Kids and organization. Not exactly two concepts you would ordinarily expect to see together! Your lifestyle is transformed when you have children, and this can include throwing out your previous routines and systems.
Kids bring with them a need for flexibility and spontaneity, and it can be hard to keep things in order.
That doesn’t mean, however, that your world needs to be dominated by chaos. On the contrary, there are a range of insider tips and tricks which can help you and your kids to get organized.
Crucially, you can also implement systems and fixes in place from a young age. These tips will help your child to become more organized as they get older – a skill sure to serve them throughout their life.
Helping your child to hone and develop their organizational skills is essential for later life.
Join Twin Cities Kids Club for exclusive access to local discounts. Read on for our top tips to help your kids get organized and prepare to embrace the calm!
1. Embrace the list
Many children often have somewhat abstract thought processes. This fact can make it easy for them to forget things if the stimulus is not right there in front of their eyes. Embracing to-do lists helps to break tasks into manageable, achievable chunks, and ensures that nothing is missed off.
This technique is also a great motivation tool; your child can cross off or tick every time they achieve a task. Performing this concrete action helps to generate a real sense of achievement.
Work with your child to list all the things they need to do, pack, or organize, and this will soon become a habit. Make sure it is somewhere they can easily access, such as their bedroom, playroom, or the kitchen.
2. Play with color
This option can be a great tip for children who are prone to misplacing their items at school or groups. Allocate each item or subject a specific color and use this across all files, bags, boxes, and kits.
You can also do this for different activities; perhaps dance class is always yellow, while piano practice is blue. Your child will easily be able to spot what they need and keep track. These systems will be hugely valuable as their schoolwork becomes more complicated.
3. Encourage good backpack hygiene
A significant part of being organized is ensuring you have the things you need when you need them. With this in mind, get your child into the habit of regularly emptying and cleaning their backpack or school bag.
Most importantly, this prevents the unwanted moldy banana at the end of term! In addition, it helps them to understand how to pack for each day.
Some items, such as pencils or notebooks, will be needed every day. Other extras, such as gym kits or specific reading books, will only be required once or twice a week.
By keeping your child’s bag clean and organized through the year, you can help them to build good habits. This also helps to ensure that they can easily access the materials they need, and nothing gets lost!
4. Begin at home
As well as developing organization skills for when out and about, it is vital to consider the home space. Ensure that you have a place for everything and that your child knows where their items belong.
Use clear labels and plenty of storage, making sure that this is accessible to all household members. Make the most of what you have in the home. Try imaginative solutions for toys and clothes, and make tidying and organizing fun.
If there is a home for everything, children are more likely to comply. This helps ensure that they can access items quickly and set a good foundation for other organizational practices.
5. Declutter regularly
One of the easiest ways to keep things organized is to have fewer things to worry about! Make a habit of going through your child’s belongings and culling anything which is no longer needed.
This could include outgrown clothes and toys, excess paperwork, out of date letters or information, and broken or damaged items. Make sure you have adequate storage for the things you wish to keep.
There are two main advantages; you can organize more efficiently, and your child can truly learn to value the things they have. You could also discuss donating unwanted items to a charity or good cause.
This discussion helps to inspire philanthropy and a generous, giving nature to those who need help. In addition, your child will find it easier to keep track of their belongings if they are all valued and appreciated.
6. Create visual aids
Life is busy, and forgetting things is only natural. You can help to reduce this by making sure that reminders are fun, clear, and visible. With your child, come up with some creative and colorful visual reminders.
Create pictures of items or activities, invest in a wipe-clean space for notes, or even design a personalized calendar. Make sure that this is displayed clearly, and encourage your child to get into the habit of checking the space regularly.
Over time, this will become second nature, and could save them time and stress later on!
7. Reward the positives
As with any habit, staying organized will become natural with plenty of positive reinforcement. Allow your child to see the benefits of their organization first hand.
Perhaps they have more time, remember an essential item every time for a month, or get high grades. If they can directly discern a tangible benefit from their effort, they will be far more likely to continue.
Be generous with praise, and help them to notice advantages as they happen. Highlighting the advantages of great organization helps them to see it as a positive which can improve their everyday lives.
Check out our tips for implementing a reward system at home.
Join Twin Cities Kids Club
Helping your child get organized can have significant long term benefits, and help to build a calm, productive home environment. With just a few simple changes, you can transform everyday routines and systems, and keep everyone in a better mood for longer!
Even better, you don’t have to stop there. Head over to Twin Cities Kids Club for even more tips and tricks, and say hello to a more relaxed, motivated, and productive family life.