5 Ways to Help Your Kids Build Good Organization Skills
Now that you’ve settled into a summer routine with your kids, we’ve got some bad news: The school year starts in just a few weeks! If the beginning of the school year is hectic for you and your family (like most of us), now’s the time to consider ways you can make the transition from summer to school a bit easier.
Helping your kids get organized will help them do well at school and at home—and staying on top of homework, chores and their toys will take some stress out of your life.
Here’s how to help them develop skills they’ll carry throughout their lives.
Assigning chores to your kids can help them learn responsibility—and feel accomplished. Something as simple as making their bed in the morning can help children (or anyone, really) get their day started on the right foot. In fact, U.S. Navy Admiral William McRaven famously said in a 2014 commencement speech at the University of Texas, “If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.”
Make a chore chart with age-appropriate tasks for your kids. According to parenting experts, your preschooler is old enough to put away their toys or feed the family pet, while elementary-aged kids can make their bed, empty the dishwasher and water plants. Doing chores regularly will help your kids learn to organize things naturally.
From a young age, kids thrive on routine—it helps them feel like they have control of their lives. An after-school routine might include eating a snack, doing homework, handling chores and then playing on their smartphones or watching TV. This will help your kids take charge of their activities, work independently and learn how to prioritize tasks. It’ll also help everyone avoid feeling frazzled before bed.
Get Ready for School the Night Before
Part of helping your kids learn how to stay organized is teaching them how to plan. Preparing for the day ahead the night before is an excellent way to help them think through their day and avoid scrambling to get ready in the morning.
Make it your child’s responsibility to ensure their homework is in their backpack; their backpack, sports equipment, coat and shoes are in your mudroom or entryway; pick out an outfit for the next day (taking into consideration weather, gym class and after-school activities) and pack a lunch or view the school menu. Doing a little night-before prep will make the morning routine much easier.
Find a Place for Everything
When your kids’ books, toys, clothes and stuffed animals have a specific spot where they belong, it’s easier to put them away. Your kids most likely won’t keep open shelves neatly organized like you would. Instead, use cubbies, bins and wire baskets to help corral toys and books, and plenty of clothing storage to ensure that your kids have an easy time putting their things away.
Obviously, getting homework done on time is integral to your kids’ academic success. But that won’t happen if you and your kids don’t know what’s due and when. At the basic level, your kids should organize assignments into folders in their backpack. At home, create a spot where they can leave papers to be signed, assignments they’re proud of or ones that need your attention. This might be an inbox in your home office or a drawer in a filing cabinet. Each night, review assignments as part of your routine.
Putting these organization habits into motion over the next few weeks can help you start the school year feeling stress free. If you’re looking to add organization solutions to your kids’ rooms or your home office, reach out to us for a free, in-home consultation.