Get Your Kids Organized at All Ages
Toddlers, and even teens, can be good organizers. Follow these tips to teach your kids organizing skills that will last a lifetime.
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Ages 5-8: Get Creative
"Children in this age range love to get creative, and if you give them a challenge they'll thrive on rising to the occasion," says Aronson. "They can also start handling a lot more responsibility." Try these activities out for organizational success:
- Make it accessible. For the closet, Smallin suggests hanging a second clothes rod from the top rod so children are able to reach clothes and hang them up. Also, put hooks on the back of the bedroom door at a convenient height for hanging backpacks, jackets and clothes that will be worn again.
- Give them responsibility. Smallin suggests getting stuffed animals off the bed and floor with a nylon hammock that hangs across one corner of the ceiling. Make sure your kids can reach it so they can make a game of putting the animals to bed in their hammock at night — all by themselves.
- Establish zones. Walsh suggests setting up your child's room with a function chart that everyone follows. Art projects are done at the corner table, for example, with all art supplies organized nearby. Reading might take place on the bed, so books are kept on a shelf nearby, or in a box under the bed.
- Establish limits for how much stuff is in the room. "Keep asking questions like, 'Do you play with this any more?'" Walsh says. It will "teach your child the life lesson that they can't have everything they want."
- Get creative with storage space. Children in this age group are collectors and need plenty of space. Raise beds up with bed lifts and add an extra-long bed skirt to conceal under-bed storage space for seasonal items and growing collections.
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