A 4-Step Plan For Helping Your Kids Become More Organized

Thursday, July 2, 2015
I am a very organized person, sometimes to a fault. I thrive on organization and structure and often don't understand how others don't share my passion for it, especially my children. My oldest is particularly challenging. She's not at all interested in being organized.

Getting your children more organized is a tough nut to crack  - but it's not impossible. When you are juggling raising a family with work, it is essential that you get as much help as possible. Often the help you need will come from your children. If they aren't organized, it will be difficult for them to execute the tasks you ask of them. Now that my girls are 13 and 9, I've delegated several tasks to them that are age-appropriate and can be accomplished easily without assistance or supervision.

Over the years I've picked up a few tips for getting and keeping your children organized that have been a tremendous help to me. By helping to get your children organized, they can help you, and in the long run, they will learn some valuable life lessons that will only do them good as they get older.

Lead by example
It goes without saying that kids pick up a lot of their behavior from their parents. So, it isn’t fair to expect them to be organized if you aren’t. Family life is about being a team, and everybody should have their responsibilities - and that goes from the top down. Before you expect your children to adopt a new and more organized lifestyle, it is essential that they see that you are organized.

Create schedules
Homework, chores and cleaning can all be scheduled in advance. The earlier you start to implement this the better. I find a calendar in the kitchen with everybody’s daily and weekly duties written clearly is a great help to focus on what needs to be done. As they complete their tasks, they get ticked off. It’s as simple as that, and kids get a great sense of accomplishment from seeing their tasks completed.

Scheduling study and homework time is another wise idea. If your children are accustomed to scheduling study time from an early age, they will learn the benefits of getting things done with plenty of time to spare. It’s up to you how to play things - perhaps implement a rule of no TV or video games until all their work is completed?

Make it easy for them
Sure, kids can make a mess, but if you help them out by making it easier to tidy up, then the vast majority of children will respond in a positive way. But how exactly do you do that? Well, think about their bedrooms. Do they have enough storage to keep their toys, clothes and schoolwork neat, tidy and packed away? If not then you can hardly blame them if things are always on the floor.

Also, think about using practical fixtures and room decor. If you have heavy, bulky curtains, then they will be harder to clean and easier to hide things behind. So try some sleek roller blinds instead. They are low maintenance, inexpensive, and you won’t mind so much when the inevitable paint/ink/ripping accident occurs. Wall-to-wall carpeting can be a pain, too. Laminate flooring or hardwood floors are a better alternative since they can be swept clean in just a few minutes.

Be supportive
The most important part of this plan is to offer your support at all stages. There will be times when your kids just don’t want to be organized, and you may have to admit temporary defeat. But if you offer encouragement and help to complete their chores or homework, then you may be able to persuade them. Good luck!

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