31 Days of Organizing: Day 18 (Kids) | From Overwhelmed to Organized: 31 Days of Organizing: Day 18 (Kids)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

31 Days of Organizing: Day 18 (Kids)

Welcome to Day Eighteen of the 31 Days of Organizing Tips series!  I'm so glad you've joined me.  Throughout this series I'll be sharing organizing tips that will help you on your journey from overwhelmed to organized.  I'll include lots of pictures and links for ideas that I've found around the web that relate to the topic each day. You'll find a complete list of all the posts in the 31 Days of Organizing Tips tab above, or at the end of this post.

Are your kids organized?  Do they know where to find things when they are looking for them?  Are they able to put things back so they can be found again the next time?  If you answered "yes" to these questions then kudos to you!  You've done a great job helping your kids learn to be organized.  Forward this post to a friend who needs to read it and then go enjoy a cup of coffee :)

If you answered "no" to the questions above, then don't despair :)  You, like most of the rest of us, either struggle to stay organized ourselves (it's hard to expect our kids to be organized if we don't model it), or find it difficult to teach them something that comes so naturally to ourselves, or thought we were just stuck with messy kids and that there was nothing we could do about it (but we love them anyway right?!).

Well, I'm here to tell you, there's hope!  Kids aren't necessarily born with an organizing gene but they can learn to be organized (so can adults!).   Today's tip will help you learn how to teach your kids to be organized.

First, why is it important to teach your kids to be organized?

  • So they can find what they need when they need it
  • So they (not you!) can put things back where they belong (which is a big factor in being successful at finding things when they need them!)
  • So you don't have to constantly pick up after them (or nag them to clean up their stuff)

Sound good?  Wait, there's more!

Helping kids learn the tools and strategies to be organized will help them to:

  • Keep their desks, papers, and books organized at school
  • Stay on top of homework assignments and due dates
  • Be better prepared for tests
  • Focus more on tasks they are doing because there is less clutter around them 
  • Increase their self-confidence 
  • Have a sense of ownership and responsibility over their suroundings
  • Feel comfortable having friends over
  • Respect their belongings
  • Learn to let go of things they don't need, use, or love

And, if that's not enough, they will take these tools into adulthood and apply them in their work and family lives!

OK, so enough of the why... on to the how!  There are some great bloggers that have addressed this topic.

Here are a few of my favourite posts from other moms about how to help your kids get organized.  Don't worry...they're all pretty short so you can pick up some great ideas quickly :)

1.  Sarah at Get Buttoned Up talks about how teachers say they wish parents taught kids organizational skills because of the significant difference it can have on their education.  She also mentions how children thrive on routines.  She recommends starting small and cementing what they learn through positive reinforcement.  Read her post for more great tips.

How To Teach Your Kids To Be Organized

2.  Anna from Ask Anna stresses the importance of everything having a place so kids aren't overwhelmed when expected to clean up.  She also shares some organizing tools such as toy organizers, baskets, shelves, and storage ottomans that help kids keep their toys and books organized.

Kids organization

3.  Chantol at The Power of Moms shares The "Karate Kid" method she used to teach her daughter to put her backpack, coat and shoes where they belong when she came home.  Read her post (link below the picture) ... it worked!
    Karate kid lesson

    Update: Here's a post I wrote later with more tips to help you teach your kids to become organized.

    Helping Kids Learn To Be Organized

    Please don't forget - pin from the original source for all these pictures!

    For Day Eighteen, think about how organized your kids are (or not!).  Then, either go enjoy that coffee I mentioned earlier if yours are already organized, or, for the rest of us, choose one of these ideas to help your kids learn to be more organized.  Don't try to do all of them at once (I don't want you to overwhelm your kids!).  Start with one new habit, and, once that's established, come back and choose another.  Keep building organizational habits and you'll see the difference in your kids' lives (and yours!).

    {Note:  If you're getting overwhelmed with all the ideas in this series, please understand that is NOT my intention! :)  This series is designed for me to write every day for a month, not for you to completely organize your house in a month.  That thought overwhelms me!  So, feel free to skim and pin/bookmark these tips now and then come back later when you're ready to tackle a particular organizing project.  I'll add a button or tab to the blog at the end of the series that will make it easy for you to find all the posts.  Hope that take some pressure off!}

    Tomorrow we'll build on this topic and look at tips for organizing your playroom.  I look forward to going through this series with you and hearing your tips too!

    How do you help your kids get and stay organized?  What do you think is the most important reason for helping kids learn to organize?  What's the best organizing tip you've implemented?

    Have a great day and happy organizing!

    Here are all the posts in the series:

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