10 Genius Tips for Creating a Family Organization System Everyone will Use

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It’s time for a family organization reset! It can be tough to get your family on board with a new organizational system, but it’s worth the effort. These ten genius tips will be a huge help!

family organization reset

10 Genius Tips for Creating a Family Organization System Everyone will Use

I don’t know about your house, but it is the time of year at my house where summer is catching up. The lack of schedule means the house is getting out of control. It’s time for a family organization reset. It’s hard to be thinking about back to school in the middle of July, but getting the next school year off to a good start is important!

Trust me that I know how hard it can be to organize a large family. Especially as the kids get older and more independent, keeping everyone on track and accounted for can be quite the challenge. You might think it’s tough with little kids, but I think it gets a bit harder when they all start going off on their own!

Getting a new org plan together takes some time and thought. You don’t want to spend a lot of time organizing your whole house only to have it back to the same mess it was in a matter of weeks. 

However, it’s highly likely that you’ll waste a lot of effort when everyone in the house doesn’t stick to the same habits. 

If you want to create an organization system the whole family will use, there are a few ways to make it easier and help everyone remember the new “rules.” The clearer and simpler your system is, the better everyone will be able to adapt to it.

These organization tips will help make the transition to a new family system smoother for everyone. Getting everyone on the same page is half the battle. Here are tips to get you there!

1) Have a color-coded family organizing system

There are so many ways to use color-coding to organize your home! Start by designating a different color for everyone in the house. Then label their things with those specific colors so everyone knows which items belong to each person.

For example, maybe every item Jack owns is red and Stephanie’s things are yellow. You can get items for each person in that color – think towels, dishes, bags, and notebooks. You can also use colored labels when you need to.

Some great ways to use color coding for organization are:

  • Give everyone their own toiletry bag with the right color to store all of their bathroom essentials.
  • Get colored towels (great for knowing who isn’t hanging their towel up!)
  • Keep a colored folder for each person’s important paperwork and mail.
  • Organize everyone’s lunches in colored bags or containers.
  • Create a color-coded calendar to use to remind everyone about events, activities, and appointments.
  • Have a colored coded laundry basket for each person’s clothing.
  • Attach colored tags to miscellaneous items that need to be organized.
family clutter

2) Get rid of the extra clutter

One of the simplest ways to stay organized is to have fewer items in the first place. Having too much stuff is more common than not, so clean out the house once in a while – and be ruthless!

If an item hasn’t been used in the last six months to a year and it’s not clothing that you’ll wear again, there is likely no reason for it to be taking up space in your home.

Sometimes, items that have sentimental value are the exception.

Items that you no longer need can be donated if they’re still in good condition. You might even be able to sell them and get some extra cash! Facebook marketplace and Craigslist are both good places to sell items to people in your local area.

If you have broken items or things that aren’t in good condition, you can simply throw them away or recycle them. Repairing items is always a good idea, but only if it can be done in a timely manner. Having broken items sitting around for a long time is not a good idea.

You should also try to bring fewer items into the house. Instead of buying a new item, consider if there might be an alternative. Could you borrow that item from someone else? Could you rent it instead?

Motivate your children to declutter as well. Let them sell their items and keep the money. Reward them with a movie or pool party when they’re able to clear out areas of their rooms.

3) Keep the family organization simple

Your organization system should be incredibly simple if you want it to be effective.  For example: instead of creating different schedules for everyone to follow, have your routines listed in one place that everyone can access.

When using tech to get organized, choose apps that sync together so information doesn’t get lost in the cloud.

Think about areas where there are multiple “systems” serving the same purpose and try to streamline it so there’s less confusion. The simplicity will help a lot when it comes to getting your whole family to stay organized.

4) Address the most troubling sources of disorganization first

It might be a good idea to tackle one area at a time as you’re getting organized. Instead of making a lot of big changes at once, start by addressing the areas that will make the most impact.

Identify where the most frustration occurs when it comes to organization. Is it clothing? Is it mail? Whatever seems to pile up the fastest should be addressed first. You can create and master a system for that one area before introducing another organization system. This way, no one gets too overwhelmed by trying to create a lot of new habits all at once.

Some of the most common sources of disorganization in the home to consider are:

  • Clothing
  • Mail
  • Toys
  • Electronics
  • Toiletries and personal care
  • Craft and project supplies

5) Highlight the benefits of family organization

Sometimes, not everyone is going to see the big picture of why it’s important to be organized. That’s why it’s a good idea to talk about the benefits so they can be encouraged to stick with it.

Being organized as a family means:

  • You will spend less time cleaning
  • Waste less time looking for items you misplaced 
  • Being organized as a family will save you money
  • Family organization can help you be more eco-friendly
  • More time to enjoy life
  • Improved mental clarity

When your family understands why getting organized is helpful for everyone, they’ll be more motivated and see it as a blessing rather than another chore.

Getting everyone on board to do family chores can be intimidating at first, but after you still to a schedule for a couple of months, the benefits will be clear.

6) Give everything a home

When it comes to the items that you use and love, make sure everything has one designated home. Unless items you plan to keep have a home, they’ll end up being put back in a random location. That just starts the whole cycle of disorganization over again!

You may need to come up with some more storage solutions to ensure that everything gets its own home. Hooks, shelves, cabinets, and drawers are all helpful.

When choosing a home for each item, consider who uses it the most and where it’s usually used. Making it accessible in the most efficient way will be the most successful way to keep it organized.

establish a weekly family meeting - family dinner

7) Establish family meetings

A weekly family meeting is a great way to get everyone on the same page. Family meetings get progressively more important when you have older kids doing their own thing. Making sure they know about upcoming doctor or dentist appointments, finding out who may need a ride where, understanding their sports and work schedules is key.

It doesn’t even have to be a formal meeting event. We like to have a Sunday Family Dinner where we go over the upcoming week and everyone gets on the same page. The kids know Sunday Family Dinner is a thing – and they make sure they’re home.

family command center

8) Make a family command center

Family command centers are a vital ingredient in creating a family organization method. We use a big calendar with a weekly format. The calendar tracks all kids activities, menu planning, chores and includes a place for a shopping list too.

This big paper calendar is a little redundant for me, since I totally rely on the calendar on my phone, but going over the paper calendar once a week during family meetings with the whole family is a great way to double check appointments, rides, and needs. 

What else is in our family command center?

  • File folders
  • Chore charts
  • Envelopes
  • Paper
  • Stamps
  • Checkbook

9) Start Doing 5 Minute Sanity Savers Throughout the Day

Start implementing five minute sanity savers into your day. By five minute sanity savers, I mean, set a timer for five minutes and do one task. When the timer goes off, you’re done. Here are a few to choose from –

  • Spend 5 minutes in the morning meal prepping for the day – this could be getting out meat to thaw, making sure you have ingredients for dinner etc
  • Take 5 minutes to declutter one area, like your kitchen, the table, the stairs, a bookshelf, your entryway. When time’s up – you’re done!
  • Spend 5 minutes in the evening going over the next day’s schedule. Think about what to serve for meals if you don’t have a plan
  • Take another 5 minutes for one more quick declutter: unload the dishwasher, fold a bit of laundry, start or switch a load etc.

10) Be patient

Always remember that the whole point of organizing your home is to bring you more peace. Be patient with adopting a new system – getting frustrated with family members who might not “get it” right away will only make matters worse.

A well-organized home can make everyone feel happier and more relaxed. Creating an organization system the whole family will use is a challenge, but it’s definitely worth the effort. If you take the time to consider your family’s needs and create a simple, clear system they can all remember, you’ll be on your way to a clutter-free home in no time!

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About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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