Organizing, Redesign & Staging

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Let Your Kids Help with Being Organized

This post will delve a bit into parenting issues but my main point applies to organizing. When discussing kids' chores or their part in cleaning their rooms, clients and I talk about their expectations for their children in the household. For ex., do your kids put away clean clothes? do they put away their toys? Do you have them help around the house? etc. If I know who is responsible for household tasks, I can better help design strategies and organization systems.

Smart managers in the corporate world know that part of success is in delegating. I try to encourage busy moms to do the same -- take more off their plate and either eliminate or delegate. While I am not encouraging child labor, I do think it is perfectly appropriate to give jobs to kids that are well within their capability. Kids like to be like adults, and enjoy playing the part sometimes. Children as young as 2 and 3 can help sort and put away things such as clothes and toys. Additionally, it is part of their development to learn more and more coping skills and life skills. If you always pick out your child's clothes, and you're still doing it when they're 15, that's a problem. If you always pick up dirty clothes and do all of the laundry, the teenager never learns how to do it thus flounders in college.

Connie Johnson, in an article, stated: "Things and space are CONCRETE and meaningful across age groups and ability levels. Sorting and categorizing, and purging are key skills to develop in the quest for organization. Happily, many of these skills can be ENCOURAGED while enlisting your children’s help around the house –- a two-fer! Laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, meal preparation –- all give many opportunities to learn and practice these skills. Sorting socks, putting away clean dishes, writing the grocery list by food group or location within the store, putting all the soups in one section of the pantry and the paper goods in another –- all these activities lay the GROUNDWORK for sorting and categorizing papers at school or work."

It can, and should, be done!