I’ve been decluttering my house for years, working through all the layers of things we have. A few weeks ago, I opened a bin of extra bags, backpacks, and soft luggage and figured I could let these things go since it’s been a while since I’ve used them.

But then I remembered all the times we DID use them, how useful they were, and all the times in the future that they could come in handy. I put the lid back on the box and decided to deal with it later. 

As I was mulling over the content of the box a few days later, I had an epiphany about the real reason I wasn’t ready to let these things go.

We hold onto extra stuff when we don’t have a system for how we will do things. Because I don’t have a clear system for all the aspects of how we travel as a family, I hold onto more bags and travel items, “just in case” or “grab and go,” without giving it lots of thought.

Is this okay? Yep! But it’s also a challenge for me that I’m excited to keep plugging away at. Developing more systems not only for traveling but for lots of areas of our home and life. 

Once we know how we’ll do something – like the toiletries bags we will use when we make stops in hotels on our road trips – and what and where everything goes in it – then I can confidently get rid of the excess. 

There are lots of possible systems you can develop in your family and home to make things run more smoothly, but I want to encourage you that you don’t need too many in place for you to be able to move forward and spend time on the things you love.

Here are five systems that I recommend starting with:

  1. Laundry
  2. Dishes
  3. Meals
  4. Wake-up
  5. Bedtime

If you decide the who, what, where, and when in each of these areas, you are already on your way to having your days go a lot smoother. Once these are good enough – not perfect – it’s time to move on to exploring! 

You can learn more about that on the 5-Step Path From Surviving to Thriving and where you are on it with my free checklist. And if you need help building family systems that are unique to you and your needs, check out my program, Made to Soar: Next 90 Days.

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