Six easy ways to clear clutter and get your household running smoothly

Would you believe that the key to a healthy life is an organized one? They say the state of your home reflects the state of your mind. Is your home working for you?

As busy parents, consider how much time is spent looking for things that go missing, or putting away stray items because things just simply do not have a designated place. Then consider taking the time you invest each week do mundane organizational chores and putting that time into something you enjoy … or nothing at all?

Here are six easy ways to get your household in tip-top shape and running smoothly, like a well-oiled machine:

Designate a homework spot. Keep pens, pencils, glue, construction paper, looseleaf, rules, and anything you might need for your child’s particular homework located in handy spot directly near the table or desk you would like the to do their work. Keep all supplies there all the time, and let your child know that homework time happens there.

Create a to-go center. Keep keys, ID cards, Purell, bus passes, etc. right on a shelf or another area right by the front door. Nearby, create another area to keep jackets, sweaters, umbrellas, and hats and gloves in an easily accessible bin. This ensures that anything you need will be located right by the door, eliminating last-minute full-house searches when you’re trying to get out on time.

Make a place for everything. You know the extra plastic bags, loose pins, tie offs, scrunchies, and stray receipts you find literally everywhere around your house? Wait for a rainy weekend and create a spot for each one! The local dollar store sells multiple small stackable drawers that can easily fit inside a kitchen cupboard, and are ideal to hold small items in individual compartments.

Teach your kids to help from a very early age. Kids can either learn to become tidy or not. Once they do, hold them to it. That alone will give you several minutes everyday with less for you to do. It will also enable each family member to pitch in and take care of the home. It will also help create a new generation of efficient adults.

Designate specific days for tasks. Laundry day on Friday, food prep on Sundays, vacuuming on Thursdays, etc. Setting aside specific days to attack particular tasks forces you to get that chore done that day, and on a regular basis. It also helps keep you from feeling overwhelmed with many chores all at once because now each task will have a different day to get done.

Enlist help! From an early age, require your kids to become responsible for the order of your home. Using age-appropriate tasks and consequences, this daily type of maintenance becomes a way of life for them — and you. And do not forget to include your spouse in this equation! After all, why should you be the sole one responsible for the cleanliness and order in your home? That will only lead to resentment, and that is not fun for anyone involved.

Danielle Sullivan is a writer living in New York City. Follow her on Instagram @Deewrite.