My TIP for Tuesday:

I get busy.  I forget to keep tabs on the kids' bedrooms.  Every once in a while, I make the long trek up the stairs to assess the damages, making sure everyone is doing their chores properly-that includes their bedrooms.  Checking unannounced will cause the kids to keep their rooms tidy, just in case I come "like a thief in the night".  As a parent I want to give the kids a healthy concept of what it means to be ready, be honest, and work with integrity in all things.  Even the hidden areas, like drawers and closets.

First I walk into Miles's room...Nice.  Very nice and tidy.   For a teenaged boy-WOW!  Very impressive.

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Molly...Great room!  Everything is in its place and it is very pretty...

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Megan...Very nice!  What order she has in her room, very clean, and pretty!

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Mikey always has a clean room.  He wakes up every morning, makes his bed, tidies his room, gets dressed and combs his hair.  It is his routine.  Great job!

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On to Junior's room...

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Wow, what can I say?  Looks like we have a child that takes after ME!!!   His closet is overflowing with trash, dirty laundry, and who knows what else.  My first reaction is to get mad.  He has been checking off "TIDY BEDROOM, MAKE BED" on the time card.  I had been paying him MOM BUCKS.  It pays to check in on the jobs!
Not for him, because he owes me some back pay!

Instead of getting utterly disgusted, I chose to make a fun day out of teaching my little Junior Hoarder how to get organized again-how to OVERCOME!

Junior was so excited.  His attitude was absolutely precious.  We started out by getting some old storage containers to organize all his lego pieces that were sprinkles across the entire floor.

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With storage containers, you can fine tune the organization.
Each storage bin, drawer, or container becomes a HOME for something.

Sorting and giving things a new HOME...
Sort by like items (everything that seems to have a similar purpose) They have a home and a family.  They like to live together.

  • Size
  • Color
  • Use
We started by emptying all the legos from every corner of the room.  Junior found a nice set of organizing drawers and started to put the legos together by color or kind.

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After the Legos were tucked away, we unloaded the closet, under the bed, and all the dresser drawers.  Now you could NOT see the floor at all.  It felt overwhelming to Junior as it would to anyone.  The mountain seemed too high to climb, but when you have a method by which you tackle that mountain, it is a snap...

Chip away at the mountain and start sorting.

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Arm yourself with some options.  

Trash Bag:

  • Put all the garbage in the trash bag.  When you organize any closet, drawer, or room, you will most definitely find things that are either broken, never used, or if you are like I was, you have actual garbage (banana peels, crumpled papers, and other unmentionable trash.)  Junior had banana peels, orange peels, and toilet paper around his room.  We gladly placed these items into the trash bag.

Cardboard Box:

  • Put all recyclable or give away items in the box.  You may find something that is still in good condition that you could give to a second hand store.  In Junior's case, the empty box was already in his closet.  Not sure why, but we used it for all the burnables.  We have a wood stove, so any paper trash or cardboard can be burned.

Laundry Basket:

  • If you are cleaning a closet or bedroom, chances are, you will find many soiled clothing that needs washing.  Junior had semi-folded, clean laundry under his bed and in his closet.  I guess he forgot to put it away.  Busy little boys will do that. :)

Well, I must say, it is mostly my fault that things got this out of hand.  I really need to spend extra time with Junior each day, helping him learn to put things back in their HOMES.  Some children are just not geared to order.  I was not geared to order at all.  It took years of training myself to be orderly.  I know it is possible because I have overcome in this area.

A child needs a parent to train them.  Junior needs a daily assessment on his room and encouragement to keep it clean.  I plan to give him extra MOM BUCKS for incentive.  I will take MOM BUCKs away if I check and things are not put in their place.  Junior often gets frustrated because he can't find anything.  It is a daily situation.  We hear him tromping through the house searching.  Many times there are accusations towards the other kids "taking his stuff".  They shake their heads, saying they did not see his things.  Sometimes there are fits and tears-yes, my kids have fits!  All in all, it is time for a new positive direction.

This will teach him quickly that it is a win/win situation if he keeps his room tidy.

  • He wins because he knows where to find the things he is looking for.
  • He wins because he will earn extra MOM BUCKS.
  • I win because I spend more time with my son.
  • I win because I have a happier boy.

Watch this youtube video I uploaded today.  We filmed the process of organization in Junior's room...
It is so cute:)

Just for a reminder…

Tea Time Talk Show Tuesday Upcoming Schedule:

Tuesday, May 1, 2018  at 10 am CST will feature Co-Host Owen Newman

  • The following Tuesday will be featuring Owen Newman from the hills of TN talking about homesteading and the simple life.  He has a lot of wisdom and experience living with less and making the most of each and every resource they are given.  If you have any specific questions, please leave a comment below or send us an email or message on Facebook from the Keeper of the Homestead page.  

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0 thoughts on “How to Teach a Child to Organize

  1. Erin and Junior
    Great job! I will definitely be showing this to our 3 boys ( and 1 big girl ;o). Seems since we moved into our big house more things are accumulating. Thank you for showing me (us) that it can be a simple task ;o)

  2. Nice. I wrote a little bit about that today and have some plans to make a frugal organized thing or two.
    We’re an old tribal (norwegian) family here………All children share one room in a two bedroom apartment…..I stay in the room too at times to help children sleep while husband works night shift. One sweep and its clean.

  3. So cute! Thanks for sharing. What a trooper he is. I will show this to my 6 year old. He is pretty good with the room he shares with his 2yo brother but has a tendency to leave clothes all over the floor. Clean, dirty and in between.
    I have a problem thinking of thrifty organizers. I postpone organizing because I can’t spend a lot of money on rubbermaids and the like. I thought maybe thrift store finds? Any advice is welcome.

    • I created small jobs for my little ones. I had the one in diapers throw them away. When you are washing the counters, give them a rag to wash the cupboard doors. They may not do the best job, but it instills a work ethic.

  4. I have done similar things with my son–how do you stay consistent after? He always loves a clean room but then it goes right back to a big mess

  5. Thanks soooo much Erin. So refreshing since we are having a long winter and it seems we slack on the organizing.

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