Chaos at home? Struggling to get it all done after a long day at work? Certified Professional Organizer® and Family Manager Coach, Ellen Delap, shares tips on how you get your family to pitch in.
The work day is ending, your second job at home is starting! Everyone is hungry, someone is missing something, laundry is in the living room, but most especially your family is nowhere to be seen and you haven’t heard from them. What’s a family to do?
There is something remarkable about family team building. We know there is an assault on our time and efforts as a family unit. Families are spending less time together, and more time with technology, even when they are at home at the same time.
It all starts with a family meeting. Gather your family together to begin talking about a family “mantra.” Not sure what that might be? Have everyone share what they think the family is about, no matter how random it may sound. You are hearing very valuable insight into what is really going on for your family. Here is your chance to get everyone going in the same direction. The bottom line is to encourage working together and “we’re all in this together.”
Family Fun Night
Now decide on a time you can meet weekly as a family. It should be a heads up if you can’t find a time other than 10 pm that you are all at home together! Evaluate the commitments that you and your kids have. We want our children to have opportunities for personal growth, however, remember there are different options and levels. Also, keep in mind you are modeling time management and helping your kids learn. For yourself, think about your level of outside commitments. It comes down to this, “We can do it all, just not all at the same time.”
Commit to meeting weekly as a family, regardless of whether it is the same day. Remember that having fun and getting together are the key points. Easy options are movie or game night, or be more creative with cooking dinner together, art and crafts or a family sport.
Figuring Out Family Jobs
On these family nights, take a few minutes to talk about responsibilities for your family. Think through a simple list and then be creative!
» Work from family members’ strengths and give everyone jobs they do well.
» Give the chores different point values by “difficulty” of completion.
» Create partnerships to complete the chores, such as mom/son make the dinner, dad/daughter do the dishes.
» Set a time where everyone picks up and puts away each evening.
To finalize, create a chart for the responsibilities and post it where everyone can see it. Purchase a family month at a glance calendar to post in a prominent place to capture upcoming dates, commitments and activities. It will serve as a reminder throughout the week of what is going on and keep everyone on the right track. Remember to add family night and upcoming family events.
Family team building not only makes for a smoothly running home, but also adds fun, cohesiveness and communication. And we all want that!
About the Author
Certified Professional Organizer ® and Family Manager Coach, Ellen Delap, is the owner of Professional-Organizer.com. Since 2000, she has worked one-on-one with her clients in their home and offices, streamlining their environments, creating effective strategies for an organized lifestyle, and helping them to prioritize organization in their daily routines. She holds ADD and Chronic Disorganization certificates and specializes in working with ADD and ADHD adults and students. Ellen has been featured at The Woodlands (Texas) Home and Garden Show, on ABC13 Houston, in the Houston Chronicle, and is an Expert on The Clutter Diet, an online organizing resource.