No matter how little your kids are you can teach them healthy habits that will last a lifetime. Want to incorporate some simple routines and see impactful change? This post will give you ideas on how to teach your kids to be organized!
Even better, as they develop healthy time management habits you will have more time to do the things you need to do!
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Doing It For Them vs Teaching Them
You want to do and provide the best for your kids.
What if you approach doing and providing for them not just as things and physically DOING things for your kids, but also teaching them how to be self-sufficient?
Sometimes, it’s easy to do more for your kids out of love and inadvertently avoid teaching them the skills they need in life.
We all have moments when you just want to do it for them. Most often this is a way to show them you care and how much you love them.
It’s not unusual to have anxiety about your kids not needing you too.
Just remember, your kids will always need you. Through the years, how they need you will change. BUT, they will always need you.
If you focus on giving them skills to develop healthy habits you are truly helping them become independent and modeling those skills for them at the same time!
There is nothing better than watching your kids grow and learn skills that they will use for the rest of their life!
The following 5 ideas for teaching your children time-management & organization skills.
TIP: The key to success in teaching your kids to be organized is to make them a part of the process! Let them be a part of the prep and creation of the new system.
5 Ideas ~ How To Teach Your Kids To Be Organized
1. Pick & Prep Tomorrow’s Clothes
One of the easiest ways to teach your kids to be organized is to teach them to prepare for tomorrow the night before.
This is a habit that will truly have lasting impacts on how they expect and prefer to start their day.
If you struggle to get everyone going in the morning and are juggling too many things this is a LIFESAVER!
It’s a win-win because you are not just teaching them to make choices on their own and gain self-sufficiency skills…. It starts your day off with less stress.
It sounds simple enough but there are some things you can do to set both yourself and your kids up for success.
Here’s how it works:
- Pick two outfits so they have a choice
- Consider what they like to wear and what they tend to choose on their own
- Start off by picking it with them
- If they aren’t interested then go ahead and do it for them BUT talk to them conversationally and tell them their clothes will be right “here” when they wake up.
- Transition to them picking out their outfit options and setting them out
- Remember to vocalize all parts of the outfit so everything is there
- Underwear, top, bottom, sweater/sweatshirt, socks and hair accessories if you want
- Eventually there won’t be a need for a second outfit being set out
- Use a visual chart to be sure everything is there for the outfit
- Try putting it on the side of the dresser, in the closet, on the closet door or on the counter where they put their outfit
- Talk to them about how you organize everything too
- Consider doing this activity with your kids if they are struggling
- Take them with you to “help” pick out your outfit for tomorrow
- Then, go do the same in their room
This system is truly amazing. Your kids will start getting more confident about their choices and get dressed on their own before you know it.
TIP: Your kids may pick outfits that you aren’t a fan of. Just let them do it. It’s good for them to make these independent choices. If it really bothers you and you know you can’t take it then try putting clothes away as paired outfits. This will encourage them to pick from what you’ve already organized.
2. Create Storage System For Toys To Get Organized
If you really want to teach your kids to be organized, set up a storage system that makes sense for their toys.
Basically, you want to create a way for them to be able to quickly and easily put away their toys without your assistance.
Imagine asking your kids to put their toys away and going in to their room… and it’s done! Not only is it done, it’s done RIGHT!
The satisfaction and joy your kids gain from being able to do this on their own is more significant than you can imagine.
Here are some tips to help your kids get organized with their toys and personal items.
- Use buckets to store items for easy access
- Start with open tops for toddlers
- Print labels that have one word and an image for toddlers
- Use distinct images so they KNOW what goes where
- Keep everything at safe heights and for easy access
- Cube shelves on their side work great
- Put buckets that fit under the bed around the edge for easy access and clean-up
- Emphasize how important it is to take care of the things that we have
- Teaching your kids the value of using what they have is important
- Participate with them in “clean-up” at the end of play time until you are confident they understand what goes where
- Celebrate (I mean really cheer and make it fun) when they first figure it out
- Use celebration when they start to slip and successfully put things away again
Have you ever been around an adult that is a complete slob? Yep, they probably didn’t do this growing up…
I did this with my kids and it stayed with them throughout their lives.
They are both great at keeping things neat and picked up. They also value the things that they have which is a great byproduct of teaching kids to be organized.
3. Use Night Time Routine Checklist For Kids
We already know how important having a routine is for your own self care. I along with so many others have written about this quite a bit.
The same principles apply for your kids.
Having a routine that they do every evening helps them develop healthy habits and also helps you teach organization skills to your kids.
Include tasks that they need to do and will want to do. Including at least one or two fun things will teach them the value of building in time for themselves at a young age.
If your kids are younger and can’t read, just use images & words.
Here are some ideas for a Kid’s Evening Routine:
- Eat dinner
- Help clean up the table
- Even your youngest kids can help somehow
- Play time (put how many minutes)
- This would be their choice of play or “free time”
- Make a puzzle
- Specifically include manipulative options
- Bath time
- Brush Your Teeth
- Brush Your Hair
- Pick out clothes for tomorrow
- Quiet time (Read a book, listen to soft music, color, etc.)
- Time to wind down just before bed
- Bed Time
Having an evening routine is essential to self care for everyone, adults and kids alike. This makes all the difference in how your day ends.
When a day ends with some consistency the next day will inevitably start off smoother as well.
Teaching your kids to be organized is simple with clear routines.
4. Create Visual Morning Routine Chart
Much like the evening routine, kids are more likely to start their day off well if they know what they need to accomplish.
All too often parents have a tendency to assume kids know what you want them to do.
Leave nothing to the imagination. Model clear communication in what you say and what you expect or want them to do.
Here are some ideas for a healthy morning routine for your kids:
- Go Potty
- Eat Breakfast
- Brush Your Teeth
- Get Dressed
- Brush Your Hair
- Get or Make Your Lunch (School-age)
- Clean-up Breakfast
- Check Your Backpack
- Make Your Bed
- Put dirty clothes in your hamper
Having a morning routine chart available and visible to your kids will make the morning WAY less stressful for them and you!
You can feel great knowing you’re teaching your kids to be organized and making your life simpler at the same time.
Download this free morning routine chart here and get started with your kids!
5. Model Good Organization & Learn With Them
Your kids are going to learn the majority of their habits from watching and learning what you and other adults around them do.
Set up adult versions of these tips for yourself and model HOW to be organized for them. If you want to teach your kids to be organized this is the best way to start.
As you start out it may be useful to have them “help” you as you complete the tasks yourself.
Think of it this way…
No one wants to be a “Do as I say, not as I do” kind of parent. That only breeds resentment and a lack of trust.
TIP: In order to make these new habits stick, reward your kids regularly and specifically for being organized and planning.
Want to take it a step further with ideas for Appropriate Reward Ideas For Your Kids?
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