Organizing with Kids

Child Playroom

We’ve spent the first half of the year going over organizing strategies.  But organizing isn’t something that you have to tackle on your own.  I can’t tell you the number of moms I meet who are looking for organizing strategies for their kids.

I’m going to devote this month’s blog to the tiniest, and sometimes messiest, people in your home.

It’s important to include your kids in the process.  And it’s never too early to start teaching your kids good habits, including picking up after themselves and being organized. 

When you’re finished with something and put it away, you can use that as a lesson for your kids.  Show them that when they’re finished playing with one toy, they should put it away before getting a new toy out.   Develop this habit early and you can avoid having toys and games scattered everywhere in your home.  But if your kids see you leaving stuff all over the house, guess what they’re going to do?

Just like your belongings, your kids’ toys, games, clothes, etc. should have a designated home.  After all, they can’t put things in their place if you never made a place for everything.  Right?  As you teach your kids about putting things away, make sure that all of their “stuff” has a home and show them where that home is.

Kids learn by watching the people around them.  As parents, YOU are the people they watch and learn from the most.  If you put into practice some of the organizing principles I’ve shared with you, your kids will learn by example.

Kids don’t know that most people don’t like doing chores, so when you get them involved in picking up after themselves, make it fun for them.  Turn organizing into a game and they’ll never know any different.  Plus, you’ll be teaching them a habit that will stay with them for life.

Try this fun game.  Before bedtime, set a timer and have everyone (you too mom and dad) run around and put everything back where it belongs.  The person who gets done first, wins!  Before you know it, your kids will figure out that if they put things away as they use them, they always win…because they always finish first. ?  And you win because you go to bed knowing your house is neat and tidy and you won’t be waking up to a mess. 

Part of making any “chore” more fun can include rewards.  I’m not talking about an allowance.  When your kids help out around the house, reward them with a fun experience, not “things.”  Maybe your child gets to choose what to have for dinner one night or gets to have 2 books instead of one read to her before bedtime.  Maybe it’s one-on-one time playing a game with mom or dad or a walk or bike ride.  And always tell your child how much you appreciate all their help.  You’d be surprised at how much a hug and a thank you mean to your little ones.

SOS Phone # Graphic