Pam Young is co-author of the best-selling book Sidetracked Home Executives: from Pigpen to Paradise, which has sold over a million copies and is still in book stores after three decades. She teaches with humor and insight and her audiences take away strategies and practical steps to self-improvement in whatever area they choose.
Pam encourages all families to get organized. But, the reason to get organized is not just to have a clean house. She has found that the more organized you are, the more habits and routines you have in place, the more time you have to spend with your kids.
Here are some of Pam’s tips for getting organized:
1. Start with a list of what has to be done in your house.
2. Ask yourself how often do you want to do each thing on the list.
3. Look at the calendar first thing each morning to see what the priorities are for the day. Do the most important tasks first.
4. Use a 3×5 card file system. Use one card per task. File the card when the task is completed.
5. For kids, use 3×5 cards with pictures of tasks (brush your teeth, make your bed, comb your hair, take out the trash).
6. Use a tickler file for days of the month.
7. Write down a weekly plan. Assign a day for: “errand day”, “desk day”, “cleaning day”, “free day”, etc.
8. Break your house into zones: kitchen, bathroom, master bedroom, living room, dining room. Tackle one zone per week.
When asked “How do we teach kids to maintain a clean room?” Pam replied:
1. Teach them consistency through routines.
2. Get rid of extra clothes and toys. Don’t allow more toys to come into the room until they give up some toys.
3. Create a “House Fairy” for kids aged 3-10 Tell your children, “If you clean your room the “house fairy” might come by and leave you a surprise.”
Pam firmly believes that you can have peace of mind by eliminating the clutter from your life. It’s a good idea to get rid of 50% of the stuff you have (or at least store it for a time). We have to continually let go of things in order to have a clutter free mind and life. The more stuff we have, the more distractions we have. When we get rid of stuff, we have more peace.