Get your kids in the habit of using a checklist. Chores, assignments and reminders should always be written down. Once it’s written down, it is less likely to be forgotten. Crossing off completed items on the list will give your kids a sense of accomplishment. Develop a morning, after-school, and bedtime organizing/cleaning routine that should be followed each day. They should be quick things that make a big difference! For example…
Morning Checklist: Make bed, fold PJs, wipe spots off bathroom mirror
After-school: Finish homework and re-pack bookbag for the next morning
Bedtime: Put dirty clothes in hamper, hang up bathroom towels, and put away toys
These are all tasks that take only a few minutes and that any child should be able to accomplish. Make sure they stick to it and avoid distraction. This will help them make organization a habit, not a chore.
With the amount of homework older kids bring home, it can sometimes be difficult for them to keep it all organized. Again, encourage your child to write down all of the assignments that need to be completed each night. Designate a regular study space where they can work without distraction. It’s also beneficial to have a weekly cleanup each Friday. Have your child go through their folders, notebooks, and backpacks to organize any loose worksheets or notes and toss anything that isn’t needed. If your child works at his or her own desk, the weekly cleanup should extend to tidying up this area as well.
Help your child keep his or her closet organized. One idea is to have him or her pick out an outfit for every day of the week. Once they’ve finished you can come in and check it out. This prevents long mornings of “No! I don’t want to wear that!” and clothes being tossed all over the floor. It also gives your child a sense of independence, knowing that he or she picked out the outfit alone. Make sure you give your child a hamper for dirty clothes. Let them know that if it’s not in the hamper- it’s not getting washed! As soon as the laundry is finished clothes should be taken out of the hamper and put away neatly.
If you want to stop telling your kid to clean their room, make it easier for them to keep it organized. A good idea is to see things from your kid’s perspective, literally! What’s at his eye level? It might help to see as he does. Perhaps you’ll realize that he can’t reach certain storage spaces, or that some drawers are sticky and hard for little hands to open. Sometimes adult storage solutions simply don’t work for children. For little kids, consider investing in containers that sit on the floor that they can access easily. Put the toys they play with most within easy access. That way they can take them out and put them away without a lot of fuss.
Work with your child to help them understand that organizing is important and it makes doing chores much easier. Make it a routine. The more you stick to a plan, the more it will become a force of habit, rather than a chore they don’t want to do.
images by Baby Fashionably, Our Closet Organizer