“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.”
How do you organize your children without becoming overwhelmed? It sounds like it might be impossible but it is completely manageable and doable! Whether your children are ages 6 or 16, small easy steps will help them become and stay organized. Kids love to help their parents do things around the house. No, really. It’s only when parents make kids do chores on their own is when they normally begrudge it. But as a team oriented family task, they’ll enjoy being useful, hearing immediate positive feedback and bonding with you. Well, at least that’s from my personal experience.
So, with that said, don’t just have them organize their rooms, have them help you organize your whole home. Such as your garage, closets, and even the attic. Keep it simple and keep a record of what you did to become more organized. That way, if they ever stray from the organized world, you’ll have the organizational system written out for them to follow. Teaching your children about organization at an early age will not only help you but it will give them the tools they need to be organized as an adult.
Small simple steps are where you need to begin with your kids. If you have younger children it is easier to give them simple instructions and then actually do it with them. If your children are older, then going through the steps verbally and asking them to do it on their own would be the most effective. You’ll also instill in them a little sense of independence and self reliance.
If you are starting in their room then you will want to start in their closets. Getting their clothes organized first is the prerequisite to helping them learn proper home organizational skills. Color coordinating is one of my favorite forms of organization. It works in most areas in the home and it is something that children can easily do on their own. And it’s fun for the kids! It is up to you to decipher what your children need to focus on and what steps they will take to get more organized. It is important to remember not to overwhelm them.Kids get distracted easily. So if you give them small goals to achieve then things will go more smoothly for everyone.
While you should hold your children responsible for the cleanliness of their rooms, it is important for them to help you throughout the rest of the home. After all, the messes around your home most likely do not all come from you. My suggestion is to have a “claiming zone,” where you have a bin for each person in the home labeled with their names. That way, when you or another member of family finds something that is out of place they can place it in that person’s bin and they’ll be responsible for putting it away. If you make a game out of it, your children might be more responsive to the idea. Maybe the person who has the least amount in their bin at the end of the week gets a special treat!
Keeping a record of the way you organize will help your children remember what to do the next time they need to clean up. Eventually, you will get to a point where you don’t even need to help them anymore. Imagine that!
A few other helpful ideas for cleaning/organizing with kids; keep toys and such in bins or baskets. When your kids are done playing, everything can go right back to the appropriate bin. Remember, only let them play with the belongings in one bin at a time. If your kids are older let them give you their input on how things should be organized. Just keep in mind that everyone has their own way of being organized and while your way might work well for you it may not for everyone. So be accommodating. Always remember to start small and simple with children and keep a record.
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