of Jonda’s tips connect with her on Facebook.

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