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Top 7 Strategies to Teach Your Children Organization

By Stephanie L. H. Calahan

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Organization is often not directly taught in schools, yet it is a skill that if attained can help your child be quite successful throughout life. Below are 7 tips for ways you can teach your child organization at home.

  1. Teach Generosity & Organization at the Same Time -
    Each year at gift-giving times, have your child clean out toys they no longer play with and clothes that donít fit to make room for the new. Either donate or resell the items that are no longer needed. (see our resource section for suggestions)

  2. You Are Never Too Young To Learn To Organize -
    Young children can learn to put things away at a very early age. If you make organizing an activity that they will enjoy, children (not all but most) will happily help you keep things together. Children who learn to file and organize grow up to be adults that are not buried under piles of paperwork. Start with things that your child can understand. For example, books should be filed with other books of the same size on a shelf he/she can reach and pajamas put away after the laundry is clean and folded.

  3. Game Time Tricks -
    Enclose a small snack sized zip lock bag into each board game to hold all small game pieces/dice/cards. So when the game box rips or gets stepped on by little feet at least little pieces don't scatter everywhere.

  4. Clutter Busting -- Cubbies -
    You had them in nursery school and kindergarten, now have them in your home. If it sounds better to your family members, call them "in-stations." Regardless of what you call them, every family member should have them. Others can deposit mail, papers, messages, and miscellaneous personal belongings for that family member to pick up and process.

  5. Recognize Not Every Room is for Play -
    Define acceptable areas for children to play. This keeps toys from spreading over the entire house and makes their own clean-up goals easier to attain.

  6. Teaching Children Effective Use of Time -
    Set a timer to help your child stay on track - Set aside scheduled time each day for homework - Know what your child's homework assignments are - Know how long each assignment should take - See that your child starts and completes his / her assignments - How to schedule and prioritize to get assignments done in time - Play, TV, and friends only come after homework is completed - Limit the number of extra-curricular activities at one time.

  7. Create Rituals to Make Bedtime Easier -
    Have a set schedule (homework, dinner, play, bath, etc.) - Spend 15 minutes before bed straightening up - Gather all supplies for the next day before bed - Create "calming" rituals (bath, reading, soft music) before bed -Help kids get up in time by insisting on a strict bedtime - Stay away from TV late at night.

Stephanie L. H. Calahan, professional organizer and speaker, is president and founder of Calahan Solutions, Inc. ( - a premier professional organizing and consulting firm, serving a national and local clientele in corporate settings, home-based businesses, and residential environments.

Article Submitted On: February 13, 2006