Happy Family: Ways to Make Your Home Peaceful and Orderly
As a mother of five who works from home, there’s one thing I know for sure: aiming for a flawlessly clean and orderly family life is a recipe for stress and disappointment for everyone in the family. Kids can’t thrive in a sterile, rigid environment—they need the freedom to play and experiment and just relax. And trying to keep everything perfect all the time will drive a mom nuts.
On the other hand, I don’t want any of my relatives to stage an intervention on a reality-TV show because I keep losing my toddler in a pile of papers, either. I find that a reasonably neat, organized, smoothly-run home makes everyone feel more peaceful and happy. Fortunately, it is possible to strike a happy medium and say “yes” to mess while still maintaining order.
Tips for Maintaining Order
Never leave a room without making it better
This was one of my mom’s guiding principles and one that has stayed with me because it works so well. If you get in the habit of always doing something to make a room better before you leave it—whether it’s picking those throw pillows up off the floor or grabbing an empty glass to return to the kitchen—you’ll do a lot of tidying without really thinking about it and the mess won’t have as much chance to pile up and overwhelm you. In my book, The Happiest Mom: 10 Secrets To Enjoying Motherhood, I give specific ideas about small things you can do effortlessly to help your house feel cleaner and calmer.
Establish a time and place for everything
Flexible routines (not necessarily strict schedules) and “homes” for all of our possessions are the backbones of peaceful, orderly family life. If your child always knows, for example, that writing utensils are in the right-hand desk drawer (and there’s a functional sharpener there, too) you won’t have to run madly around the house trying to find a pencil so he or she can start his homework. Similarly, if clearing the table and loading the dishwasher is a customary and reliable part of your after-dinner routine, everyone in the family will get used to it and you’ll have to do less, uh, nagging. SimpleMom has a great list of free downloadable tools you can use to help you decide who does what, and when.
Streamline and simplify
When we’re busy caring for kids—and, let’s face it, shuttling them around—who has time for complicated systems? Figure out simple calendar and filing systems that work for you and support your family’s lifestyle. There are a variety of tools that can help you keep things simple: for example, since I’m often on the go with my five kids, I like how AboutOne allows me to access scanned documents and files, birthdates, health insurance info, and other important information from my laptop or smartphone wherever I happen to be.
These three tips will help you make your home more peaceful and orderly…without being a perfectionist fun-killer. And that’s a recipe for happy family life.
What are ways that help you maintain the order and peace in your house?
Meagan Francis is the mom of five kids ages toddler to teen, and author of The Happiest Mom: 10 Secrets To Enjoying Motherhood. Meagan blogs about motherhood, family life, home and more at TheHappiestMom.com, and really believes that you can use the word "happy" and "mother" in the same sentence.
AboutOne.com is an online family management system that provides ONE place to safely store and manage memories and household information, including education, health, possession, contact records and more. The system allows you to capture and organize all the information you need to apply for college, and automatically formats that information in a helpful education summary report.
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