Here are the two most important benefits of teaching your children organization skills:
The list below is a great starting point. You don’t need to do every single one. I would encourage you to start with one or two and add on as they become part of your routine. Which ones should you start with? That’s for you to decide! You know your kids and family best! But try to focus on those points that will be the easiest to adapt and save the more challenging ones for later. Once you start seeing the results and the positive changes, you will find the motivation to tackle the next steps!
THE BACKPACKS: End of the school week? Time to clean out the backpack, lunch bag, sports bag, whatever bag they have. Great way to make it a group effort? Clean out your purse, wallet and/or work bag at the same time!
HOOKS, HOOKS AND MORE HOOKS: This is especially important for the little ones. Encourage them to hang up clothes, bags, towels, etc. by installing hooks! It’s a lot easier than having them wrangle with a hanger or bar. The easier it is, the more likely they will be to stick with it!
TOY BINS: Don’t bother with lids. Seriously. I prefer see-thru bins or boxes so it’s easier for kids to see what’s inside. You can also label them or use a picture. When you organize the toys, don’t go over the top with the categorizing. Sure, I get the visual appeal of sorting legos by color but is that realistic? Nope. Keep it simple!
OUTFITS/LUNCHES: Cut down on the morning chaos. Pick out outfits and make lunches the night before. Physically lay the outfit out, including shoes, socks, etc.
OUT THE DOOR LIST: Post a list of what needs to be taken on your person each morning. Lunch, Backpack, Sports Bag, etc. Encourage the kids to read the list and double check that the kids have them in hand.
FAMILY SCHEDULE: Post a monthly calendar where everyone can see it. On Sunday’s, have a family meeting going over the schedule for the upcoming week. Each night have a quick reminder of what is going on the next day.
WEEKEND PREP: Have the kids help you get snacks together in individual servings so it’s one less thing you have to get together when making lunches.
SPEAKING OF SNACKS: Have a designated area in the fridge, freezer and pantry for snacks. Get kids used to understanding that everything goes in its designated spot.
DAILY CLEAN-UP: Group activity! Everyday take just a couple of minutes (literally, it can be only 5!) to clean up the daily clutter. Toys get put back, backpacks get put back together, books go back on the shelf, dirty clothes are put in the hamper.
EYELEVEL: Make sure the list above is all done on the kids level! Hooks out of arms reach aren’t going to get used.