When it comes to our family life, time management can get tricky—or easily forgotten!

Somewhat ironically, when life gets busy, we feel that we simply don’t have enough time to get organized. Yet, in reality, the more organized you are, the more time you’ll have.

But as we all know, getting organized isn’t a once-and-done endeavor. Instead, it’s an organic process; something that happens slowly over time. In many ways, it’s the result of many smaller steps—all important and all working together to ensure a seamless end result.

Keeping your family organized is an excellent first step towards reducing chaos in the home. It means less stress, less time spent looking for things, and more quality time together as a family.

If you’d like to make strides towards a more organized family life (and let’s face it—most of us would!), then here’s a look at a few tips that you may want to consider trying!

Hold Family Meetings

Meetings aren’t just for the workplace! Family meetings are tremendously important; giving everyone a chance to connect –whether you meet every month, or when you’re at a crossroads or experiencing significant life changes. It’s an ideal time to set goals, crunch the numbers, and come up with action plans for tackling specific issues. Taking the time to talk things through will help you to ensure that you’re on the same page, and allow you to work together to reach those important goals.

Plan Out Your Meals

Making a meal plan for the week can also help to keep you organized. Planning ahead will help to prevent that last-minute rush to get dinner on the table and as a bonus, can even help to save you time. It also allows you to source all of the ingredients that you need for the week—saving you from running out mid-week!

Make Grocery Lists

Following on from meal planning, making grocery lists can help to make trips to the grocery store far more efficient, while making it easier not to overspend on impulse items. It’ll also help you to avoid forgetting much-needed items while you’re in the store!

Keep Your Inbox Tidy

Who wants an overflowing inbox? A messy inbox can be a source of frustration for most of us. Keep your mailbox squeaky clean by maintaining different email addresses for work, personal, and newsletter subscriptions. Be sure to unsubscribe from those letters that you’d rather not receive. Consider having a system for checking your mail at designated times of the day, and dealing promptly with the emails during those windows.

Pencil in Time for Friends

Don’t let your friends fall by the wayside! Be sure to pencil in time to spend with them as well. Making time to spend with friends and loved ones can make a big difference in our outlook and disposition, and by carving out time and jotting it down in your planner, you can ensure that too much time doesn’t pass before you see them again!

Don’t Forget to Delegate

Don’t forget to delegate tasks around the home. Consider dividing the household chores up among family members to help keep the house clean and tidy; assigning tasks based on each child’s age and capabilities. If life is especially busy, you may even want to consider getting a cleaner to come in every week and do the mopping and dusting. By outsourcing the tasks that you find especially tedious, you can reclaim your time, and feel better for it.

Create Shortcuts to Stay Organized

Make it as easy as possible to stay organized. Ensuring that everything has a place can help to save you from having to waste time constantly searching for missing items. Things such as coat hooks for each family member, specific baskets for homework, and places for keys and mail can help keep clutter to a minimum and prevent things from getting lost.

You’ll also want to keep your eyes open for little timesavers that you can employ. For example, consider storing your plates, cutlery, and cups so that they’re close to the dishwasher or sink—to make short work of putting away dishes. Look to invest in racks, separators, boxes, and totes that will help you to keep your things organized and tidy—but, at the same time, be sure to adopt a “less is more” philosophy.

At the end of the day, much of our problem with keeping organized comes down to an overabundance of stuff. If you don’t love it or need it, consider donating it or throwing it out. Your home will feel better for it!

Be Realistic

Finally, don’t feel pressured into saying yes to everything. Remember, your family should come first! Be realistic about your commitments and keep in mind your goals before agreeing to yet another commitment. If it’s not something that you’re passionate about, consider passing on the opportunity—especially if it means that something else in your schedule will have to go.

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Keep in mind that the best way to create solid organizational systems is by getting everyone on board. When all members of your family are on the same page, you’ll have an easier time implementing new systems—and sticking to them as well. Slow change is often more lasting than hurried changes that are rushed through, so look to introduce change in smaller steps.

Getting organized can help to make life easier, more pleasant, and less stressful. It requires an initial time investment, but in the end, you’ll have more time, energy, and freedom—things that we can all appreciate and use more of, especially in today’s fast-paced world!

Next week in this series, we’ll uncover how to streamline your morning routine and how to get organized financially. Stay tuned for more tips on leading an organized life!

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