As an organizer and mom I find it to be so much fun and rewarding to organize with kids. They’re so curious, open, honest, and expressive about their accomplishments. Teaching them from an early age to release and get organized not only will set them up for success but will help you tremendously in the long-run! We talked previously about getting your partner on board with your organizing efforts, today I am sharing 5 tips to help your kids get organized.
Here are 5 tips for helping your kids get organized
1. Get on Their level
Put things at their eye level whenever possible. Great storage solutions for kids include organizing cubes, baskets, under bed storage and hooks. Having storage organized at their eye level will help them feel confident to clean up on their own and they will play and appreciate their toys more.
2. Include Them in the Process
To a child, their room is their safe haven, their territory, their personal space. It is important to include them in the process in some way. How much? This is different for every child and family. But, just as they can’t learn to cook if they’re never in the kitchen. Involving them in the process is a great time to help them stretch those decision-making skills. It will only get easier with practice. My personal belief is that you are the gatekeeper of your home. When children are younger, you have a say as to what toys you would like your children to have access to and then from there, it’s important to allow them to make decisions as to what they play with and what they love. This relieves you of any concerns you might have about donating something they love. When they are included in the process of cleaning out their room and getting organized they will be more accepting of the process too.
I remember a time where my mom decided to organize and clean out my room. I was 7 years old and I was spending the night at a friend’s house. When I came home the next day, my toys where not in “their spots” and some of my toys were MIA. I immediately panicked because to me my room was organized. I could tell you where anything was at any given moment. I felt like my mom betrayed me! How could she throw away my favorite things?? (At 7 years old everything is your favorite). My mom spent the next 30 minutes in the community dumpster getting my toys back out. From that moment on my mom always included me in the deep cleaning process so that I could choose what stays and what goes and feel a part of the process.
Let’s include our children in the process. 😉
3. Don’t Discourage Their Desire to Part
Don’t discourage their desire to part. I know…I’ve been there. You get nervous about them giving away a toy that they were so thrilled about a few weeks ago or cost you a pretty penny. Instead encourage communication by asking them to tell you why they have lost interest in this toy. Maybe they crave more creative time or parent involvement. If that’s not the case, ask if it would it be ok if you put it in a seasonal swap box? Or encourage their generosity in a more feel good way such as: Do you think your younger brother would like it? Or Maybe they’d like to sell it to swap for a different toy? They’re going to be dealing with stuff for a long time. Help them learn to manage their stuff.
4. Organize Like-With-Like
Organizing like-with-like and creating collections, helps them with clean up time. When they know exactly where like things go, it makes clean up time a lot quicker! It also encourages them learn to take care of their toys and to organize.
5. Create Visuals
Once you have sorted like-with-like and labeled your bins. Let them know that when they notice that bin or category being full, that’s their visual reminder that they need to pull out any toys they’ve outgrown or lost love for. This will help teach your child LIMITS. An added bonus is that this will help you when it comes times for gifts of any sort. You will be able to pop your head into their room and check out what they might like more of and what to avoid purchasing.
The Break Down
At the end of the day, we all want our children to know that it isn’t materialistic things that matter. It is family, friends and the love you share between them. But as parents it is our responsibility to help lay a solid foundation for habits and problem solving. By using these 5 tips to help your kids get organized, not only are you helping yourself but more importantly you are helping them! Children need specific detailed instructions and by leading by example they will catch on a lot quicker. Maybe you need to declutter first before decluttering your children’s room. Check out my blog on Facing Your Decluttering Fears. This will ease the blow if you are new to de-cluttering. Tell me: What was your experience with your toys growing up? Any lessons learned that you’ve applied to your kiddos?