I am the first to admit, I am not organized. I try to be. I might even claim to be at times, but don't go in my "office." Let's just say there's not even a desk in there. I desperately want my children to grow up and be organized, but with me as a role model it does not look promising. However, I was raised by a very organized mother who was raised by a very disorganized mother, so perhaps chances are good that my daughters will grow to be organized in a grand rebellion against me.
Either way, I've set out to find a way to teach them the skills that I clearly lack.
Create a Schedule
Help children to learn to stay on track and organized by providing a schedule for them. Free play is important, and you should definitely schedule that in, but knowing what's coming next is essential to children as it allows them to not only feel safe, but to understand that there is a time and a place for everything. Make it fun, make it exciting, and make it easy for them to take part in the planning of their daily schedule.
Let Them Help
Paying the bills? The kids can help. Clipping coupons? They can help with that too. And putting away the laundry, the dishes, and anything else that leads to better organizational skills. They will learn that everything has a place. Plus, you can be silly with it too. Do Daddy's pants go in Maddie's drawer? No! Followed by the glorious sounds of giggles.
I would be lost without the five slightly varied to-do lists sitting around my house right now. Lists help keep us in check. When you're packing for vacation or even just for the next day, use a list and have your child help you check items off as you pack them.
Invest in some great toy storage and teach your child how to put each of her toys where it belongs. When she is finished with one toy, it must be put away in the right place before she can begin to play with a different toy. What helped in our house was putting all of the toys in their designated containers in the closet with one of those safety door knobs attached to it. The kids can't get in to pull out any toys without our help, which means only one group of toys per child is out of the closet at any given time. Until the grandparents come over.
Routines help us stay organized and on schedule. Make sure that each night comes with a bedtime routine to help your child wind down. And begin a homework routine. It can simply be one in which your child has a bit of time after school to relax, then do homework, then eat dinner, then start the bedtime routine. The more chaotic your day, the more chaos rules your child's mind.
Even those of us who can't seem to get our organizational act together can make it possible for our children to be the rulers of organization. And while they're learning, we can follow along and teach ourselves to be better too.