Anybody can wake up one day to the realization that they have a disorderly home. But for people raising kids, that can be a way of life. They might just be waiting for the kids to move out before setting things in order, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how you can teach your child to organized and help you out in the big picture.
Understanding the challenges
Children aren’t equally messy. Some of them easily take to discipline, while others seem to resist any form of organization. As frustrating as it can be when your child tends toward the latter sort of behavior, it’s essential to consider that there might be underlying reasons. Don’t merely assume that they are messy because they choose to be lazy. Organization is a skill, and we often take that simple fact for granted. It means that kids aren’t all born with the same level of ability in this regard. It also implies that they can get better.
Try to observe your child and talk to them in a relaxed, open manner. This will help you understand the root cause of their organizational challenges. They might be having trouble creating and sticking to schedules. Or they might not know how to prioritize and complete tasks effectively. Perhaps decision-making is too complicated, or they aren’t keeping good track of time.
Partnering with kids
Once you go over the reasons why your child might not be good with the skill of organization, you might notice that these same problems exist in the workplace. Many employees have encountered the same challenges, although usually on a smaller scale. And they can take steps to improve, whether through their own efforts or the mentorship of colleagues.
Be a mentor to your child in solving these challenges. Depending on their age, for instance, you can relate their school experiences to task prioritization and time management. When a child leaves the school environment with its fixed schedule, they might lose that sense of structure. You can create an activity for them to plan their hours after school, including a daily reflection on what went well and what they could do better.
These efforts will lead to an improvement in your child’s organizational skills. And once they’ve become reliable at self-organization, you can partner with them in the more significant task of keeping the home organized.
Always do something
Parents generally accept that while they have kids around the house, things will never be as orderly as they want. But there’s a big difference between always having to clear up one mess every day or two, and letting issues pile up into an unmanageable mess.
Calling in the concrete contractors to handle urgent renovations and repairs is ideally something you get done before the kids grow older. As more time passes, everyone gets busier, and maintenance can be postponed indefinitely. Clutter tends to build up around the house. It gets harder to notice the warning signs of disrepair or neglect.
The solution to a massive de-cluttering job is the same one that will prevent its future accumulation. Big tasks are intimidating; you have to break them down into manageable chunks. Make it a habit to always do something. Each day, take at least half an hour to tackle an area. That might give you enough time to sort through one storage cabinet or bookshelf in a spare room. It’s not a lot of progress in one day, but if you and your kids do this consistently, you’ll eventually clear out the clutter.
Keep some as you go
Most people find de-cluttering to be reasonably challenging. It’s not just about taking your possessions and giving them a new home. Marie Kondo’s method for tidying up might have gained widespread popularity, but it’s still not for everyone.
In some cases, discarding objects stimulates the brain. You might not feel that strongly about it, but filtering through your belongings is still a mentally taxing activity. You have to process a lot of decision points. Is this something to donate or sell? Can it be repurposed with the right DIY project? Or should I keep it?
Remember that it’s all right to keep some things as you go about tidying up your home. You don’t have to toss away your child’s old art projects or toys. As they outgrow those objects, you can move them into storage in place of some of your possessions. Or you can use digital storage to archive those memories.
Organizing your home is a big task, but shouldn’t be an extreme one. Sustainable efforts, with your child as an able partner, will help you do an adequate job over time.