Janet Schiesl shares tips for managing a busy family and organizing your home and the basics of home organization
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Hi, I am Janet from Basic Organization. I am a professional organizer. I am also a member of NAPO, The National Association of Professional Organizers. I am here today, to give you some tips on how to organize your family. You need to think of your family like a small business. Whether you have two members or six, you need to organize them just as a business would organize themselves; different people doing different tasks at a different time, but they are all working together to get the job done. The first thing I would like to talk to you about is a family message center. There's four components to my family message center. The first is a message area, where your family can leave phone messages or write your notes on where they are, and when they will be home, so you know where everyone is. The second component is a calendar. You want to write down all your family's activities on a calendar, so you don't overly schedule your family, and you know where everyone is or everyone is supposed to be at all times. When your children are young you will do this for them, but as they get older they can participate in this. The third thing you need for a family message center is a phone list. I put mine inside the kitchen cabinet, that way it's great for quick reference, but it's out of the way. Every couple of years I type up all my family's phone numbers, friends, my children's friends, their school phone numbers, our doctors and dentist, the stores I shop at most, and maybe a favorite take out restaurant. There's always a lot of extra space on the side so we can jot in new phone numbers as we get them. Another trick I do is I put my children's school schedule also inside my kitchen cabinet. It's great for quick reference. And when they were younger, I used to put the schools bad weather policy, because when you wake up in the morning and it's snowing, you need to know what the schools policy is. The fourth thing you need for your family message center is a family file. You can use a drawer if you have the space in your house. But what you need is a file for each member of your family. This is where you keep current paperwork for each member. It may be all that stuff your children bring home on the first day of school, or the papers you pick up at parent night. School information, the teachers emails and phone numbers, that type of stuff, and also their sports schedules, their phone list from Brownies, a class schedule, if they take classes after school. For yourself, you would also need a folder, and there you would put your gym schedule or any activities you do. The last thing you might want in your family file center is a folder for family activities. This is where you drop articles from the newspapers or magazines about interesting things that you would like to do as a family. Great for quick reference when you are looking for something to do on a weekend. So, the four components you need for your family message center is a place to leave messages, a calendar where you write down all your activities, a phone list that will save you a lot of time when you are trying to locate something, and a family file center where you keep all your current papers for each family member. Thank you.