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How to organize your family in 2012

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Easy ways to organize

Many families find themselves disorganized, frenzied and frazzled from time to time. This year, get on the right track by getting your family organized with these helpful tips.
Closet

Declutter

StorageStart the new year off right by decluttering your house from top to bottom, including the closets. If you haven't used or worn something in six months, chances are you are never going to do so.

Donate, recycle or toss any items you don't want or need. Encourage your kids to donate used toys in order to make room for the ones they just got for Christmas.

If you aren't going to use something this season, store it away in the back of your closet, under your bed or in your attic.

Read about how to declutter and get organized >>


Tackle the worst

What's the messiest, most unorganized room in your house?

Whether it's the playroom or your bedroom, that's the place you should tackle first.

Starting with the most difficult project will make organizing the rest of your house a breeze.

Figure out why this room is so bad. If it's because you have too much stuff you don't need, then you need to purge. If it's because you don't have enough shelving and containers, it's time to buy some. Plastic or canvas bins in various sizes can hold everything from toys to tools to sewing supplies.

Install some shelves or a wall unit and then get organized, sorting all your items into bins, baskets and other containers. Label the containers clearly so that you (and your kids) will easily know what goes where.

 

Create a cleaning schedule

If it seems like your house never gets clean, create a cleaning schedule to get things under control.

Start by breaking down tasks by how often you need to do them. Daily chores should be basic items such as washing the dishes, sorting the mail, picking up toys and tidying up daily clutter.

Weekly chores are vacuuming, mopping, dusting, cleaning the bathroom, etc. You can put laundry on your weekly list, but it's often better to do a load or two of laundry daily instead.

Monthly chores should include cleaning ceiling fans, dusting light fixtures and clean window treatments. Also don't forget to clean the oven and refrigerator. Seasonal chores can be things such as cleaning your BBQ and patio furniture, as well as cleaning exterior windows, doors, gutters and siding.

Once you have broken down all your possible chores into these lists, you will better be able to create a practical cleaning schedule and chore chart for your family.

Read about the evolving chore chart >>

Scale back

The main reason that most families are disorganized is because they are completely overscheduled.

Scale back extracurricular activities this year. Your child doesn't need to sign up for every team, club or school event.

And likewise, you don't need to volunteer for every committee, function or special project. We all need a little less structured time to breathe and enjoy life.

Calendar

More about getting organized

How to organize your closet
9 Secrets of successful organizers

Quick organization tips for kids rooms

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