As an organizer, people ALWAYS ask me if my house is organized. Yes, it is. But, like many of you, I live with family, which means my standards and systems can be different from theirs. Very different. For example, I make a meal, the kitchen gets cleaned up and items get placed back where they belong…they make a meal and well, they make another meal and maybe another, before anyone even notices the stack of dirty dishes, open containers, and cluttered counters… which seems to have merged with yesterday’s newspaper and tomorrow’s homework…
And that is how it goes. Sound familiar? It does because it is. It is life, and even as an organizer, when you live with other people, there has to be some compromise. There is no magic wand to change people and their habits, but we can all make a stronger effort to try and perhaps take on a some new tasks or habits, or refine ones we have in place.
Helping people get organized has taught me to think about:
-Communication. Talk to each other about your organizing expectations and styles.
-Common areas. Shared spaces such as the family room or kitchen should be the spaces that everyone needs to help keep organized.
-A Positive Attitude. Be positive about dealing with stuff – you can set the tone for your household. Don’t nag, it only makes it worse.
-Choose your battles. Do you want the wet towels hung up or the laundry put in the closet ? Do you want the counters cleared or the mail opened?
-Don’t criticize the way someone else organizes – we all have different styles and systems that work uniquely for us and the way we live and work.
-A little each day goes a long way. Finally, even if you are the designated ‘organizer’ in your home, do a little each day to make the process and the volume less overwhelming.