Getting Your Kids on the Tidy Up Bandwagon

by Donald F. Norton 08/11/2019

No doubt about it, family life can be messy!

With you working all week, the kids going to school, and the dog, well, doing dog things, it doesn’t take long for the house to end up a mess. You manage to finish the dinner dishes but when you take a look around at everything else you just want to curl up on the sofa for the evening. Or, you look at the stack of decorator magazines on, or under, the coffee table and wonder how other people get it all done while you feel like a first-class failure (at housekeeping, that is).

Here’s the dirty little secret …

Nobody gets it all done by themselves. Comparing yourself to glossy magazines or social media is downright debilitating. And it’s unproductive because what you see on those pages isn’t real. Entire teams of designers, decorators, movers, and cleaners set up those spaces.

Getting real …

So, create a system that is real for you and your household. Don’t strive for perfection, do work at consistency instead. And first up … get everyone in the house on board.

Pick one simple thing and start there. Make that one thing the only thing you worry about getting done at the end of the day. Give everyone a part in the one thing. So … if every family member has a bin, basket, or plastic tub, their one thing is to collect all of their belongings from the living areas in their container and take it to their room each evening as they head for bed.

Kids can grab their toys, jackets, and shoes. Once the container reaches their room, don't worry too much about getting everything put away at first. You're creating a new habit, so working on the "removal from the living areas" first. After a couple of weeks of consistent follow-through, add just one more step. Try something simple like, put hang up your jacket on the hook, or put your shoes in the closet.

As each one thing becomes habitual, add one more. But don't add too many or something too difficult because that can backfire on you.

Make décor work for you …

Dripping pots of hydrangeas on artfully stacked books don’t work in a household of children, one living area where the coffee table holds cups and glasses, several electronics remote controllers, and today’s homework.

If what works for you is adding a flat basket to hold the controllers and gathering up the glasses at the end of the evening, don't complicate it by adding dust-catching décor that makes life more difficult, or gets in the way of your second grader's homework getting done.

Your home is about living life. Your life.

If you find your home no longer works for you, share your needs with a real estate professional that can help you decide if a new home is in your future.

About the Author
Author

Donald F. Norton

Thank you for viewing my website, and why I hope you will choose me to represent you as your agent whether your buying or selling here in the Boston/North Shore area. A lifelong resident of Somerville, married to Patricia in 1967 and together we raised a small family, we owned our first home in 1972 a single family and our second home was in 1976 in the City Hall area of Somerville, we both have worked for the city off and on over the years, but together we got our Brokers license in 1977. With a small group of individuals we opened our first company in 1983, lower Broadway with Ross Blouin, Don Snow, Ron Marble, Roy Scarpato, Jerair Gharibian and Stan Koty we ran a successful Real Estate company till 1990 when we all broke up and decide to go on our own way, still maintaining a friendship the entire time.    In 1990, Patricia and I purchased the ERA franchise for the local area, that we kept for just about 20 years and then decided it was time to move on without the high cost of a franchise and to maintain the business on our reputation which was and is one of the best in the area. We pride ourselves on innovations and moving ahead of the business, being first in a web page using the internet to market homes, being one of the first to look at Buyer agency as a unique opportunity to represent clients interest in buying as well as our clients the sellers in selling. We are proud of our work, our long time in the business, lots of agents and brokers come and go, we are still here, one of the oldest companies to keep on moving ahead. I am also a state certified Real Estate Teacher, since early 1990's. I have taught at Somerville High Adult Evening School for about 18 years, successfully having a high success rate in students passing the exam. I am a member of the TAN network of broker/agents, Top Agent Network, which is an exclusive organization of only those agents who have obtained top sales over the years, I rank in the top 20% of the agents/brokers active today and have for many years. I have sold over the years, churches, shopping centers, large commercial and all kinds of residential properties throughout Massachusetts since 1977. I personally and as a broker/owner have never had a violation of Ethics or even a lawsuit for myself or our company. I teach our agents to represent clients in buying or selling a property as if it's their own transaction. We stand by our clients as if they were the only ones we represent.