5 Secrets of Super Organized Families

A pro organizer—and mom of two daughters—shares her top tips. 

Rachel and Company Family in living room
Photo: Rachel and Company

Some families seem to have it all together: Kids are on time, permission slips are signed, they never miss a ballet lesson, and their kitchen's tidy. Don't let them intimidate you! (Just imagine how messy their closets really are.) Instead, steal tips from super-organized families to help your own household run more smoothly.

To find out what sets organized families apart, we reached out to pro organizer Rachel Rosenthal of Rachel and Company and busy mom of identical twins. Turns out, it's all about setting up the right habits and building a routine.

Not sure where to start? Here are five easy guidelines Rachel's family follows, and that you can establish right now for a more organized household.

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A Permanent Donations Bin

"Designate a donation spot in each of your kids' closets for outgrown clothes, and in your garage or storage room for toys that your children no longer play with," Rachel recommends. As little ones outgrow clothing, the pile only grows unless you take the time to get rid of what no longer fits. When the bin or basket is full, that's your cue to donate to a charity like Goodwill, or offer the hand-me-downs to a friend.

02 of 05

A Daily Ritual of Reviewing Papers

Okay, a deep breath for this one. It may sound daunting, but going through the accumulation of papers (from mail and school) that comes into the house on a daily basis is easier than letting it pile up.

"When you grab your mail each day, recycle the junk mail immediately and sort the rest in vertical file folders," Rachel suggests. Label the files "To Do," "To File," and "To Shred" so you can see what's important to read. Later, when you have time, go through the "To Do" file.

03 of 05

A Customized Organizational Plan

"Be realistic with how you and your family function and create organizing systems based on the way that you live," says Rachel. For example, use labels in spaces that multiple people use (like the kitchen or pantry) so everyone is on the same page about where things belong. Also, keep items at a height that's accessible for their intended users.

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Food Options Within Arm's Reach

"Dedicate a kitchen drawer or shelf in the pantry with the supplies that the kids will need to prepare their lunches," she recommends. Place lunch boxes and plastic bags where the kids can easily grab them, and they'll have no excuse for not packing their own lunches. The same logic applies to the fridge: Adjust the shelves so healthy snacks are easy to grab, and they won't have to ask a parent for a snack.

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Involved Kids

"Have kids help out in the pantry by grouping like items and checking for expiration dates, or let them choose their favorite colored bin to use for their toy storage," says Rachel. "Making them responsible for these little tasks will help them understand the process and make it easier for them to know how the organization can be maintained."

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