Keeping your kids’ room organized and clean is a full-time job. You could spend an hour every day to tidy it up, but it's never enough. And who has that much time to spare anyway?
That’s why we love the idea of teaching our little ones to stay organized on their own. Yes, kids will be kids, but that doesn’t mean that they need to live and play in disaster zones. With a little bit of time, effort, and focus you can teach your kids how to clean up after themselves and stay organized. Check out these seven tips and tricks to help you out:
Teach the Act of Giving
Some kids have no problems getting rid of old, unused toys. Others can’t seem to let go of anything. If you have a stubborn child who wants to keep everything, it’s important to start teaching them the value of giving away their own toys to kids in need.
A great way to do this is to choose a small container, like the mimish medium scientist bin and tell them that they can store every keepsake that fits in the bin. If it doesn’t fit inside, it’s not as important and should be given away.
Establish a Routine
Kids do great with routines. If they know that they have certain household tasks to accomplish every day and tasks to complete on specific days of the week, they can stick with it. The key is to get them involved in their own chores A.S.A.P.
For example, if you know that you’re going to wash clothes on Thursday, ask your child to help by folding and then planning her clothes for the following week. As for cleaning up their bedrooms, make it something they have to do every day for just a few minutes so that it becomes a positive habit.
Don’t Be Afraid to Use Containers and Organization
Everything can’t go in its place if everything doesn’t have a place. You can never go overboard with too many containers for putting items away and keeping everything neat and clean.
They key is to create a storage space for every type of toy. For all those stuffed animals, there’s the storage beanbag, which is an all-in-one seat and den for all your kid’s furry friends. However, for all those Legos and building blocks, you can use a mini bin that’s easy to pull out when needed and put away in the closet when you clean up. The possibilities are endless. And, when you use a storage container with limited space, you ensure that your child only keeps what can fit inside, so if they get something new, they have to get rid of something old.
Use a Star Chart
Everyone does better with a checklist of things to do. It’s a great document to refer to at any time, and you can make as many checklists as you need to keep you and your kid organized.
We recommend making a star chart with lists such as “3 Things To Do Before Bed” and “What To Clean Up After Play Time.” You can even make planning checklists for things to take on vacation or to bring on a sleepover.
In addition, this is the perfect opportunity to use incentives as rewards for completing a list. For example, you can make a rule that when your child crosses off three things on their list—they gain three stars—they get an extra dessert or 30 minutes more to play video games. You can incentivize whatever will most likely encourage your kids to attain more stars.
Keep a Family Calendar
To stay organized, you’ll want to track everyone’s activities in a large, prominent place. We recommend keeping a calendar in an easily accessible area and encouraging your kids to write down their own plans or ideas as they go. The entire family can then refer to this schedule for studying, chores, activities, and more.
In particular, consider a whiteboard calendar that can be easily adjusted. Things change at the speed of light and you want the ability to move things around as needed to fit your schedule.
Set Time Markers
Especially for the littlest in your family, it can be hard to stay focused. Most of the time, it can feel impossible. But you can help your kids learn to stay focused by giving them time markers, or deadlines that they have to meet.
For example, instead of telling your kid to clean their room and leaving it open-ended, ask them to clean their room for the next ten minutes. This deadline will teach your kids to challenge the impulse to do something else because they know that there is a limit to how long they need to stick with something important.
Get Them Involved
Finally, the best thing you can do is to get some input from your kids on being organized and learn why they think it might be important. If your kid wants to do it, they’ll be more likely to stick with it. To do this, brainstorm with your kid about easier and better ways to be organized and focused. Let them give their input about what they would like to do. In the end, this will lead to far less nagging about chores.
Keeping your kids organized isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. If you can get your kids to join you on the journey to organization, you’ll all be much happier in the long run.