TEACH YOUR CHILDREN TO BE ORGANIZED
Teach your children to be organized from an early age, because it will save you time and tears later on.
Years ago, I taught my children the concept of, “in with something new, out with something old”.
To this day, when we get gifts, clothing, or toys; we pack up and donate something old.
This is not just done to make room but to also eliminate clutter and chaos caused by overcrowding.
A child is capable of deciding what toys they want or don’t want. If they are too young, you make that choice for them.
Remember you are the parent, not them. I have seen too many parents afraid to get rid of any of their children’s belongings because Little Johnny or Little Susie might get upset.
Teach children to put toys back where they go. Keep it simple at younger ages and of course guide them, help them, and encourage them.
When they get older it will become second nature for children to automatically put things away in an organized fashion.
Teach your children how to organize. Having a toy box is not always a good idea because it encourages dumping of toys.
Instead use small totes, bins, or baskets for specifics like doll clothes, blocks,cars, Barbies, and so on to keep toys organized.
As adults, we tend to have homes for all of our belongings why wouldn’t we teach our children the same? For example, we put towels in the bathroom, silverware in the tray, food in the cupboard or pantry, and the like.
Teach children to sort, categorize, and put items away in similar groups.
Similar categories or groupings might be resemble how we organize children’s belongings in our home:
- Barbie’s: All Barbie dolls, accessories, and related go in large bins similar to these.
- Hot Wheels/Matchbox: Years ago, we gave up on trying to be cute in how we organize our son’s rapidly growing car collection. We began using milk crates, which hold the cars in place and allowed my son to see the contents. These are also space savers because they are stackable.
- Baby doll and accessories: With all of my girls, we have always had doll accessories. In order to corral all of the doll accessories, pretend food and baby bottles, and clothing; we use collapsible storage.
- Blocks: For blocks like Mega Blocks or Duplo blocks, we use wicker storage sets that look great setting out and become part of the decor. But for wood blocks, I like to use wooden baskets because little fingers can reach them easier.
- Arts and crafts: Over the years, my strategies have changed in how we store our general arts and crafting materials such as pencils, crayons, paper, coloring books, paint brushes, and scissors. However, I have found the best way is to store everything is to use old coffee cans or Tuppeware containers. For each of my older children, who have specific crafts, the organization is more detailed and I leave that area up to them however those choose to organize.
- Princess Dress-up/Costume: My children love dressing up and all of the accessories that go with it. I simply took an old dresser and use that for storage.
These are just a few of the ways that we have taught our children to use become organized. How you do it will look different for your family based on income, size of home, storage capability, types of toys, ages of children, and many other factors.
Choose an organizational and storage system that works best for your family, budget, and time.
Somebody’s else’s idea of what works, may not be what is best for your family.
Organization and Children
Organization does not come naturally for children, they must be taught consistently, from a young age, and be encouraged.
If you are concerned that your children are too old to be taught, don’t worry about it teach them while you have them at home still.
My children are not perfect in remaining organized, they become lazy in their ways, and those ways are often met with disastrous results and regrettable mistakes.
Just in the past year alone, two of my children have had their bikes run over because they did not put them away, but left them in the driveway.
Often a child will learn a big lesson if they leave a toy out and it gets chewed on a by a dog, or a younger sibling colors on it, or something is spilled on it. But these mistakes prove to be good learning examples for what not to do next time.
Be an Example
If you are not organized yourself, don’t expect your children to be either. If this is an area in which you struggle with as a homemaker; make it a goal as a family to become more organized.
Take small steps (together) and soon you can reach you goal. But you must remain consistent in the process.
By remaining consistent and encouraging, your child can learn how to become organized, which is a skill needed in life.
Stephanie, Training Keepers of the Home
More encouragement here, learn more about homemaking and organization here.