If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.
Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby)
One of our members recently posted for advice to help her five year old daughter get organized.
“How do I teach a 5 year old to clean their room not by throwing junk in 10 different drawers and baskets, but actually organizing things into separate places? Word with picture labeling? Ahh just going in her room drives me bonkers! Lol I need advice.”
Here are my top five strategies to help young children start to learn the value of being tidy and organized.
I am going to focus on visual organization. I’m no expert, but in our house visual prompts are powerful and easy to follow so I’ll start with that. I’m sure there are a lot of readers who have vast experience in this area so please leave a comment below.
As we know, what works for one child may not work for another. So the more strategies we can accumulate the more we can identify what works for each of them and teach them some lifelong skills.
Five Strategies To Help Young Children Stay Organized
1. Labelled Cube Storage
I use this type of storage in my home and I love it.
You can also use plastic tubs or open plastic buckets to help keep relevant toys together.
2. Categorize Hanging Space
Keep everyday clothes where she can reach them for herself.
It also makes it easier for her to put the clothes away when they have been washed and dried.
The boxes at the bottom are easily accessible. They can be sorted into socks, underwear, pyjamas, sports attire, swimming attire, dancing costumes etc.
3. Hanging Jewelry Pockets
What I love about this (more than a jewelry stand) is that you can hide it behind the bedroom or closet door.
It’s easily moveable. And easy to clean/dust.
4. Limit Keepsakes
It’s easy to have a limit on the number of keepsakes that are kept if you use one of these.
For example, agreeing that your daughter can keep as many stuffed toys as she likes … as long as they all fit into one of these. The rest are donated, thrown out or sold on to someone else.
This strategy can also start the mindset of the “one comes in one goes out rule” which will teach her to avoid clutter as she starts to lose interest in things.
5. Make Them Responsible For Their Own Mess
You might like to start with a clean slate. Tidy and organize her room the way you would like it kept.
Ceremoniously “hand over” responsibility to her to maintain the tidiness of the room.
The rule is: Mess must be cleaned up; otherwise privileges will be removed.
Reward and praise (as required) until she has a good handle on the process and can manage it every day herself without too much prompting.
And most of all, be a good role model! What does your bedroom look like? 🙂
Please leave a comment and share your experiences below.