While I was growing up, my parents had a sign in our house that said something along the lines of, “We’d rather have happy kids than a tidy house”. While the thought behind it was lovely, as I grew older, I started to wonder, hey, why can’t you have both?
From an early age, I’ve always been very organised. It’s the foundation of my life. I’ve always kept my room tidy and ensure that there’s order in my world; that I know what’s going on. As an entrepreneur and CEO, I think being organised is a simple yet absolutely essential character trait. As a parent, I personally believe it’s a critical skillset that we need to teach our children.
So, here are our 5 “no brainers” on how to stay organised:
- Action. Simple tricks like completing a task, not leaving dishes in the sink, making the bed in the morning and putting away clothes gives you a strong sense of discipline and gives you an instant feeling of being organised – a great grounding for your habits/routine!
- Routine. This is so obvious, but so critical. Being organised means having good routines in place, and when you’re dealing with a whole flurry of different things (as we so often are these days), a routine is a lifeline. We both feel that sharing this “life hack” has also played an important role with having children. Simple things for kids work well, such as putting back toys when you’ve played with them and always tidying up at the end of the day. Safe to say, there’s no “We’d rather have happy kids than a tidy house” sign at our place!
- Responsibility. Be responsible for your areas (this extends out into life for grown-ups) and get your kids to be responsible for theirs. One of our core philosophies in business and parenting has always been around individual responsibility, and following that, accountability. At home, that means making sure the children tidy up their toys and keep their rooms tidy. Admittedly, our daughter (Leila) has thrown a spanner in the works and is the polar opposite of her brother; this means refusing to tidy up, and generally being a total three-nager!
- Encouragement. Never underestimate the power of positivity! Another big one for us in life generally, but more recently we’ve found it to be an incredible tool with our kids – particularly using rewards charts to encourage the right behaviour. This is starting to work its magic with the aforementioned three-nager who loves her Paw Patrol sticker chart.
- Clutter. Anyone who knows us know we’re not big fans of hoarding! This may sound a little brutal, but there are only so many pictures with yellow dots that Leila can make at kindy that I will keep. So, we’ve got into a process of showcasing her latest artwork on the fridge and quietly discarding the rest. Once a new piece gets put in the old spot we save the real goodies in her keep sake box. Same goes for Tom who will bring home “make it” from school – one comes back, the other makes its way to the recycling box.
It’s not really about attaining some zen-like sense of balance and perfection, it’s just that we all know how hectic and messy our schedules can get sometimes, but we find that with some solid routines and structure, we live a happy and organised life! Seriously, I wish I had an image to share with you of that poster.