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August 2009 Blogs
ORGANIZATION, August 2009, by Jenny McKee
What to do if YOU are tidy
but your family isn't
I am the only one in my family who has a clean room! My parents and my brother are soooo messy, like as in OINK OINK, and it’s embarrassing to have friends over. I’m done with cleaning up after them. They won’t do it and when I do it all it gets messy so fast after and then I get mad. Like, is it that hard to put away a DISH!? How can I make them be cleaner?
- Melana, 14
Thanks for the question, unfortunately there is no way you can 'make' them do anything. I’m sure you know, the more you push someone to do something they don’t want to do… the more resistant they will be!
Why not have a family meeting? Sit down with your parents and brother and let them know your concerns and why you want things cleaned up. But don’t sit down with a list of complaints, otherwise they aren’t going to listen. Have some easy solutions ready for how all the family members can help out and make things run smoother.
Make a list of all the chores or things that need to be done in your home and figure out what is the most important. What’s important to you may be different than what’s important to your brother or your mom, so they may not feel as inclined to do them. Find out what chores everyone prefers to do, which ones they hate, and who is better at different tasks. Divide up the housework fairly keeping everyone’s strengths, weakness’, preferences and schedules in mind. Start slow with small chores so they don't feel overwhelmed. At the end of the month sit down again and review what worked, what didn’t and how you can do it better the next month. Try not to get too upset if it's not perfect or how you imagined it. Give lots of praise and encouragement for any improvement... it's better than it was and it may start slowly.
The best way to make an impact is to explain to them why it’s important to you to have a clean house and that you’d like to feel more comfortable bringing friends home. Chances are your parents will want you to and may be more inclined to join in the effort if they see that you’re serious and that you’re willing to put in the extra effort.
It’s great to hear that you are keeping your room tidy and know that a clean and organized environment is much healthier, less stressful and makes life easier! Keep up the good work in your area and don’t give up on your family quite yet! They didn’t get sloppy and disorganized overnight… chances are it will take them a while to change habits. Lead by example and you’ll find that they will be more inclined to help out and change their ways.