Most parents often find themselves frustrated at the mess in their home because of their child's disorganization. To eliminate the frustration and teach children, it's time to encourage them to join in on the clean up routine!
In order to make clean-up simple and fun, the Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) provides four quick and easy tips to practice with your children:
1) Keep the clothes and jackets off the floor Start with the basics and encourage your children to keep their clothes and jackets off the floor! POC member Cindy Browning suggests that if the child can dress himself, he can learn to pick up his own clothes. Use laundry hampers or baskets that are low to the floor and hooks on the wall that are close to your child's height so she can reach them. Shelves or hooks that are higher in the closet can be used for items not used as often i.e. dress clothes. The lower shelves can be used for everyday items. This makes it easier for them to put the clothes away or hang up coats. Make it part of their daily routine.
2) Tucking away the toys Teach your children that putting away their toys is part of play time. Browning offers ideas on how to make the toy clean up easier and fun for children and to keep your house clutter-free. Purchase shallow containers, divide up toys in categories. Create a label for each container with a picture of the items to go in the container (i.e. with clip art or take a photo). This makes it easier for your children to see where the toy goes back to. After play time comes tidy time! Add music or sing a song with them to help make clean up time just as fun. This is a valuable practice because this teaches organization at an earlier age -- translating into good lessons for homework time or desk clean up at the office later in life.
3) Keep the bedroom clean and tidy The bedroom is a space where your child begins and ends each day. To help keep the bedroom organized, Browning suggests a few ways to upkeep the room each day. Incorporate making their bed into their morning routine -- a made bed really sets the tone for a clean space. Make sure your children have 10 minutes each day to quickly tidy their room. It only takes a few minutes a day to keep things tidy. This helps your children to learn how to schedule themselves and introduces them to time management as well.
Afraid you'll fall off the cleaning bandwagon? One of the best ways to stay on track is jotting down the tasks you'd like to accomplish. We spoke with Becky from Clean Mama who provides a free printable cleaning calendar every month to help remind you of daily tasks like checking your kitchen floors and countertops for crumbs. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/04/cleaning-home-schedule_n_2398991.html?utm_hp_ref=huffpost-home&ir=HuffPost%20Home">Click here to read more.</a>
Making new habits is one small way to keep your house under control, but that's easier said than done. But Dana from A Slob Comes Clean tells her readers that if they start with their kitchen, there's hope for the rest of the house! <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/07/running-dishwasher-daily_n_2427247.html?1357597231">Click here to read more. </a>
Brooks Palmer, blogger and author of Clutter Busting says to pick up each possession and ask yourself, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/09/let-go-of-clutter-organizing_n_2442544.html?utm_hp_ref=huffpost-home&ir=HuffPost%20Home">do I need this, or can I let it go? </a>Isolating each item will help you think clearly and identify if you're only hanging on to it because you are afraid of hurting someone's feelings, it has memories attached to it or you spent a lot of money on it. Afterwards, you'll feel great -- clutter just takes up space and gets in the way of what you really want to do with your space.
Tossing your stuff, no matter how insignificant, is emotional and frustrating. That's why Beth Zeigler from Bneato compares getting organized to working out: You're not doing something right if you don't feel the burn. In other words, you just have to dive in there and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/11/take-stress-out-of-decluttering_n_2458611.html?utm_hp_ref=huffpost-home&ir=HuffPost%20Home">don't give up until it's done</a>, and you'll be so glad you did afterwards.
Tasks like laundry are so tedious, we tend to put them off until we can do a lot at once, like on the weekends. As a result, we end up stressing through our Saturdays, battling a seemingly bottomless pile. But surprisingly, Bonnie Donahue from House Of Grace tells us <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/17/laundry-stress-daily-routine_n_2498787.html">that it's easier to do a little daily instead.</a> "A load a day keeps the piles away," says Donahue. (Sounds like we have a new mantra!)
Of course we're usually most concerned with straightening up the areas in our home that are on display, and we're often guilty of shoving piles into cabinets and closets minutes before guests are arriving. But Anna Moseley, blogger behind our daily read 'Ask Anna' tells us that hiding our clutter behind doors just leads to more stress. Instead, you should feel good about your storage nooks. And to do this, she says, you need to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/22/ask-anna-maximize-closet-space_n_2528808.html?utm_hp_ref=huffpost-home&ir=HuffPost%20Home">maximize the space you have by tailoring your storage solutions to your closet layout.</a>
We're so busy taking care of the stresses we face everywhere we go that it often slips our minds to give our automobiles the attention they need. A great way to start is de-cluttering any unnecessary junk. You probably have more things than you need in the trunk, backseat and glove compartments, and these all add up to one big messy situation.
Professional organizer Julie Naylon explains how to start organizing a messy closet.
4) Teach them to let go As we learn in life, nothing lasts forever. Clothes and toys are items that children grow out of and are things that are worn down after years of use. Involve them in the process and use this concept to teach your child the idea of letting go at an early age. Browning recommends that as seasons change or after birthdays or holidays, go through the toys and clothes with your child and have him pick out the ones he doesn't play with any longer, or clothes that he has either outgrown or does not wear anymore. Explain to your child that she can donate them to other children in need or incorporate them into your next garage sale. Practice the "One in, One Out" principle. It teaches them a valuable lesson -- both about letting go and donating items to charities and others in need.
Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) is a national registered non-profit association that provides education, business development tools and a code of ethics for all types of organizers across Canada. Currently representing more than 500 Professional Organizers in more than 14 chapters nation-wide, POC's mandate is to provide a supportive environment for members to learn, share ideas, network, and exchange resources. For more information, please visit www.organizersincanada.com