8 Easy Ways to Keep Your Family Organized


Feeling frazzled? Me too! September means back to school and back to life without sunny summer vacations. Whether your kids are getting into their new routines or you could simply use more organization, we've found some great solutions for even the most chaotic homes. (See also: 6 Apps Every Dad Needs)

1. Command Center

Putting your calendar, bills, and all other important things in a central location is a good start. Check out this kitchen command center. You'll want to get one of those white board calendars and several colors of markers. Assign each member of your family a color and fill in all the month's activities. The rest of it is up to you. Folders and binders for bills, lists, and other sheets are also helpful.

2. Paperwork Storage

And let's talk about all those papers for a minute. Kids get all sorts of permission slips, report cards, photos, and other sheets for school, dance, sports, and so on. Try this paperwork storage idea that will ensure you won't lose a thing. Get one of those file boxes, hanging files, and some labels. You can organize by school year, month, or however makes the most sense to you.

3. Cubbies

My daughter's preschool has a whole wall of cubbies for coats, backpacks, boots, and all the stuff her classmates schlep to school. Bring this idea home by making cubbies to install in your entryway. If you search around, you'll find woodworking plans to build cubbies. You can even buy them at many stores. My suggestion? Repurpose a large thrifted shelf! This bookshelf turned locker will hopefully spark your creativity.

4. Marvelous Mudroom

Don't have space in the house for cubbies? Carve out a spot in your garage for this awesome DIY mudroom. Yours doesn't have to look just like the photo, but you'll want somewhere to hang your coats, another place for mittens and other accessories, a shoe rack of sorts, and maybe a large bucket for umbrellas and bigger items. Add a few framed photos for extra flair.

5. After-School Checklist

Give your child some responsibility with this after-school checklist. You can customize the sheet to list any tasks, chores, and other responsibilities unique to your family. Then frame it in a standard picture frame. Your kid can use a dry-erase marker to keep track of his or her progress. This idea would work great for adults too!

6. Junk Buckets

Finding odds and ends everywhere? I love these junk buckets for organization. They give you a beautiful way to collect all the, well, crap you find around your house. Get some plastic or metal buckets or bins, label them, and place them at the bottom of your stairway. Then take them upstairs each night before bed.

7. Cleaning Closet

Part of staying organized means keeping things tidy. Beef up your cleaning closet by getting some of those hanging organizers for your supplies like paper towels, window spray, antibacterial wipes, and more. You'll be able to fit so much more in even tiny closets this way. And if you have your kids help with chores, it'll be much easier for them to put everything back in place when they're done.

8. Simplified Life

If you've tried a lot of these ideas and still feel like life is crazy, try simplifying. Kate at House Mix went room by room in her entire house to find ways to cut back on clutter, save money, and maximize space. A lot of her efforts were trained on leaning out excess stuff that created mess and, therefore, sucked away time from more important stuff.

Sound intimidating? Start small. I've found that even cutting down on the number of clothes in my closet has brought me greater peace on the daily. (See also: 8 Essential Pieces for Your Capsule Wardrobe)

How do you keep your family organized and on task? Let us know in comments!

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