Yara’s Best Home-Organization Tip
By Yara C. Young
Published in the Topic of Home Organization on Her Website
“The most important home-organization idea I can give can be stated simply in ten words: The night before is the key to the next day. This tip will make the difference between success and failure.
What does this mean — The night before is the key to the next day? It means that if we tidy up the house in the evening before going to bed, then maintaining the home will be simple. We will be “ahead of the game.” If we fail to tidy up the house in the evening before going to bed, then we will have a more difficult time. We will be “behind the eight ball”.
What can we do in the evenings that will make such a big difference?
1. Pick-up and organize the toys.
All toys must be picked up and put in their proper places. Hopefully there is a container just for blocks and another container for toy cars, etc. Having separate containers for each toy makes it easy for children to use their toys without making a mess. For instance, if they want to play with Legos, they pull out the Lego container, leaving the other toys undisturbed.
While children are putting their toys away, parents can put away magazines, books, and papers that have been left out. Fluff pillows and straighten articles of furniture.
2. Bath time
After everything is tidy – it is bath time. Children undress and put clothes in their hamper. Every bedroom should have a clothes hamper. This keeps us from having clothes on the floor and having to come and pick them up later.
Bath time is quick. It is not a party. When my children were small, I would bathe all three at the same time. Whatever the case, when the bath was done, I would close the shower curtain/door and hang up the towels. I gave a “once over” to the commode and sink with disinfectant spray, and then I would leave. One could come into the bathroom at that point and never know that I had just given three children a bath. I don’t have to come back to clean up the bathroom.
3. Evening Activities
After the children are bathed I slow down their activities. They read books, color, or play a quiet game. This is a good time for you to get the supper out.
After supper, I clean up the dining table and kitchen, the children brush their teeth and we have worship. After worship the children go to the bathroom for the last time. All kids go to bed. I look around their rooms and tidy up the things that were too difficult for them to do. Kiss and hug the children good night. I leave behind neat and orderly rooms. The only things that are messy are their beds – they are sleeping on them.
Before I retire for the night, I think about what needs to be done for the next day. I try to do anything that will make tomorrow easier.
As my husband and I get ready for bed, we hang up the garments that need to be hung. Our dirty clothes go in our hamper, shoes go in the shoe rack in the closet. When we go to bed, our room is tidy and in order. If someone were to come to our house at 3:00 AM, they would find the whole house tidy and only four messy beds, and that is only because we are sleeping on them!
It’s a nice feeling to go to bed and know that the whole house is tidy. At one of my home-organization seminars, a woman commented, “Ever since your seminar, I can’t think of going to sleep without tidying up. It has made such a difference.” Another said, “I can use all your ideas, but if I don’t pick up the night before, none of the other ideas fall into place.
Next morning you only have to make the beds. What else needs to be done in the bedroom to have it ready for the day? Nothing! Everything was done the night before.
Put this tip into practice — it will make all the difference in your day.”
Much of this article contains excerpts from Yara’s book, Oh No, It’s Sabbath Again And I’m Not Ready, published by Pacific Press.