Saturday, March 15, 2014

Seven Secrets To Family Harmony

Here we are at The Back Door--the way IN and OUT for family and close friends.

Access to and from the garden, backyard, barn and chicken coop, the driveway or garage via this friendly portal.    Makes a certain noise when someone we love arrives or leaves.   Decorated with a variety of grimy prints around the doorknob perhaps.

What makes The Back Door of your home so important that I'd start a blog series here?

The Back Door is where your family often starts and ends a busy day.  The hubster heads to work and kids to the school bus via this door.    And they come home here, too.   It's where home begins for most of us.  And when we head off, it's often the last of H.O.M.E. for awhile, too.

For many of us, leaving home is fraught with last-minute racing around, trying to get our stuff together and chicklets trying to get THEIR stuff together (or not!).

Is it a mad dash as the hubster is heading out?   Are you often LATE because someone couldn't find the keys, a permission slip, the sunglasses or GPS?

Chasing stuff down at the last minute.  Great!  Now we'll be late! Helping the kids turns into yelling at the kids.  "Get. Your. Lunch.  Now!"  Which of course involves tears or huffiness and i.r.r.i.t.a.t.i.o.n!  Lovely.  Now we're all miserable.   Perfect!

No.  That's NOT how we want things to go as they head off to work or school.

The Back Door is i.m.p.o.r.t.a.n.t. and it affects our family harmony.

Seven Ways to Improve Family Harmony  

Organize things so that you and the hub and the chicklets CAN get out of the house, on the road, on time.   No tears.  No yelling.   No irritation.  Try these seven tips:

1.   Clear a landing zone near the door.   Use countertop or a table next to the door.  Set things out that need to go with you (or the chicks or the hub).   Lunch boxes.  Coupons for shopping.   Wallets.   Add a tray or shallow basket to keep the mail in one place.  Maybe the GPS.

2.   Hang a key rack near the door.   Avoid those thrilling and heart-stopping last-minute key-hunts.     Hang your sunglasses here, too.   And the dog's leash.

3.   Set up a bench or stool nearby.   Great place to set back-packs, purses, bags.   Line up boots and shoes underneath.

4.  Add a cork- or magnetic board.    Schedules and permission slips.   Post reminders and notes.  Shopping lists with coupons.  Hang a memo-pad & pen here.   Mail that's ready to go out to the mailbox.   Programs and calendars.   Use a chalkboard to leave messages or post shopping lists.

5.  Rig up a charging station on a counter.   Hand-held mobile devices, iPods.  Easy-to-find on the way out the door.     Get one with a small drawer for keeping postage stamps or letter openers.

6.  Hang a coat rack even if you have a closet there.   Hang cloth shopping bags after unloading, ready to go back to the car on your way out the next time.  Your apron.  Train the kids to hang their backpacks here, too.

7.  Set a wicker laundry basket on the bench or on the floor.   Toss in mittens, driving gloves and hats.  Garden gloves.  Sun-hats.  Scarves & mufflers.   Sunscreen.   Bibs.

As much as we want our Front Door to project a warm welcome to our guests who enter there, how much more should the dear ones who come and go via the Back Door feel blessed and loved?  

"Finally, [sisters], good-by.  
Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, 
be of one mind, live in peace.  
And the God of peace will be with you.  
Greet one another with a holy kiss.  
All the saints send their greetings."
2 Corinthians 13:11 NIV

Next up:  The Laundry Room . . . whiter whites and brighter brights.  


Allison said...

As I'm getting ready I put stuff in the car that I might forget. I'll even do it the night before, as it helps me sleep better.

Deb said...

Excellent idea, Allison! Not only do you get a good night's sleep, but you are AS frazzled the next morning either! :-)

Katie said...

Yes! Good idea.

Katie said...

Great blog, Deb. It's hard because I'd love to have it all cleaned out and have nothing there, but like you said, it's more important that my loved ones feel loved and blessed. Now v what would you suggest for a coat rack location if there's no room by the door, or in that room, period?

Deb said...

Katie...instead of one of those top-heavy coat racks, I'd install some coat-hooks on the wall--low enough that the little ones can reach easily with room below for boots.

If there's no room for even THAT, then hmmm... We don't have a place by our back door for coats to hang either; we have a front entry closet. I'd add wall hooks or a second rod--down low--for the kids to reach on their own. You can make one using a 1x4 with either screw-in hooks or drilled-in pegs. Of course your creative hubby could make some nice metal ones, too!

I'd teach the kids to take their boots off right at the door and carry them to a boot tray.