Golden Rules of Family Management

I’m currently reading a book I purchased a couple of weeks ago called, The Busy Mom’s Guide to a Happy, Organized Home by Family Manager, Kathy Peel.  This book is FULL of helpful solutions to everyday dilemmas from managing your home and property to managing finances and special events.

In her book Kathy includes a list of important things to remember that I just love and wanted to share with you.  So often I think we complicate matters and make things more difficult on ourselves than they need to be and this list really brings us back to the basics of simplifying and building a strong base for running a smooth household.

The Most Important Things to Remember

1.  People are more important than things.

2.  There are no standards but your own.  Every family has to decide how clean is clean enough.

3.  The more you accumulate, the more you have to clean and maintain -and the more time it takes to do it.

4.  When your kids grow up and leave home, they won’t remember if the towels were folded in perfect 16-inch squares in the linen closet; they will remember if your home was a good place to be and if Mom was a fun person.

5.  If you have a choice between taking a family vacation or buying new furniture, go for the vacation.  The furniture will end up in a garage sale one day; the memories of the trip will last forever.

6.  Everyone who lives under the roof of a home should contribute to its upkeep.

7.  If a teenager is an expert at text messaging, he can become an expert at using the washing machine.  A man who can program a PDA to remind him of his tee time can program a PDA to remind him to pick up the dry cleaning.

8.  Mess causes stress.  Getting your home in order will help you get your life in order.

9.  There’s no such thing as perfection.  Giving up trying to make your home perfect is the first step toward making it a good place to be.

10.  The choices you make about your home involve a lot more than wall color and window treatments.  Home is where human beings develop.  It’s a place to restore souls, find shelter from outside pressures, grow support for talents, and receive inspiration, comfort, and aid.

Which one of these do you need to work on applying to your life?


Filed under: Motivation-Encouragement, Organizing


34 Responses to Golden Rules of Family Management

  1. 1
    Cathy says

    Great list. I can’t even pick a favorite because they all resonate. But if I had too. Mess causes stress… mainly because stress is the cause of so many illnesses and if you don’t have your health, everything is so much more challenging.

    But I also really like The more you accumulate not only because it give you more to clean it also cleans out your checking account.

  2. 2
    Kristin says

    Happy is the home where the homemaker is at peace with her home. There’s a sure-fire way to suck the joy out of a home, and that is a grumpy mom who is mad at her kids and husband and herself because
    a) the house doesn’t look like she’d like, or
    b) the house doesn’t look like her friend’s house, or
    c) the house doesn’t look like the glossy spread in some magazine, or
    d) it will bring her down in guilt and shame because IT/SHE JUST DOESN’T MEASURE UP (or…….fill in the blank.)
    and finally,
    e) she hates housework and cleaning up messes and the constant piles of clutter that seem to grow overnight; but however challenging they may be, they seem to be her lot in life.

    the moral of the story is: if you don’t like it, do something about it. but even greater is this: housekeeping and organization are skills that can be acquired, but not everyone is going to be equally as good at them, nor are they the same level of priority for everyone.

    as is said in points 1 and 2.

    so, be who you are. clean and organize what you really feel you need to, but with a good attitude. don’t go around mad at everyone because of what your house looks like and how much work it is.

    and that is my message to myself this morning after reading those 10 Most Important Things.

    thank you, Kathy Peel, and Organizing Junkie for posting these points. it puts much into perspective! :)

    • 2.1
      Laura says

      Great points, thank you for sharing that and I couldn’t agree more.

  3. 3
    Buffie says

    Since I became a mom I’ve definitely come to terms with clean enough. My house may not be immaculate, but I have a happy daughter and I think that is much more important.

    This year we did opt to buy new furniture and take a few mini vacations instead of doing a large family vacation. We did need furniture though because we had none for the living room.

  4. 4
    Marjorie says

    Definitely #8 & #9. I definitely notice the difference in how I feel when I walk into a space that is clean and organized. And, being a perfectionist, I’m learning to let go a little and realize that my home does not have to be in perfect order for it to be clean. What relief!

  5. 5
    Karen says

    Definitely ‘Mess causes Stress’! When I keep having to search for things because they don’t have a home, the stress level starts rising. But I’m working on it!

  6. 6
    Crista says

    Funny you put that question at the end because I had already written down a few of the “rules” to make into little posters for myself:
    –There are no standards but your own.
    –Mess causes stress.
    –A takeoff of #4. We don’t have kids, but my husband said to me years ago “When you’re at the end of your life, are you going to say, ‘I should have cleaned more’, or are you going to look back fondly at the memories of these things we are doing instead of cleaning?”

    Thanks for the reminder!

  7. 7
    MarytheKay says

    #3 is about to kill me around here…I have a couple of people in my house who like to keep things…in case it might be “needed” in the future…Oh help me, I am drowning in stuff…

    We’re planning to have a garage sale in a couple of weeks, and I am REALLY hoping to clean out a lot. Because, honestly, the STUFF around here is overwhelming and stressful (to me). That’s actually a very difficult balance around our house, when there are opposites in the home…

    Because of all of that, I am GRATEFUL for #4!!! :-) Because we do have a lot of fun around here.

  8. 8
    Megan says

    Thanks for checking out our site! And I love these rules. I definitely need to work on “our standard” of clean and tidy! Thanks!

  9. 9
    Kari says

    Wow! What a great list! The one that really spoke to me was #8-mess causes stress. Getting your home in order will help you get your life in order. That is soooo true and it’s something I’ve been really struggling with. But I decided to take my house one room at a time instead of trying to overwhelm myself with doing it all at one time. So far the dining room/entry way, and the living room have been “detoxed” and put in order and I’m moving to the kitchen next. It feels so good to be doing something that is putting us in the right direction…even if it isn’t going to happen overnight! Thanks for this great post! It was encouragement that I really needed!

  10. 10
    Nathalie St-Pierre Roths says

    I love Kathy Peel’s advice! I think it is a book men and older kids should read too. It would make them appreciate the people that share their life and house where they live in.

    With the help of a life coach, I recently applied rule #1 and feel happier overall in my life.

    I’d love my husband and the kids to agree with rule #6. If only my wish could come true… :-)

  11. 11
    Shelley says

    Love this book too! Currently doing a book study on it with Family Managers Director of National Outreach, Cari Pemberton. It’s very helpful to hear from others and get motivated!

  12. 12
    Cheryl says

    Great list! Really puts into perspective what being a parent is all about -making memories. Forget about having a perfect looking house that everyone is too afraid to play in – just have fun!

    Loved #4 and am hoping that my daughter will be able to say we had lots of fun together.

    Thanks for sharing the list. Will definitely be picking up this book soon!

  13. 13
    heather @ what's blooming this week says

    I live by #8 – mess causes stress. But everyone has their own level of “mess” just like everyone has their own level of clean. With two teenage stepsons in and out of the house, I’ve learned that what I consider a mess is definetly not the same as their’s. I’ve also learned to “let it go”.

    Great tips for anyone – mother or not.

  14. 15
    Dawn says

    I love how your 1o items are primarily about the human aspect. Love it!

  15. 16
    Roan says

    Hands down, I need to work on #4 and #9. I have standards that are too high, and I stress myself out. I try to remind myself regularly that one day (long long away….youngest of my 5 is only 4), I will clean the house, and IT WILL STAY CLEAN BECAUSE NO ONE WILL BE HERE TO MESS IT UP! Sniff, sniff! I also try to tell myself, “people before things”…meaning my relationship with my husband and precious children is way more important than a clean floor. I am really working on this. Thank you so much for this list. I am going to print it out! :)

  16. 17
    Nina says

    All I can say is WOW……she hit the nail on the head with those, eh? She is so right and I can’t tell you how appreciative I am that you shared this! Thank you!

  17. 18
    April says

    Great list, thanks for sharing it. ALL of them rung a bell with me.

  18. 19
    darcie says

    what a GREAT list. I am not sure which is my favorite – but probably the one about skipping the new furniture and taking the vacation – we’ve learned all too many times that life is too short. I don’t ever want to regret not doing fun things with my family…you just never know.

  19. 20
    Jenn says

    I REALLY need to get the family more involved on the upkeep of the house. I’m tired of asking and asking only to end up yelling or complaining about it till I usually do it myself. It’s my fault since I don’t have a real system schedule in place. This week, I will work on putting up a schedule for everyone to see and have a family meeting to get everyone’s input on the chores and why it’s important to keep up with the house.

    My second area to work on would be to get rid of the clutter. I’m a hoarder (not the extreme compulsive version you see on TV). I have a hard time going through all our things and getting rid of stuff. It’s either too cute (but it’s never played with or worn) or it has sentimental value or it cost a lot of money when it was originally purchased but long ago lost it’s true value in the home or I think, I’ll need that one day (magazines with recipes, decor ideas, etc). I’m slowly working on this but with spring time coming, I think it will be a great time to dive right in and get it done as a family!

    Thanks for the motivation!

  20. 22
    Maia says

    Fantastic tips! The best part is how she lets the essence of good housekeeping shine through, namely the fact that a welcoming and home is the most important thing, and that it beats even having completed all the tasks on the list.


  21. 23
    Tammy says

    Thanks for sharing – this list really hits home to bringing everything we do back to our core values. Sounds like a good book to read!

  22. 24
    Stefanie says

    #8 and #9 for me which puts me at #4. I stress out about it too much and because I have to have everything a certain way it seems like it takes me forever to get anything done.

    This does sound like a goo read.

  23. 25
    PlanningQueen says

    Thanks for sharing this Laura, I really needed to hear that! I am now off to play – not to clean. :)

  24. 26
    Judi @ Frugal Frolic says

    This is a great list. I agree 100%! “Life” comes first — I’ve never regretted those choices. At this point in my life, though, I find myself struggling with #3 and #8. Our boys have grown faster than I’ve been able to keep up with, and the clutter was making things challenging. We’ve been making an effort to reduce, and it has certainly made our home a happier one. There’s still work to do, but seeing the improvement (and my boys agree!) is a definite motivator to keep things uncluttered.

  25. 28
    Lucrecia says

    #4 hit me like a 2 x 4 to the head! I get so uptight about the state of the house.

    We firm believers in vacations / memories over things. My son asked when we were going to replace his dads old beat up truck. I asked him if he’d like to give up the cruise we have planned to do that. It didn’t take him long to answer no!

  26. 29
    tiffany says

    #3 and #8. Thanks so much for sharing!

  27. 30
    Tiffany says

    Perfect nuggets of wisdom. #2 and #10 for me

  28. 31
    Susanne says

    Great list. I tell myself #3 all the time. Not to mention the expense of maintaining some of those “things”. It’s funny but when I used to watch that Homemakeover show with Ty Pennington, I used to always think how the recipients of these incredible remade homes with all sorts of “perks” were now going to be able to maintain them practically and financially when they couldn’t maintain the original homes. Something to really consider before getting that next “thing” for sure.

  29. 32
    Shawnee in Oregon says

    I love her books! I need to remember to budget for spending money on making memories. We haven’t been on a vacation in years … now, we don’t have new furniture, either, but you get my drift.

  30. 33
    Andrea S says

    i am definitely getting this book!! mess causes stress! i definitely agree. i am a much nicer mom when my house is clean.

    organization for me however, is a work in progress :)


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