If you or someone you know is going through a change in household, look no further than the experts at Me In Order. We’re here to help!
My mother is currently in her mid 50’s and living her best life. She is a successful high school Advanced Placement Literature teacher, an avid swimmer at the local YMCA, currently in the throes of writing her own novel, and on top of that, runs our entire household, is in charge of our two little pugs, takes care of my dad and younger brother, and is always available whenever I need a venting session over the phone.
It was surprising when she told us, a little over a year ago, that she wanted to go back to school and establish her lifelong goal of getting her master’s degree; something that has been on her bucket list for as long as I can remember.
You can only imagine how big of a change our household went through the past year and a half.
As of now, my mother is almost done with her degree. It has been challenging, not only for her but for everyone in our family and even though I’m not currently living at home, I definitely have noticed a shift in our household.
When the prime matriarch of the house no longer has time to cook, clean, do laundry, plant flowers, walk the dogs, etc. you know that things are going to spiral out of control.
Thankfully, my mother and father worked out a good system which allows my mother to go after her dreams without dumping everything on my dad and brother.
If you or someone you know is going through a change in household, take my parents advice and follow these steps:
1. Communicate with Your Family Members
Communication is key. When my mom decided that she wanted to go back to school, the first thing she did was communicate her desire to our family.
She let us know the huge time commitment she would have to give towards school, and that as an effect, some things would need to change around our household.
We heard her loud and clear.
As a result, we made sure to divvy up the household chores and find alternative ways to keep the house clean, organized and functioning properly.
For example, my brother took over the dog-duties such as walking, feeding and vet appointments. My dad was assigned the house-hold maintenance such as vacuuming, laundry and yard work. I even volunteered to organize our home, room-by-room, each time I visited home (you can read more about my organizing adventures here: https://meinorder.com/order-u-welcome/orderuniversity/)
An organized household runs on good communication; once you communicate, then you can form a plan. If for some reason, you don’t have time to plan, then assign the task of formulating a plan to someone else i.e a spouse, a parent or a family friend.
2. Create a Family Calendar
An organized household also relies on a clear family calendar. Invest in a kitchen calendar or even require everyone in your family to download a calendar app (everyone has a smartphone nowadays!)
With a new change in household, there is bound to also be a change in your family’s day-to-day schedules. Before the change begins, take some time to lay out everyone’s schedule.
My mom made sure to purchase a calendar that she hung in the kitchen for our whole family to see every day. From there, she itemized her class schedule, paper due dates, exam dates, exercise classes, etc. That way, we could clearly see as a family where she would be focusing all of her energy.
From there, we filled in doctor’s appointments, dinners, outside activities, days the house needed to be cleaned, etc.
Our kitchen calendar has been extremely helpful in keeping our family organized and on task. We refer to it whenever we need to see what needs to be done in preparation of events coming up in our busy lives.
3. Hire Outside Services
Some things, you just can’t get done even if you try. My mom was stressing out a few months ago about keeping up with the house. Even though everyone in the family was participating and helping, we knew there were some rooms that hadn’t been given the attention they needed.
For that reason, my parent sought out an outside cleaning service. They hired a maid service to come by every 2-weeks to deep clean our house. Trust me; it’s a small price to pay to alleviate some stress.
If you just can’t seem to delegate the household tasks to your family members, you can hire outside services such as maid service, lawn care, pet care, or babysitting. If you’re worried about pulling together the money to hire some people, you can try skipping out on your weekly dining out, Starbucks coffee, spa services, etc.
By trimming some costs, you will help be able to pull together the cash you need to pay for these much-needed services.
4. Plan Before the Change
I think the biggest thing my family learned during this change in household was that they needed to plan before the change occurred.
Thankfully, my mom had a couple months ahead of time before she started her first semester in her master’s program. If you do have some time available before your change in household, then take that time to communicate with your family, fully clean out your house, get organized, and prepare for the next months (or years) ahead.
Some people are not that lucky and have a change in household almost immediately. If this is the case, try to remain as calm as possible; just breathe and take a few minutes to write out your next steps.
You can even consult the help of a Me In Order Expert Organizer to help you get your house ready for your next change in household. We know things can change at the drop of a hat…and because of that, we are here to help!
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