We always want the good feeling and calmness when things are organized. Whether it is your pantry, closet, bookshelves, office tables to even our laundries, it helps when items are put in their proper place. But when it comes to our children’s stuff, it always seems to be tough to keep things in order. No matter how you try to organize and fix them, they seem to turn into a mess after some time naturally. And even if you tell them repeatedly, they will still manage to disrupt the order at home.
But don’t worry. You can still help your children to have discipline and put things in order. You can take the opportunity at the start of the school year when your child has the most enthusiasm to have their stuff and material organized. Here are a few tips for sustaining that and keeping things organized the whole year-round.
1. Show Them How to Break Down a Task
Start small and with the basics. Children have more tendency to do tasks when they are simple and are easy to do. When you assign them a project or an assignment, break it down with smaller chunks. Some call it marginal gains, small steps and giant leaps. For instance, you can take your child with you when you go to the grocery. Show them how you strategize in picking up items based on your list, ensuring that you never forget an essential item.
You can tell them to do it with other chores at home, such as clearing the table every night. Show them the process first and then slowly involve them in the act. For example, in the first week, you can assign them to throw the leftovers into the compost bin. And while you put the plates into the dishwasher, they can, in turn, wipe down the table.
When they get accustomed to this, you can guide them to take the same approach into other tasks like their homework and projects at school. Help them divide the tasks into smaller chunks, focus on each task at a time and ensure that it is done before proceeding to the next. This way, you can train them to have discipline and order. Please have patience with your child as they develop this new habit. This will help them deal with more difficult tasks as they grow. They will thank you a lot when that time comes.
2. Grab a Planner
While your kids are young, train them to make a list of tasks they need to accomplish. This training will come handy too in keeping track of their homework and projects and in checking their progress in learning.
You can do this by teaching your child the use of planners. Show them how you keep organized by having a record of your important and urgent tasks at hand. Just like the grocery lists, planners are a great way to make sure you accomplish your tasks on time. Learning this at a young age will help your child hone their planning skills.
3. Create a Schedule at Home
The structure you set up at home will help your children to stay organized. When they get used to a particular routine, they automatically do it without you even telling them. For example, you can train them to do homework after they take their snack when they come back from school in the afternoon. Or you can also teach them to prepare their clothes for the next day before they go to bed. This way, they will not be in a rush for the next day.
Again, getting used to a structure or a routine takes time, patience and hard discipline. But with your guidance, your kids will get into this. Soon, it will become part of their day and yours too.
4. Set up a Workspace
Your child needs his/her own space too. So do consider providing a space for your kids to do their homework and projects. That way, whenever they have a task at hand, they will automatically go to their design place and start working. It will also boost them and put them into the mindset that it’s time to work once they are in their workplace.
It does not have to be fancy. It can be a small desk in their room, or your home library if you have one at home. Having this workspace reinforces the structure that you put up at home. It will also help in keeping track of your child’s progress in his/her task.
5. Encourage Organizational Hobbies
One way to encourage your child to be organized is to supplement it by organizational hobbies. For instance, if your child has an interest in reading, you can help him/her collect books and arrange them according to the genre, size, or even the author’s name.
You can also apply this to their clothes. You can teach them to organize them in their storage. For example, all their white clothes should be in separate storage. Their upper clothing, lower clothing, undergarments should all be arranged and stored separately. This way, it will be effortless to sort their clothing. Once they master this skill, they can apply it to their other tasks at home or school.
Keep It Together — Together
Learning how to be organized is discipline. While your children are young, train and guide them to incorporate this into their lives slowly. You will not only help them build good habits and discipline, but you will also have ease at home. You will also feel confident that your child can accomplish more in life because they have the set on an organization skill early on in life.