Do you have a playroom that is out of control? A toy box that has vomited its contents? Stacks of books, magazines, video games and CDs? Bet you that all those things belong to your children. Now is the time to conquer the clutter chaos and teach your kids how to organize their stuff on their own.
Yes, this may sound like torture, but teaching kids organizational skills will not only help you keep your house tidy, it will also help them learn how to pick up after themselves.
To get started, if your kids are old enough to read, write down what you would like them to do.
Reward your children for a job well done. Bribes of money and gifts may help, but it is better to lavish them with praise. Let them play their favorite music (at their preferred volume) while they work, take before and after pictures that you can post on Facebook to brag about their achievement or make their favorite meal for dinner.
Teach your kids the 12-month rule. If you haven’t used something or worn something in twelve months you probably won’t so you can donate those items to charity or have a garage sale to sell them.
Those piles of magazines, pictures and school projects can either be read on-line or scanned and stored electronically. They know how to do that better than you do.
Give your kids somewhere to store their stuff. Your kids cannot put things away if there’s no place for them to go. Work with them to choose fun (inexpensive) shelves, cubbyholes, bookcases or storage boxes. Help them label and decorate the boxes (they can pick silly names to make it fun).
Remember the more involved kids feel in the process, the more dedicated they will be in keeping their space tidy and that’s good for everyone.