Getting Organized With Kids
Posted on January 28 2019
Whenever kids are involved, some form of chaos is sure to follow. I used to be a neat freak but once I had Jaylen, I realized there was no way I could possibly keep my house spotless. There were many days of me rolling my eyes at piles of stuffed animals and once I added two more littles to my squad, I found myself throwing in the towel! How in the world was I supposed to keep a structured house with all of these kids running amuck? Instead of giving up, I decided to try different ways of organization. Check out the tips that have been working for me:
Give the kids a space just for them!
In the Addai household, toys and electronics are usually found throughout. The kids run crazy going from the living room to the bedroom and back again. Stepping on Legos or tripping on Paw Patrol toys are common happenings. This has always caused me anxiety because I worry about someone slipping and hurting themselves. One way I’ve been trying to combat this occurrence is by setting up an area just for the kids.
We are transforming the game room into a more kid friendly area that they can have complete control over. Reminding them that this space is for them, to run and play freely, has been helping them be more organized and keep their items in a restricted area.
Not only does assigning designated spaces help with keeping toys throughout the house to a minimum, it helps in other areas as well.
My kids are constantly sneaking into the kitchen to get snacks. Before organizing the pantry, I would often find Jax and Kam, huddled in the corner, with lollipops and cookies. After having this occur one too many times, I decided to get my life together. I brought baskets and bins and labeled them. Each kid has a basket with their name on it. In Jaxon’s basket, there’s popcorn, applesauce and rice cakes. Kam has crackers, applesauce and yogurt melts and Jaylen has granola bars, gatorade, pretzels and almonds. Each child knows their basket and tries their best to keep it as organized as possible. They have taken pride in knowing that it has been tailored to them. Not only does it teach them good organizational skills, but it makes my life less hectic. Now when they sneak into the pantry, I know they aren’t eating anything that isn’t nutritious.
Introduce them to chores.
I don’t know about you guys but I HATE doing laundry! Out of all the tasks to be done, that is by far my least favorite. The fact that my youngest get joy from throwing all the clothes on the floor doesn’t help either. When doing tasks I’m not fond of, I try to alleviate the stress by adding something I like. For me, playing some background music can help with folding much faster and not thinking about scratching my eyes out. The same process works for kids. If you make chores fun, they’ll enjoy helping out around the house. For my littles, the “ Clean Up” song works wonders! If I’m yelling, “Pick those toys up!” they don’t budge. However, start singing that tune and they are running to pick up their toys with huge smiles. As far as my oldest, he just likes the idea that vacuuming helps mommy to do less and possibly rest more. Instilling the idea of chores in them gives a sense of responsibility and helps with keeping the house better organized.
One of the biggest things that keeps all of our homes in shambles is clutter. We buy so many things for our kids, in addition to what’s given by family and friends, that we can find ourselves living in a mound of junk. To help keep the house as organized as possible, ask yourself these two simple questions:
- Do they play with this item often?
- Is it worthy of being donated?
If you separate the toys by what’s used most often, that’s half the battle. In the pile of items that aren’t used, you can go through to see what should be donated. By asking yourself if something is worthy of being donated, you are checking for broken items, etc. You wouldn’t want your kids to be handed trash to play with so if an item isn’t worthy of being donated, you can designate it to the garbage. These two questions help us do a few things. It teaches our children that they can bring joy to others by donating things they once held dear. It also teaches that you should treat people as you want to be treated by asking whether something is in good shape to be passed on. These are valuable life lessons being taught while helping your family to be more organized.
Organization Starts with you! YES, YOU!
This is the most important of them all! Our children pay attention to every thing we do. We cannot expect them to be organized if we do everything in a muddled manner. My husband had a habit of taking his shoes off and leaving them in the middle of the floor. So what do you think my sons started doing? Taking their shoes off and leaving them in the middle of the floor!
They are creatures of habit and need to be guided on how to be organized by following our examples. Joe had to make the change for the kids to follow.
I’ve always kept a calendar of everyone’s schedules and events. My 9 year old now keeps a calendar with all of his after school activities and homework assignments.
- Staying organized with kids doesn’t have to be hard. We don’t have to throw in the towel and settle for mediocracy. There are so many simple steps we can implement that can make our lives a little easier. I hope the guidance I’ve shared can assist you and your family in being structured the way it has for mine.
Until next time Kuties!