Easy as 1-2-3: Clutter Control for Kids

Managing the mess that kids make can be overwhelming sometimes. But by adding some simple routines and expectations, your household will function like clockwork!

Make organizing a part of each day. Let kids know that they need to be responsible for their own possessions. Teach children how to pick up after themselves. It’s important to show kids that every item they own has a “home” where it needs to return when they’re done using it. Be consistent.

Establish simple routines that are age-specific. Younger children will need more direction and simpler expectations than pre-teens and teenagers. For example, saying “Clean up your room” is overwhelming to a kindergartner. Instead, try “Please put the Legos in the shoebox and your books on the bookshelf.” Some tasks that children under five can do:

• put dirty laundry in the hamper
• clean up toys (with assistance) at the end of the day

Kids over five should also be able to:

• make their beds every day
• clean up toys throughout the day
• select their clothing for the next day
• take schoolwork out of their book bags each day

As they grow, add more responsibilities. You are giving them skills and confidence to tackle more challenging projects in the coming years. And, most important, praise your children frequently for their efforts.

Don't forget that children of all ages need routines and schedules, as well as downtime.

• Set out the breakfast dishes each evening so you have a few extra minutes to languish over breakfast treats and conversation with your family in the morning. Also, gather bookbags and double check that permission slips, sports equipment, and lunch money are ready to go. Lay out tomorrow’s clothing to avoid hassles.

• Throughout the year, maintain routines for bedtime, mealtime, chores, etc. Allow some flexibility to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise.

• Slow down and unplug to enjoy and appreciate life. Turn off the TV and computer and head outside to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of nature. Set aside some special time — a weekend morning is great — to cuddle on the couch and talk about the week’s events.

© 2016 Articles on Demand™

Perfect is Not the Goal

Recently I was talking with a group of friends and they asked: "How does your house seem to stay so perfect all the time?"  I laughed and said, perfect?  What’s perfect?  No house is perfect!

To be organized does not mean that a house is perfectly set, designed and staged to look like a picture in a magazine every single day.  Being organized means that you can find the item or paper you need WHEN you need it.  Assigning homes for all belongings and putting a system in place to return things to where they belong saves time, reduces stress and increases quality of life.  It’s that simple.

 If you are spending countless hours every week looking for things and sorting through papers, try these tips:

1)      Make an appointment with yourself.  Schedule a time on your calendar for organizing.  During this time, do not answer the phone or look at the computer.  Commit to the appointment every week (just like a cleaning service might be) and try to allow at least one hour if possible.

2)      Start small.  Focus on one area at a time such as the kitchen counter, desk top or laundry room.  By staying in one place you will see progress in the hour!

3)      Let go of junk mail the moment it comes in the door.  Keep a recycling container near your desk, or the area where you view mail.  You will have less to sort later.

4)      Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  When feeling overwhelmed, consider seeking outside help.  It truly is our passion to help folks get their time and their life back.

And after the organizing is done you’ll be one step closer to perfect.  Or, maybe just right!