Organizing your New Home – Recruiting Others

12057397_SYou may have included your family when visiting your Fulton Home during construction, and they may have helped pack and unpack their own rooms, but now that you’ve moved into your new home, how about recruiting them to help you organize it?

You know that they contribute to the disorganization, so your spouse and children can be a terrific resource when figuring out how to create organizational systems that will last.

Start with one space in your home, such as the front or garage entryway. Do these spaces end up as catchalls for shoes, books, purses, keys and other things? If you chose the Fulton Drop Center built-in for your home, bring your family together to assign spaces, drawers and shelves to some of this clutter. You may even want to label some of it.

Could a drawer be assigned to each child to hold homework as well as notes to or from the teacher, and your spouse’s car keys? Would a bench with slots for shoes under it in the hallway help?

The kitchen is another space that begs for group organization. Setting up a breakfast center with various cereals, an area for making lunches with bags and containers, and placing a selection of afternoon snacks in a specific spot might help contain potential messes. Add in a few rules such as everyone bringing their dishes to the sink, rinsing them off and putting them in the dishwasher and you are on your way to a kitchen that keeps itself under control with only minor reminders from you.

Once you move on to coordinating homework, laundry and any other regular organizational challenges, you’re on your way to a more organized home. One final suggestion: provide regular prizes or little treats as a reward for maintaining the organizational system – for you as well as your family.

School Organizing

Are your children well prepared as they start school or are you dealing with missing assignments and notebooks that seem to disappear every morning?

You can help your children stay organized for school by setting up personalized “lockers” at home. These can range from space on a bookshelf to storage containers or bins. Even a small file cabinet would work. By making sure school materials have an assigned place, getting ready in the morning will be less stressful. Here are a few hints to make this work.

Choose a good location. Your children are more likely to use the assigned space if they pass it as they walk into the house. Find space near the front door or inside by the kitchen and label each child’s bin or area so there are no arguments. It’s OK if they just dump their books and papers inside. At least they’re all in one place.

Have one bin for school supplies. This makes it easy for everyone to stay stocked up.

Make sure the spaces are large enough. If your kids run out of room, the overflow may end up on the floor or a counter near-by, which defeats the purpose. Remember that they will accumulate more materials as the school year continues. You may need two bins eventually – one for current work and the other an archive for past notes and papers.

Leave a treat in each child’s assigned spot for the first few weeks. A mini candy bar or a small toy rewards your children for putting their school materials away. Be creative to keep it surprising and exciting. After three weeks – the time it takes to make or break a habit – move to occasional treats.

Have a clean-up day once a month. This gives everyone the chance to get rid of papers or notes that they will no longer need or move some things to the archive bin, keeping the current bin under control.

Why not try this approach? With just a few steps, you can reduce the tension of tracking down school materials and make the school year easier and more organized.