Family Organization and Time Management: 5 Steps to Build Trust





    Two common themes I see in my organizing and productivity clients are the absence or underdevelopment of:

    • self-trust with regard to their own decision-making skills
    • interpersonal trust with family members.

      It can be difficult to move forward if you don’t trust yourself or the people who matter most to you. Change is not easy, but stagnation is neither energizing nor motivating. It is time to break the cycle of mistrust.

      Five trust-building steps

      1. Be consistent: Make the commitment to be consistent when you establish an organizing or time-management system. If something has to be done on a daily basis, do it. Routines are habit forming when you are consistent. And when you are consistent, you are reliable and your family will learn to trust your decisions because they know that you will follow through on your promises.
      2. Set an example: Being a leader in your family means setting an example, no matter how hard is.
      3. Tell the truth: Admit to yourself and to your family when things are not going as planned with new systems. Just because you started with plan A doesn’t mean you can’t make adjustments or changes. It’s OK for children to see that grown-ups are comfortable making mistakes and are willing to make changes to improve things.
      4. Find value in each family member: Identify each family member’s organizing and time-management strengths. Be open to asking for and accepting help and advice. Family unity and trust is built when everyone feel valued.
      5. Untie the apron strings: Be there to guide and help when an organizing or time-management system is set up and avoid micromanaging once everything is running as smoothly as possible. Trust that you have instilled in your children the ability to trust themselves and their decision-making and execution skills.

      Image courtesy of Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot /

      Paula Berman is the owner of Paula Berman Organizing  located in the San Francisco Bay Area. She blogs  on productivity and organization. She has a special interest in working with families and individuals who are looking to declutter and streamline their lives.

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      • Heather Rogers