Keeping a household organized is hard. Teaching your kids to stay organized is even harder. For those of us who are organizationally-challenged, doing both of these things at once can be a difficult task indeed!
Thankfully, teaching your kids to get and stay organized is a process maintained over time, not all at once. In order to make the biggest impact, it will be important to look for ways to improve your organizational skills and give children the best possible opportunity to take control of their spaces and lives.
Keeping Kids Organized: 10 Mind-Blowing Tips
Instill your kids with the organizational tools they need to succeed by fostering good habits through these simple tips.
1. Purchase A Cubby Shelf
Not only are cubby shelves eye-catching and affordable bits of furniture for the home, but these organizational powerhouses equip your kids to be as organized as possible. Each cubby, row, or column can be used to fulfill a different purpose, such as shoe storage, school book organization, or toy shelving.
Allow your kids to help with picking the color scheme of the cubby, as well as the installation process. Providing a sense of ownership to the items in their rooms will encourage children to make good organizational decisions in the future.
2. Create A Snack Drawer
Whipping up the last-minute after school snack can be a messy process, and if you don’t regularly have the time to make one, it might be a good idea to encourage your kids to build a snack drawer of their own.
Encourage your kids to put together multiple bags, containers, or tubs of snack material with parental supervision (if necessary). These bags can be organized and put neatly into the refrigerator or pantry for easy retrieval. This snack drawer will take the unnecessary strain off of your shoulders while helping children stay happy, organized, and definitely well-fed.
3. Invest In A Simple Blank Page Notebook
Giving your child the gift of a simple blank page notebook will not only get them organized but will help them stay organized as well. Your child can write down important daily tasks, to-do reminders, checklists, and all sorts of charts and graphics that serve to organize their day. Any notebook format will do, including the classic composition format used in schools. Simply make sure to choose an eco-friendly notebook, ideally made of post-consumer recycled paper.
4. Keep Lots Of Space Available
Keep open spaces in closets, bathrooms, and playrooms for your child to visually see. When items begin to clutter up, point your child towards the available storage space, and offer to help them organize their new items.
5. Model Good Habits
Your kids are learning, growing, absorbent machines that rely on you for many of their learned behaviors. Pay attention to the cleaning and organizational habits of your children, and see if any of these habits are things that you unconsciously model. If you identify a bad habit in yourself, take steps to correct this and invest in new organizational habits. Habits can be hard to unlearn, but with some encouragement, it is certainly possible!
6. Set Up A Cleaning Schedule
Kids crave a routine world that revolves around a schedule and a sense of order they can follow. A good tip would therefore be to create and display a chores chart that displays all the important tasks that are assigned to everyone over the next week.
Be sure to scale these tasks to an age-appropriate level. Older children can take care of lawn work such as mowing, while younger children can help with tasks such as picking up toys or washing dishes. If you have multiple children, color-coordinate their tasks and have them switch out every week.
7. Have Kids Make The Bed
Having your children make the bed in the morning isn’t just another ‘parent-ism’ that you should follow. In fact, making the bed every morning is one of the seven habits of highly successful and wealthy individuals.
In other studies, bed making has been reported to boost happiness and confidence and make people more able to finish important daily tasks. Your kids may not be impressed by all these numbers and factoids, but do what you can to encourage bed-making anyway. You may be raising a future millionaire!
8. Make Checklists
Set aside some time each morning to write down checklists with your child. Record all your daily lists in a notebook of your own, and encourage your child to record some personal ones as well. Have a conversation about goals for the day. This will help reinforce organizational behaviors that may last through your children’s formative years.
9. Perform Weekly Audits
Check your child’s room and living space for organizational breakdowns at least once per week. Color coding their tasks in a notebook with highlighters, pencils, or page tabs is another great way to boost memory enhancement and organization.
10. Offer Good Tools
It will be difficult for your children to model good organizational habits if they are not provided with the right tools for the job. Keep plenty of storage containers, organizational aides such as sketchbooks, and filing storage options available to your kids at all times. While they may not need these tools as frequently at a younger age, you can scale your offerings up to coincide with their growing needs.
As a final point, remember that your children will likely not be organized all the time. After all, who doesn’t remember their days of messy beds and bedroom floors? Instead, encourage your children to live their best and most organized lives with some helpful tips and lots of hugs!
More about the author: Lori Wade is a journalist & content writer from Louisville, who has experience in small editions. She enjoys creating news and conceptual articles about efficiency and productivity in life. You can find her on LinkedIn. Hope you appreciate Lori’s useful insights!