How to run your household smoothly

Sometimes, it only takes the smallest thing to make your life easier. These are the top tips from design and organizing experts to make your home a pleasant, efficient place.

1

There is a place for everything.

“Everything, everything and everything,” says Stacy Erickson, a professional organizer specializing in family and child environments. “Everything should be kept off the floor or counter, from spare change to lunchboxes and sports equipment.

2

Delegate

“I have each child take responsibility for one part of the house,” said Margene Salzano, Blogger Mom Adventures. “Since it is a large task, they have to figure out how to keep it clean every day.”

3

Avoid over-sorting

Erickson says parents want their toys to be well-categorized, and children don’t care. It’s impossible to convince your children to keep Barbie’s clothes in one bag and Barbie’s shoes in another. Keep all small parts of toys in one place. There’s one box you can dig through. Although it seems counterintuitive, it makes cleanup so much simpler.

4

Follow the path of least resistance.

Your kids won’t hang their coats on hangers, no matter how organized you make your entryway. Erickson says, “Set up an easy system.” Erickson says, “A basket for them to put their coats in, and a hook at their height to hang their coats.” It shouldn’t take too many steps, or it will frustrate the kids.

5

Invest In Baskets

“I use them for everything, cleaning products to toilet papers, and each basket is labeled with its contents on the outside so it is easy to find items and keep track of what we need at the store,” Gina Gelo, mom, blogs at Rose. Baskets are cozy and can be filled with wooden blocks, stuffed animals, and even extra blankets for rainy and movie nights.

6

Storage in every room

Gelo says that Gelo’s daughter enjoys playing with her toys in different rooms. I keep wicker baskets in the corners of my family room, kitchen, and under the coffee table next to the fireplace. Because she doesn’t have a playroom, she can be free from her bedroom. It’s never messy. It is easy to keep it clean and makes me a very happy mom.

7

Display a Family Calendar

The easiest way to keep everyone on track is by having a large calendar hanging on the kitchen wall. To create a simple message center, add a dry erase board (for family messages) and a corkboard for appointment slips and permission slips. Wall Pops offers the Floral Medley Organiser Kit.

8

Keep all those plastic sippy cups organized.

Coordinately your Blogger and entertaining expert Julie Blanner was dissatisfied by the “amount of plastic that comes along with children.” One cup is needed to hold the others, and they all tip over.

Blanner devoted one cupboard (near the dishwasher) to plastics. The cups are kept on the lowest shelf to reduce the chance of falling off when she grabs one. Blanner says that removing plastics from glassware and daily dish cabinets made them more organized.

9

Choose furniture carefully

Blanner has one of her living room end tables located near the mudroom. Blanner says, “We use it for things like my daughter’s blanket and her stroller toys and car.”

Blanner, who is super organized, uses her family heirloom dresser in the living room. It holds their linen napkins, tablecloths and place cards, and other entertaining necessities.

10

Maintain a running list

“My No. My No. 1 organizing tip is keeping a running record of everything you need to do,” Lauren Holmes says.

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