Top Three Ways to Help Kids Organize
Fight disorganization in your household by helping your kids get organized. These top three organizing tips all start with the letter ‘s’ so that they’re easy to remember and put into practice right away.
Before Your Begin
The trick to helping children organize is to figure out what will work for them and what will help keep you sane. For example, I absolutely cannot stand soda cans scattered around the house. This sounds like a small thing, but I’m simply happier when soda cans are put in the recycle bin and not cluttering up the house.
Decide what’s important for you concerning your child’s organizational skills. For me, these categories include putting clothes away, finishing and turning in homework, picking up toys and keeping track of library books – these things need to be put where they belong on a regular basis.
After you decide what’s important, incorporate the child in the decision making process. Find out what’s important to him/her. What does your child need? What’s frustrating to your child when it comes to good organization? What are your needs as the parent?
Communicate these needs, and take all of this information into account while both of you set up an organizational system. Below is a system that has worked for my family over the years and is easy to remember.
There is one simple rule: NO LOOSE PAPER. Set up one folder or large manila envelope for your child to take homework or other important papers to and from school. To avoid loose paper, I use a simple notebook and glue or tape any loose papers. My kids found this idea so useful that we each have our own notebooks to finish work, make lists and work on projects.
Our mantra around the house is “Everything in its Place.” One way to achieve that is to give each person his or her specific space. Each member of our family has a bin that hangs on the wall in the kitchen. Whenever any of us finds stuff around the house that needs to be put away, we put it in the appropriate bin. This reduces clutter by keeping it off the kitchen counter, and each person puts his/her own items away!
Children work best with routine. What does your child need to do when they get up in the morning? What about chores and finishing homework? Where does the backpack or homework folder go? To help my kids remember routines, I tape a 3×5 card to the refrigerator with one word for each task, i.e. Lunch, Breakfast, Homework, and Backpack. This same strategy works for the afternoon routine, which includes each person’s chores.
An organizational system is only as good as you consistently use it. Life happens and can disrupt any good system. If that happens once or twice, simply have a family meeting and start again. If the disruption is long-term or the system isn’t working, change it to help keep your organizational system running smoothly for everyone.
written by: Kelly Wilson
Kelly Wilson is an editor for Teaching Resource Center, providing classrooms with teacher supplies and free lesson plans for over 25 years.