Clothes on the floor. School books on the stairs, the kitchen table, and in the car. Hair barrettes scattered everywhere. Socks and underwear never where Mom put them. How do you get kids organized?
In all honesty, it takes an act of God. Ok, so I’m only slightly kidding. And the more children there are in the family the harder it can be. I have three children of various ages. Two are ADHD and one is just pre-teening it. Needless to say, chaos pretty much rules our house. I’m one that in not an anal controller, but I need some semblance of order and harmony around me. So I really have to come up with some creative ideas to keep us together and going along life’s roads.
Here are a few that I’ve found work with my children:
Shoe Holes — A place just for their shoes. It is just some shelves with contact paper on it. They keep their slippers or house shoes in the little cubbies until they get home. They then put take their shoes off and put their slippers on. Their tennis shoes and boots go into the cubby so that we are not looking under all the beds and in the closets for them. We keep this located near the back door so it is right there when they come in and when they go out.
Hooks — A place for coats and backpacks. My kids come in and throw things everywhere so we are never able to find them. This way they keep them right by the back door.
Chore lists — I’ve come up with a chore list system that gives them points and leads them toward their allowance at the end of the week. I keep up on this daily and it keeps them in line and together.
Contact with Teachers — I keep in constant contact with my children’s teachers. They know now that I can “talk” to their teachers throughout the day via email so that we can verify stories and homework conditions. It keeps them straight and dedicated.
Bathroom Bucket — Get baskets, buckets, or hard pencil boxes to keep your child’s toothbrush, toothpaste, deoderant (for older kids) and other supplies that they need regularly. Put their name on it and keep it either in their room or bathroom. Our kids have not lost a thing since we began this.
Baskets — Those wicker baskets with the cloth lining are attractive and very useful in keeping kids organized. We use them for books, toys, and to store hobby items.
Personal Laundry Basket — The laundry usually piles up and quickly. I found that if each child has their very own basket placed in a location suited to their needs, they are more likely to use the basket instead of the floor.
A place for everything — Have a place for everything and have it labeled with pictures if the child is smaller. To be honest, if you know the fundamentals of Lean Enterprise then you can apply it to your life. It will make life much easier.
Make it Fun — Make it fun for the children by having them help create this more organized world. I have them help think of ideas and help label their areas. They enjoy it and feel like they are a part of it.