Help Your Kids Get Organized
From the moment you brought your baby home from the hospital, you probably realized that children have a lot of stuff, and keeping it organized is no easy feat. Now that your child is in school, there is a whole new set of items—backpacks, lunch bags, homework, permission slips, art projects, and more—to try to contain.
The benefits of helping your kids stay organized go far beyond maintaining a neat and tidy space. It saves time, helps them focus, gives them a sense of routine, and teaches them about responsibilities. Start the school year off on the right foot with these tips for creating a more orderly home.
Create a staging area. This is a place where your children can keep their everyday items such as their backpacks, coats, and shoes. It doesn’t have to be fancy—a hook and shoe rack by your front door will do. Having a staging area means your child’s belongings won’t end up scattered throughout your home. It also saves time during your morning rush so your child isn’t searching for his or her shoes when you’re trying to get everyone out the door.
Designate a workspace. Every parent knows how easy it is for school papers to take over your home. Designating a space, such as a desk or table, for your children to do their homework helps keep those papers contained. Make sure it’s a quiet space where they can concentrate. Also keep all necessary supplies such as pens, paper, folders, and more nearby.
Be predictable. Organization isn’t just about containing physical objects. It also has a lot to do with managing your time. Routines are a great way to take the guesswork out of your day since everyone knows what they’re responsible for doing. For example, in the morning you can have your children get dressed, make their bed, and eat breakfast while you pack their lunch. In the afternoon, they may do their homework while you prepare dinner, and then everyone eats together.
Make a checklist. Like adults, children struggle with keeping everything they have to do organized in their mind. Show them how to make a checklist. Have them write out their to-do list so they can stay focused on the task at hand and move smoothly from one item to the next.
Lead by example. As any parent knows, kids are always watching. Model the behaviors you’d like them to adopt. Sit down at your workspace to pay your bills and then file the papers away. Always put your keys in the same spot when you walk in the door. Even if being organized doesn’t come naturally to you, putting some effort into becoming more organized will pay off in your own life and in your children’s lives, too.