Help Your Kids Get Organized
Your kids’ rooms are disaster areas. They are late everywhere they go. They forget to take books or papers that they need for school. They need help getting organized. What can you do?
- 1. Work with your kids to organize their rooms. Brainstorm with them on how to create the organization. Their buy-in is essential to their using and maintaining the system of order that will be created. Also, allow your kids the opportunity to be creative in the process of organizing their rooms. Can they make things that will help them become more organized? Large plastic storage boxes can be used for sorting and storing all the various toys, clothes, etc. that currently clutter their floors. Your kids can use the computer or craft items to decorate the boxes and label them to indicate their contents. For example, a sweater box may bear a sweater-shaped sign that has the word “sweaters” emblazoned across it.
- 2. Establish a routine for your household. Your kids need to get into a routine wake-up time, bedtime, and have other set routines throughout their day. One part of their nightly routine should be reviewing the next day’s activities to ensure that they are fully prepared and organized for those activities. For example, their backpacks for tomorrow’s school day can be packed tonight.
- 3. Have your kids create and decorate a calendar to help keep track of their activities. Their calendars should be prominently posted in their rooms, in the kitchen, or in another prominent location in your home. These calendars can be checked and discussed nightly.
- 4. A checklist can be created for all the things your kids need to take with them when they leave the house. If the list is the same each day for a given activity (i.e., going to school), then a poster board checklist can be kept in your kids’ rooms. When a list will vary day-to-day, you can create a list specific to the activity. These activity-specific lists should be written at least the day before the activity. By pre-preparing the list, you and your kids have time to amend the list if something is accidentally left off the list. Whether the list is applicable each day or targeted to one specific activity, ensure that your kids go through the checklist the night before the activity and again right before heading out the door . . . if something is missing, address the missing item while you are still able to access it and place it in your kids’ backpacks.
- 5. Lead by example. If you or your nanny are disorganized, your disorganization will reinforce your kids’ disorganization.
- 6. Hold your kids accountable when they are disorganized. Did you have to leave work today because your kids’ school called you and asked you to run home and get your son’s sports equipment or your daughter’s art class project? If so, perhaps accountability might be in order.
- 7. Praise your kids often for the signs of organization that they exhibit. Did your son all of the walkways in his bedroom free from clutter this week? If so, praise that. Did your daughter take everything to school that she needed each day this week? If so, praise that.
By following these seven tips, you can help your kids get organized.