• Do you make a list before you go to the grocery store, and when you get home know exactly where the groceries go? Or, do you make a list and forget to take it, when you get home put the cold stuff away and leave dry goods on the counter.
  • When you get ready for bed do you sort all dirty clothes in the hamper according to color and weight? Or, do you throw them all towards the hamper and hope they make it in.
  • As you get the mail do you sort it? Or, do you open what looks important and then pile it all on the kitchen counter?
  • Are your meals planned out for the week? Or, do you start thinking about dinner around 5pm?
  • Do you know how much is in your checking account balanced to the penny? Or, do you just guestimate.
  • Do you wash your clothes, dry them, fold them and immediately put them away?
  • Or do they sometimes spend a week folded on the couch, and the socks a month in the basket?


I know of a household that consists of, one 13 year old daughter, one 4year old son, two 2 year old sons, a dog, and only one mom and one dad. This family is large and very active in church, extracurricular activities, family events, and friends. Organization is very low on the priority list. They eat dinner together 90% of the time, they work hard, they strive to keep a level head, and for the most part this family functions much better than many. Unfortunately, the dishes do not always get washed right away, floors could always use a sweeping, laundry can usually be found on the couch, and there are papers stacked on the kitchen counter. They are busy people who are just trying to make it from the first “I want milk” every morning, to the last “Good night I love you” every night.


With all of this going on, what level of organization can be expected? Is organization a skill, an art, or just something you are born with? If you go 30 years without it, can it be learned? How much effort will it take to learn and is it more important than the other stuff in your life?


I know that being organized helps relieve stress, but is doing the dishes right after dinner more important than giving the kids a bath and reading them a good night story? In all things there is usually a happy medium, what is this family’s happy medium?

  • Make the grocery list and remember to take it.
  • Always make sure the laundry goes in the hamper, even if it is not sorted.
  • Don’t get the mail until you are ready to sort it.
  • Get the family together and plan meals on Sunday afternoon. (or whatever day works)
  • As far as the checking account goes, to the penny is better, but as long as nothing bounces, I guess you are o.k. (the 13 year old might learn something from balancing the check book)
  • Try to do at least one load of laundry a day, although with a family this size you might need two. Make sure everyone is wearing pajamas and jeans twice.
  • Delegate chores:

* If mom does the folding let dad put away.

* The four year old can take care of gathering trash.

* The 13 year old can do the dishes while the parents are bathing and reading books.


It is not necessary to keep everything perfect. There is a happy medium between living and organizing for every family. If you look for functionality and not perfection you will find your families happy medium.


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