“Where do I start? My life is so disorganized!”
Start with just five minutes a day.
“But I can’t accomplish anything in just five minutes!”
Five minutes a day is more than nothing, it’s a containable time period, and by the end of one week – you’ll have dedicated more than 35 minutes to your de-cluttering goal. Here’s another tip to follow that will help you feel more organized, five minutes at a time.
Today’s 5 Minute Fix: Teach your kids where things belong.
Here’s some advice from parents and teachers alike: teach your kids where things go, and help them get into the habit of putting items away when they are done with them. If you do, it will go a long way to helping you keep your house uncluttered. It will also support them to learn a healthy habit. When they go out into the world of school, play groups, or other, wider organizations, they will experience more peer success and higher teacher endorsement if they have already learned the rules of engagement.
New skills take time to learn and assimilate, so be patient with them and just keep redirecting them until they’ve got it down. Be a role model and set an example for them by picking up after yourself. One word of caution though, DON’T DO IT FOR THEM… this causes planned non-compliance. When they know that you’ll do it regardless, they’ll be much less self-directed and motivated. As hard as it is… leave it for them. Their complete control and command allows their success and heightens the ability that the skill will be learned, transferred and repeated in the future.
Here are some helpful tips on Helping Your Kids Put Items Back Where They Belong:
- Have a place for everything – give items an address.
- Ask your child: “Where does this live” every time you see something out of place. This helps reinforce that items have a home.
- Create zones in your home for like items. “Like with Like” is the oldest organizing trick in the book!
- Locate items in your home functionally – near where they are used. If you use scissors in different areas in your home – you may want to have a couple different pair.
- Use Labels – Kids love them, and they make it 90% more likely that items will be returned if children know where they belong because the ‘home’ is labeled. If they are too young to read, create picture labels by cutting out magazine pictures or drawing them.
- Use easy storage solutions – for small children, keep your storage solutions EASY. Many times a tub works better than a mulit-sectioned container.
- Keep kids items within reach – if they can’t reach items, they may put themselves in harms way in an attempt to be more independent.
Your kids will be more successful if you implement systems and processes designed to help them make simple decisions, and support consistent tidy behaviors. Kids will more likely help you when you have a systematic way of housing items.
If you need help with your kids – consider my tele-class presentation:
- Organizing Kids for the 10-Second Tidy If you want to know more about this workshop, contact me for details.
- My “Dimensions Workbook” was created as a self-guided workbook to walk you through the organizing process, step-by-step. It’s like hiring a Professional Organizer to guide you through de-cluttering your most frustrating areas. This workbook also contains supplies and tools checklists to help you be successful.