We all know the basic benefit of keeping things organized…a neat home. However, there are some hidden benefits that you may not have noticed. (Yep, they were probably hidden under the clutter. 😉 ) You’ll be surprised the hidden benefits your family will gain from organizing time, belongings, and schedules.
How many family fights begin with someone unable to find something? For example, the ever-elusive remote control seems to be missing; the family member who wants to watch TV gets frustrated and starts blaming others for losing the remote. Before you know it, the whole clan is in on the emotional high and no one is feeling very loving or giving.
Does this scene sound familiar? You’re trying to get out the door (of course you’re at least 10 minutes late) and your kids can’t find their shoes, books, whatever. You become frustrated and so do they. Tempers flare and before you can blink an eye, someone is ready to cry and someone is mad. Before you ask, “Yes! I was the one ready to cry about 1/4 of the time.
As you can see, being able to find stuff can go a long way toward creating family peace. Designate a place for those “slippery” items that tend to cause controversy: shoes, remotes, adapters, books. Each family member can have his or her basket to keep miscellaneous things in, and you can put a shoe rack or big basket/bucket by the door for shoes. You can also keep a list by your front door of what to check for before you leave: library books, glasses, keys, etc.
Organizing Time & Routines
Experts point out that children feel much more secure when there’s a routine. Knowing what to expect helps children stay calm and self-sooth. It also helps children stay on track when they do homework, get ready for bed and .
Well here’s a kicker, routines also help parents and other adults! The more confusion there is, the less we are able to remember the important “little details”. One example of this is being in the middle taking wet clothes out of the washer and thinking, “Ack! – It’s time to pick up Josh from practice.” Then you remember practice is tomorrow!
By organizing your family’s time and routines, you’ll find that you have more time to manage. Before you realize it, you’ll find yourselves trying to decide how to spend all of that extra time. The answer’s easy…spend it together.
Regular Family Meetings
When you begin to get a handle on the routines, schedule in regular family meetings. Maybe once a week or once a month works best for your family; whatever makes for a regular time to get together and air concerns, offer solutions, and brainstorm. Maybe you can tie it in with something fun, like a pizza or movie night. Depending on how and where you hold your meetings, you want to serve a special dessert during the meeting (like offices do with doughnuts.)
Meetings are a great time to get everyone’s schedule worked out and understood, and for family members to speak up about things that are bothering them. It’s also a good time to establish rules and make sure everyone understands what is expected and tolerated. It adds so much more peaceful when everyone is on the same page.
Once you’ve gotten a few things organized, the hidden benefits are probably pretty obvious. You may also have noticed that communication has opened up. Even your “don’t-talk-to-me” teen is probably making more comments. The increased communication is due to a variety of things, one of which is that more family time is available for talking. There is also the fact that you’re not wasting time arguing or looking for stuff.
One of the things I discovered (and you may, too) is that when everyone working together, the kids feel more willing to talk. I found this to be especially true with “tough” topics concerning their feelings and thoughts.
So, the gist of the matter is–if you want your family to get along better, have more time for fun stuff, communicate more effectively, and gain other benefits, start organizing!