Were you late for an appointment because you spent precious time looking for your car key around the house? Did you return a book in the library a week late, after finding it forgotten among the children’s toys? Did you need to clean the table before dinner, crammed with notebooks and supplies for your children’s activities?
If you have lived situations like these you should know how much lack makes living in a minimally organized environment. However, we need to be realistic, when we have small children, keeping the house in order is a very difficult task.
But it’s not impossible. And seeking to do so is important because living in an organized environment brings a number of benefits to both parents and children.
Why is organization good for the whole family?
Have you ever stopped to make the count of the amount of time you spend looking for some object, between piles of clothes and papers, books and toys scattered all over the place?
This wasted time may represent, at the end of the month, precisely those moments you would like to have spent reading aloud to children or memorizing activities. Maybe this is the time you could use to take back that long-forgotten hobby , or engage in physical activity or even give yourself the right to rest or to get away from the routine!
Having schedules and an organized home routine is very important for the whole family – if you have no idea how to start implementing it, start by reading this text . In addition, it is important to also look at the organization of spaces and environments of family life.
For parents, an organized house results in:
- Less stress
- More layout
- More time spent on children
Children also gain a great deal by learning about organization as they develop a sense of priority, responsibility and autonomy, important skills at every stage of life. And they will not bring into adult life the terrible example of rowdy parents.
Added to this, a minimally organized environment is fundamental for those who want to practice home education . In addition to the times established in the family routine, children need to have a clean space with few distractions to carry out their activities.
But where to start?
Take a look around you. What bothers you the most about your home? Matches and invoices scattered everywhere? Lack of space to store children’s toys? Cluttered wardrobes? Start by choosing that situation that for you is the most glaring.
The important thing is to keep two actions in mind: discarding what is no longer useful and then organize what you want to keep. But before you go out buying an infinite number of file folders, magazine holders, niches, and organizer boxes, study whether you really need to buy more household items. It is often possible to take advantage of materials that you already have at home.
Now focus on the children’s room. Take a tour of the environment. When we talk about organizing the belongings of the little ones, think mainly of three groups of items:
- clothes and shoes
- Books, notebooks and school supplies
These are items children often have in the mountains. And you know what that means? More time will be spent to keep them clean and organized.
Gather all objects and discard what you do not use
First, set aside time and disposal to housekeeping. So gather all your child’s toys on the floor. Maybe you come across dozens and dozens more. Now, ask yourself a few questions:
- How many of these toys do children actually use?
- Which have an educational function?
- Which ones require more than simply pushing a button?
- What is my child’s favorite toy?
With these issues in mind, start the organization.
The process is very simple. Call your child to help. Separate the toys into two piles: those that will be kept and those that will be donated.
Remember that this is an educational process for the whole family. When it comes to toys, the little ones can have difficulty to undo so easily, even when it is a toy that they have not used for months. If this happens, it is important to teach them about detachment . Explain that this is a toy with which he no longer plays and can cheer another child. If your child still refuses, keep the toys that you want to be donated and insist on this process with him on another occasion.
Find a place for the objects you want to keep
After doing this, store the toys in a visible and easily accessible place so the children can play at will as well as store them on their own.
Even if you want to keep a certain amount of toys at home, try putting a small and varied number of toys accessible to children. In this way, they use all the available toys to fully exploit their features and exercise their imagination until you make a new round.
In that process, you may even find that your son’s room, where nothing seems to fit, now has room for a study table – and your dining table will finally be free!
Although simple, the organizing process is not easy. But it will certainly bring many gains and learning for the whole family. Keep in mind that the fewer things we have, the easier it will be to maintain cleanliness and organization on a day-to-day basis.
Books and clothes
As for the books, separate a corner of the house, or even the small room, to set up a library. Organize your books in a way that makes sense to you and to them. Remember to leave a separate basket for the books that were borrowed from the library (or friends) and for the titles that need reform.
When it comes to organizing children’s clothes, do not leave in the bottom of the wardrobe pieces that the little ones no longer use, which only take up space and collect dust. If you do not store them for the younger siblings, pack them all into bags and find out who needs clothes – there are always lots of people!
Children learn through repetition and persistence . Show how it’s done. But have patience and do not expect a 3 or 4 year old to arrange everything perfectly.
To help you, be very specific when asking to perform a task. Say, for example, “Son, keep the books on the shelf of your room,” instead of simply asking, “Put the books in place.” Or “Take those books away.”
And, remember, if you want your kids to learn to be organized, it will not be enough to give orders all day. You will have to be a good example.