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One of the messiest things you may have in your household would be a child. They're great at making messes but sometimes they aren't the best at cleaning those messes up. In this article we will address the topic of helping your child learn organizing and cleaning, an important life skill to have for when they become a functioning adult..
Let's Get Started
Children begin to grasp concepts better around the age of 2. Of course, they won't understand everything nor have the capability to do everything you do but kids admire their parents or guardians. They look up to you and want to be just like them, they want to do what you do.
This is a good age to start the simple things. Two, in the eyes of many, is a great age to begin this process as this is the age they begin to hit milestones for things such as being able to group toys (type, color, size, etc). This is also the age they begin to mimic the adults around them.
You'll have to keep in mind that your children will view organizing the way you express your opinions on it. If you act dreadfully towards it, they will pick up on that. Instead, act excited like you've been waiting all day just to come home and clean. For a moment, you'll have to pretend that this is a fun task you would hate to miss out on. When they see how excited you are to organize, they'll be excited too. You can turn organizing into a game, such as; who can pick up the most toys in x amount of time. You can also appeal to the sport aspect of it by having a bin and allowing them to "shoot" the toys in to see who can score the most.
Allow them to join in on some of the adult cleaning activities. At this age, their motor skills are greatly improving. Use this to your advantage. This is the perfect age to help them learn how to sweep, mop, wiping surfaces and vacuuming -- all easy motions that are also helpful towards your child enhancing their motor skills. Chances are that at this age, they're always trying to play with this equipment anyways after seeing you do so.
This is also the age that they begin to retain memories better. This can also be used as an advantage. Help your child learn organizing by having them learn what toy goes where rather than just having them throw the toys wherever they know some things are stored. You can also advance this with "adult" responsibilities as well, such as; allowing them to help with putting the silverware up in the correct slot, allowing them to take their own dinner plate to the sink, having them put their own laundry in the hamper after getting dressed, etc.
We recommend instructing your child pick up their toys multiple times through-out the day during the learning period. This will help them become habitual to cleaning up their toys. Though they may not always be happy about the repeated process, they'll thank you later in life.
Keep an eye out for our up-coming "Organizing for Kids - Child Edition" and "Organizing for Kids - Teen Edition".
Learn how to organize like a JLB Organizer. Visit our DIY Organizing page!
As Professional Organizers we are privileged to be welcomed into people's home. Over the years we have noticed that the most common denominate between all of us is that we all think we aren't doing a good enough job and that we should magically be able to wear every hat and wear it extremely well. However, the truth is we can't do everything and we defiantly can't do it all to the degree of perfection we want to. This leaves us all feeling overwhelmed with life as we wake up everything day in a state of "catch up", "clean up" and "just don't give up". JLB Professional Organizing was created so a service was available to help people at least take back control of their homes, the place where we need peace and relaxation the most but after years of working hands on with people we also realized there was another NEED. People need to know they are not alone, their house is not the worse, and that there is hope. This is why we started the JLB Organizing blog; to help educate folks about organization, laugh at the struggles we all deal with, and bring out the truth about homes and why they are so darn hard to keep organized!