Organize 365® Podcast

This podcast episode will give you tactical and functional organizing tips for multigenerational living. If you are in a multigenerational home or considering this option - this is for you!

Multigenerational living is near and dear to my heart these days. I am cherishing this life phase that I’m currently in - sharing my home with Abby (my daughter) and Grayson (my grandson). I know many members of the Organize 365® team and community are also living in multi-generational homes. 

I realize that there are different circumstances that may lead you to be in a multigenerational home. The three main situations that I’ve seen for multigenerational living are:

  1. Caregiving. If you are currently living the “sandwich” generation lifestyle - taking care of your parents while also trying to keep up with your adult children - I have a BIG HUG for you! Being a caregiver can be extremely isolating. I’ve been there and it can be a long road. 

  2. Consciously merging households. This seems to be a more recent phenomenon (in the United States at least). Families consciously decide to live together because they enjoy each other, it makes economic sense and they can share in the work and experience running the household together.

  3. Life circumstances. Sometimes it’s not a conscious decision but life circumstances create a situation where multigenerational living is necessary.

Regardless of how you ended up in a multigenerational home, here are my top organizational tips for making the most of the situation:

  • Be purposeful about transitioning the home to support a multigenerational home.

  • Ensure that everyone (INCLUDING YOU) have your own space. Everyone needs their own space. In my home, this means that Abby and Grayson have the basement apartment to themselves. They get to decide what they want down there, what it looks like and they are responsible for everything in this space. I also have my own spaces in the house that are just mine.

  • Create rules for communal spaces, but be willing to renegotiate and evolve those rules as the situation changes. For example, the communal spaces in our home are the living room, kitchen, laundry room and garage. These areas get to be cleaned and organized to my standards. There are rules for how we all operate and take care of these areas.

  • Laundry Days - This one has been great in our household. We have designated laundry days to ensure that we can get laundry done for ourselves on the days that our most convenient for all of us in the household.

  • Don’t feel guilty to say what you want in terms of the communal spaces.

  • Organizing the kitchen and food in a multigenerational home - start by considering the stages of life each of you are in. In my household we have the toddler phase, Greg and I are working away from home and Abby is a stay at home mom. Our kitchen is supporting three very different phases of life. We have created dedicated space for everyone’s food and Grayson’s adorable toddler eating utensils, plates and sippy cups.

How I’ve maintained my cleanliness standards in communal spaces:

  • Baby Gates - Living Room, Dining Room and Laundry - Grayson doesn’t go in those areas so they stay picked up.

  • Weekly Cleaning - We have a weekly cleaner come and every Thursday we know the house is being cleaned and everything needs to be picked up.

  • Minimalized toys in the family room - Constantly decluttering and rotating the toys in the family room - not minimalist but definitely minimized.

When you live in a multigenerational home, there will be some frustrations. If you are feeling frustrated (and I’ve been there), try to do a mindset swap and remember the many blessings that come with this experience. 

Your home needs to be organized differently and you need to establish different rules for yourself for all the phases of life you go through and different people or peoples living in your home with you.

Top 2 takeaways for living in a multigenerational home:

  1. Pick your battles.

  2. Create rules.

See the episode resources below for your supply list to help keep each member of the family and the entire household running smoothly. You’ll be sharing a lot, but you don’t need to share your own brain!


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Direct download: 530_-What_Does_Organization_Look_Like_in_a_Multigenerational_Home_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT