268: More Peace, Less Frustration: The Power of Family Systems // Susie Salinas


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I chose to invite my friend Susie Salinas to come on the show to talk about family systems because this is the only goal I have set myself for this new year. In 2023, I want to invest some major focus and energy into getting good systems in place for the management of my home and family life: laundry, bedtimes, meal prep, grocery shopping, tidying, dishes, and morning routines are just a few of the areas where the Nielson family could use a serious reboot of our family systems.  


My guest today is professional organizer, Susie Salinas. She is a former military spouse, a mom of 3, and the founder of “Systems by Susie,” a professional organization business in Annapolis, Maryland. I know you are going to love her practical takeaways for creating family systems that will actually stick!




-3 Takeaways on creating family systems-


1. Get everyone in your family onboard with creating new systems. You can’t do this alone and you shouldn’t have to. Managing your family life and home should be the responsibility of the entire team of people who live there. Start with choosing one area of your life or home that you’d like to streamline. Then, call a family meeting and share honestly about how you’re feeling and why you need more help…and ask how they are feeling about the lack of a system in that area as well. Then, make a plan! Brainstorm together some ideas for tackling that challenge, breaking down the tasks that need to be accomplished and deciding how you will delegate them. Commit to following up in one week with another family meeting, so your good intentions don’t just get lost in the busyness of family life.


As you are working on solidifying that new system, remember Susie’s next two takeaways:


2.  Make your systems as simple and easy to complete as possible. Think about your family’s natural personalities and rhythm. What is the simplest way to get this task done or to get this area clean? It might mean your kids aren’t folding their laundry but are just placing it in the drawers. It might mean you need to change out the type of laundry detergent you use so they can do it on their own, or you need to add baskets to certain areas of the house or step stools so they can reach what they need to. As you work on being consistent with your new system, continue to ask yourself, “How can I make this easier?” The easier something is, the more likely we as humans are to follow through. 


3. Make your systems visible. How are you going to make sure that you don’t forget about the new system you’ve committed to? If it’s out of sight, it will be out of mind, so add a visual cue, like reminder signs at key places in your house or visible checklists to complete each day. Add it to your calendar, both a visual calendar the whole family can see, and digital calendars that can send you reminders and nudges. If you want your new system to stick, it has to be visible, day in and day out.


>>>Are these tips on family systems from Susie Salinas helpful? What would you add to the takeaways? Tell us in the comments below.




-Get in touch with our Guest! –



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-Mentioned in the Episode-


-Related Episodes like this one about Family Systems-