Between toys, clothes, snacks, school work, sports, and more, being a parent requires some mad organizational skills! Local Chattanooga professional organizer Julie Bestry offers these tips:
Everything has a home. If an item is worth keeping, it needs to have a place to be kept. Julie suggests teaching children early to let go of items that are no longer used, enjoyed or appreciated. Possessions that are still used and enjoyed should be placed in their “homes.” Make something of a story of it: shoes left in the middle of the floor are lonely for their other shoe friends in the closet, for example.
Labels! Even children who cannot read can recognize stickers, so labeling all of the toys that go on a certain shelf with the same sticker can begin the process of helping kids learn where things go. As they learn and grow, an electronic label maker can make it easy for kids to help put things away in other parts of the house.
Change your perspective. As adults we sometimes create organizational systems that make it difficult for kids to do their parts. For example, if you would like your child to help put away the dishes, but the plates are stored on a high shelf you’re going to encounter some difficulty. Make sure that your storage systems are appropriate for short people!
Escape the toy box jungle. Tossing all the toys in one big bin seems easy, but it is an organizational nightmare. Small toys fall to the bottom, never to be seen (but sometimes are heard from) again, and it’s hard to teach kids how to categorize if everything is in one heap. Low, sturdy shelves with colored bins, and stackable drawers are often a better option.
Smooth the morning routine – the night before. Julie suggest creating a morning “launch pad.” Carve out some time between dinner and bed for kids to think about everything they will need the next day. Put it all together on “launch pad.” The next morning, everyone will feel better and more relaxed as kids know what to expect, and where their things are.
Julie Bestry, President of Best Results Organizing, is a professional organizer in Chattanooga, Tennessee, providing guidance in all aspects of organizing and time management. Julie helps residential, home-office, small business and corporate clients save time and money, reduce stress and increase productivity. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.