(ARA) - Between work, school, children's activities, family obligations and travel plans, today's busy families are left with little time to keep their homes tidy and well-organized. With summer fast approaching, it is important for on-the-go families to realize that home organization does not have to be difficult or time consuming.
If you follow these tips, you will learn to prioritize your home organization needs, delegate responsibilities, and ultimately save valuable time:
* Make a plan: Keep a small journal in which you list all the areas you would like to tackle before the summer. This will remind you what to focus on and help you organize and clean in less time.
"Busy families need a good system of organization - places to put things and labels for identifying what you've stored so you can easily find whatever you need quickly and easily," says Martha Stewart, founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, "With that in mind, we have created a very effective, thoughtfully designed, and beautiful array of products manufactured by Avery and available at Staples and on staples.com."
* Teach your family to pitch in: If you're the main housekeeper, it's reasonable to ask family members to help with chores such as loading the dishwasher, picking up toys, taking out the trash and doing the laundry. Delegating small chores throughout the year makes larger organization projects a much easier task.
* Stick to a schedule: The new Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery line at Staples offers dry-erase weekly planner calendars, allowing you to create chore charts for family members and assign each task a time slot or day of the week. Place the chart on the door of the refrigerator, so everyone sees it regularly. Schedule a cleaning task as you would a play date or other fun activity.
* Tackle one room at a time: To prevent yourself from becoming overwhelmed, it is important to identify the areas that need to be organized. From there, determine which tasks are most necessary in each of those rooms. For example, in your home office, you may need to declutter your desktop by filing away papers in magazine files or organizing financial information in a freestanding accordion file. The Stack+Fit system from Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery, available at Staples, provides many options that can be customized to your specific needs.
* Use bins and labels to organize trash: Instead of simply dividing items into separate piles that will likely get knocked over or mixed up, use plastic bins and adhesive labels that say keep, recycle, or donate.
These simple steps make home organization more enjoyable and manageable for a busy, active family. Follow the tips to freshen up your home and get ready to enjoy summer.