Do you ever feel frustrated with getting organized because it seems like your family makes it so hard? Today I’m talking about getting your family to help around the house so your home stays more organized. And if you’ve ever walked into a room to find a disaster soon after it’s been cleaned, you know how frustrating it can be!
How is your day going? I’ve been super busy. I woke up late and the last couple of weeks I’ve been soooooo tired. I just can’t seem to get moving early when don’t have to be at the ice rink before the sun comes up!
Yesterday I received this question in my email:
My biggest struggle is my family – husband and kids – who don’t put their stuff where they belong and 1-2 days after I clean or tidy there are jackets and socks everywhere- stuff on all counter tops etc. I tell them to put stuff on one counter / hang jacket/ put shoes in their place etc but it never seems to happen! So I stop cleaning.
This is a big frustration for a lot of women! You feel like you try so hard and no one appreciates your efforts. I understand!
Getting Your Family to Help Around the House
So, first all – your husband. You can’t make your husband help you. You ask nicely. You can pray about it. You can explain how the mess makes you feel. But ultimately, he has to decide it’s something he wants to do.
And if your husband does help out with washing the dishes or other chores, be sure to praise him and reward him for helping. Now I don’t want to make it sound like he shouldn’t help or that you don’t deserve his help. But, the truth is, husbands don’t always see things the way we do.
Your kids on the other hand… you can certainly require them to help you out, complete daily chores, and be responsible. There’s no reason why they can’t follow through on putting away their things.
So here are a few tips you can use to get your kids on board helping you around the house:
Have a Family Meeting
Whenever I have felt overwhelmed by household tasks, I have held a family meeting to discuss ways that everyone can contribute and be a contributing member of the family. In these meetings it’s important to treat everyone with respect. Don’t use this time to yell, scream, or cry.
- Explain why you need help.
- Explain what is expected.
- Explain the consequences.
The Family Meeting can be very helpful in a lot of different situations. It’s important that your family feels like a team. You can discuss your frustrations. Another great idea is to ask your kids for ideas about how to make things better. And then come up with a solution and write it down.
Make sure that the requests you ask of your kids are tasks they can reasonably complete without a lot of frustration or distress. A bad attitude about reasonable tasks isn’t something you should ignore. Getting your family to help around the house is a reasonable expectation.
But what do I mean by “be reasonable?”
If you expect perfection from your kids all the time, they will grow weary and frustrated. Don’t be a perfectionist. But do expect a reasonable amount of tidiness.
Give Age Appropriate Chores
From the age of 2 years old and older you can reasonably expect each child in your home to contribute something to the running of the household. You can download my age appropriate chore list here.
Chores build character in your children. When you expect your child to do chores he’s learning:
- a good work ethic
- how to be responsible
- that the world does not revolve around him
- that he is a part of the family unit
related: Age Appropriate Chore List
Create Routines for Your Day
Children thrive well under structure. Creating morning, afternoon, and evening routines is helpful not only for mom, but for the whole family. Daily routines become habits and we want to instill good habits in our kids!
So, for instance, if the children come home from school and dump all of their belongings in a pile by the door and then flops on the couch to play video games- they have developed that as a routine. A routine is basically a habit. You can help them create a new healthier routine. The afternoon routine might look like this:
- come home from school
- take shoes off and put them on the shoe rack
- place backpacks in bedroom near desk
- put papers for mama to sign on kitchen counter
- sit at kitchen table for a snack while mama asks about their day
- go outside to play and unwind
- chore time
- 30 minutes screen time
- supper time
Developing better routines is a great way to make getting your kids to help around the house part of your daily life.
Make it Mandatory
If you have asked your children to not leave their shoes in a messy pile beside the back door and they fail to do so, you need to insist. Part of teaching our children to be responsible is seeing that they follow through with those things that are required of them. For example:
Joey comes home from school and dumps his backpack, coat, and shoes in a messy pile by the door. Instead of feeling irritated and huffing away in frustrations, very calmly call Joey back to the scene of the crime. Point to the mess and calmly say, “Joey, I have asked you to put your things away. Please take these things to your room and put the shoes on the shoe rack in the garage.” It’s important not to raise your voice. Children don’t listen well when you raise your voice. Also, raising your voice in general is disrespectful. If he ignores you and goes to sit down with his electronic device, you can follow him, take the device and tell him he can have it again tomorrow. Then, insist he go put his things away. Don’t allow your children to ignore you.
You may want to read my article, Disciplining Better When Your Child is Older.
Following through and making sure your children do what is expected of them isn’t easy. Especially at first. If they are used to you ignoring their messy and bad behavior, they will surely resist any attempt you make at first to help them be more responsible. But training our children is so important!! Don’t grow weary in well doing mama!
One Week to a More Organized Home
Feeling frustrated with a messy, unorganized house? What if you could begin making a difference today? Get started getting your heart and home in order with my One Week to a More Organized Home where we will focus on Heartwork and Homework today!
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Homemaking is a ministry and whether you work outside the home or stay home full time, you are a homemaker!
I'm excited to share these ideas and more with you!