The 5 Mistakes You’re Making Getting Your Kids Organized

Mistakes Getting Your Kid Organized
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If you have kids, it’s likely you have clutter.  Don’t take it personally, it comes with the territory!

Since kids have so much stuff, many parents believe getting kids to organize it all should be simple. However, it’s not as easy as it seems.  In fact, there may be several reasons why you’re kids are having trouble keeping things orderly around the house.

5 Mistakes You’re Making

As much as we’d love for children to be born with an owner’s manual or a guidebook,  sometimes parents have to figure things out the hard way. – through mistakes and learning from them. Here are 5 mistakes many parents are making while attempting to get their kids organized.  Are you guilty of committing one of these?

Mistake #1: Believing your kid is naturally organized.  Organizing is not an inherited character or personality trait that a child is automatically born with.  It is a skill that anyone can learn! While there will be some children who are more inclined towards an orderly nature, it doesn’t mean all is lost if your child has messy tendencies.  It just means that you will need to invest the necessary time to work with your child to develop his or her organizing muscle.

Mistake #2: Expecting someone else to teach them to be organized. Many parents falsely believe that their child will learn how to be organized while they’re at school.  That’s what school is for, right? While many teachers do an excellent job of introducing organizational skills to students, it’s almost impossible for teachers to individually teach each child all the necessary organizing skills, especially the ones that affect homelife.  In all honesty, the best teacher and example for your child when it comes to getting organized is you.

Mistake #3: Expecting them to do more than they are capable of doing. Just as a child develops physically and mentally according to their age and ability, they also develop their organizing skills along that same line.  One mistake many parents make is thinking that their child can handle certain organizing tasks when they aren’t quite ready for them. Younger children can easily pick up and put away, sort and declutter, and understand that items have homes, but they can’t use a planner or manage their time.  Be cognizant of what your kid can actually do and build from there.

Mistake #4: Wanting your child to organize just like you. Many organized parents wonder why their children can’t be organized like they are.  That’s because organizing isn’t a one-size-fits-all skill.  In fact, organizing is very individualistic (if there is such a word!) and forcing a child to organize in a way that doesn’t naturally suit him or her can have the opposite effect.  Understanding and implementing your child’s individual organizing style can make a huge difference in your efforts to help them.

**One great resource to help you figure out your child’s organizing style is “Every Child Has a Thinking Style” by Lanna Nakone.  In this book, Nakone looks at how you can recognize and foster your child’s personal organizing style in the areas of paper, time, and space.

Mistake #5:  Being organized isn’t necessary to your child’s overall well-being.  In the large scheme of things, does being organized really matter? Many parents feel that if they, themselves, haven’t suffered too much with a disorganized lifestyle, not teaching it to their kids won’t hurt them either. While it’s true that it’s not an absolute for kids to learn to be organized, it can make a difference in their overall well-being. Having the ability to create order in their lives allows kids to be more productive, happier, and less stressed.

Raising kids isn’t an easy task.  And discovering there’s one more thing you have to add to your parenting to-do list can be disheartening.  But teaching your children the skill of being organized from an early age is one of the best gifts you could ever bestow upon them.  It will take effort, time, and a lot of patience, but it can be done!

Don’t let these 5 mistakes be a stumbling block for you or your children.  The road to an organized lifestyle may be bumpy but learning from your mistakes and continually moving forward will be a great benefit for everyone in the long run.

Are you making any of these 5 mistakes with your child? If so, which ones?

How can identifying these mistakes and changing your thinking make a difference for you and your children?

5 Staples of an Organized Front Entryway

Entryway

First impressions matter.

In our homes, that first impression is usually our front entryway.  Too often, though, the front entryway is nothing more than a dumping ground for coats, shoes, bags, and mail – offering a disorganized impression to your visitors.  But it doesn’t have to be that way!

With a few organizing staples, you can turn your messy entryway into an organized oasis, one that is warm and welcoming for all who enter.

5 staples of an organized front entryway

(This post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase any of the items listed I may receive a small compensation.)

Front entryways aren’t known for being large spaces that are easy to customize with storage solutions.  They’re usually small, narrow and limited on space.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t be organized there! It’s just a matter of creativity and a few staples to help transform your entryway.

1. Hooks.  Whether it’s Command Hooks or a wall mounted coat rack, hooks can take advantage of vertical wall space and keep bags and coats off the floor.  The style, size, and color can vary, but utilizing hooks in your entryway is a great way to ensure order.

LANGRIA Wall-mounted coat hook/rack

2.  Shoe organizers.  Scattered shoes can be a huge eyesore in your entryway. Thankfully there are a few solutions that can help you corral that clutter including over-the-door shoe organizers, shoe cubbies, or shoe cabinets.  Again, it depends on the space you have available and your personal style (whether you want the shoes out and visible or hidden away) as to which option is right for you.

Over-the-door shoe organizer

Closet Maid Shoe Station

IKEA Hemnes Shoe Cabinet w/ 2 compartments

3.  Bins for accessories.  In addition to our bags and shoes, the entryway is also host to all the accessories we carry along with us – scarves, sunglasses, sports equipment, and extra-curricular activity items to name a few! Rather than have these items spread out all over the house, use bins (fabric, wicker, or locker style) to contain these necessary items in your entryway to make them easy to find as you’re heading out the door.

Cloths Storage Bins with Label Holders

5-piece wicker basket set

Wire Storage Basket (Amazon)

4.  Storage for keys and mail.  Did you know that we waste spend 6 minutes (on average) every day looking for our keys?  Gain that time back by having a designated spot for your keys and mail in your entryway.  You can choose from something that mounts on the wall to a decorative option that sits on a flat surface.  Either way, providing storage for your keys and mail in your entryway can keep you from asking, “Has anyone seen my keys?” ever again.

mDesign 2-Tier Entryway Mail Organizer and Key Rack

Honey-Can-Do Mail and File Desk Organizer

 

Valet Tray Leather Catchall

5. A flat surface.  While a flat surface may not seem vital to your entryway, providing some space to either sit or lay bulky items down can be a big benefit in keeping order.  A bench, a simple table, or shelving can provide you countless organizing options to maintain order at your front entrance.

 

Crosley Furniture Brennan Entryway Storage Bench

Coaster Home Furnishings Soft Table

Entry Hall Shelf with Cubby and Hooks

 

What is your entryway conveying to those who cross your doorway? If you’re offering a not-so-welcoming first impression, you might want to consider utilizing these 5 staples to create a pleasing and organized front entrance.

Which of these 5 staples could spruce up your front entrance and make it warm and welcoming for your guests?

Leave a comment and let me know!

What’s stopping you? Overcoming the Organizing Roadblocks

Overcoming Roadblocks

As the end of January draws to a close, many people have abandoned the goals and resolutions they had just 30 days ago.

Why?

It might have been unrealistic goal setting, lack of time, or lack of motivation.  But more than anything, it was probably something blocking the way they just couldn’t overcome.

In fact, it’s not unusual to face roadblocks when you’re pursuing a goal or dream.  The question is what will you do when you encounter them – will you just sit there and stare at them or will you find ways around them?

Overcoming the roadblocks

Recently, my hometown of Houston experienced an unusual ice storm.  We don’t normally see this type of wintry weather in South Texas, but IceApocalypse 2018 occurred and threw us for a loop.

When something like this happens, everything in the metroplex area shuts down.  But for whatever reason,  some drivers decided to take to the highways even though ice on the roads could create dangerous driving conditions. Those who ventured out quickly discovered that several roads were impassable.  As a result, many cars were stuck on the freeways and causing quite a stir.

Watching this unfold on TV I noticed something interesting:

The drivers in the left-hand lanes just sat in their cars, doing nothing.  They took a chance to go out, but when an icy roadblock stood in their way, they became paralyzed. However, the drivers in the right-hand lanes decided to take another route. Literally.  Although it was a huge risk, they decided to drive backward on the freeway towards the closest exit in order to find a way around the obstacle in front of them.

As I watched, I couldn’t help but think that this story illustrates perfectly how some people handle the roadblocks they face on their organizing journey.

What choice will you make?

If getting organized is your goal this week, this month, or this year, can I just tell you that you’re going to face obstacles? No one wants to hear that, but it’s true.

“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” ~ Michael Jordan

As you climb the building blocks towards an organized lifestyle there will be all types of pitfalls that will prevent you from finding the success and order you long for – fear, doubts, time restraints, excuses, other people, guilt, lack of knowledge.  The list goes on and on.

When you face those roadblocks, you have a choice to make: you can either choose to stare at the roadblock in front of you and stay put, or you can take one or two steps backward and find a way around whatever is blocking your way.

Those are really the only 2 choices you have.  Which will you choose?

While you may not be able to answer the question right away, maybe understanding the consequences of your decision will help.

If you allow the roadblock to impede your progress, you will stay stuck in the clutter and chaos that surrounds you.  You will remain frustrated, overwhelmed, and unhappy.  It will be as if you have fallen and can’t get up. Sadly, you could be stuck there for a very long time.

But if you choose to be like those who took a risk on the freeway, and actively seek out a way around the roadblock in front of you, even if it means going one or two steps backward, you’re still moving.  When all is said and done, you’re making progress.  And even that small amount of momentum can make a difference in your organizing efforts.

It’s not easy…

Getting organized isn’t easy.  If it were, everyone would be doing it.

There’s no doubt you will face obstacles on your organizing journey. You may find that you’ll be challenged to take risks to move backward,  sideways, or possibly even over, these roadblocks. But if you’re willing to the chance and keep moving, the rewards will be worth it.  What’s stopping you?

The Building Blocks of an Organized Lifestyle – Part 2

 

Building BlocksLast week we looked at the first 4 blocks to an organized lifestyle. Today, we’re going to look at the last 5 blocks to see how we can bring true order to our homes and lives.

Building Blocks

Building Blocks towards Order

Once you’ve chosen to pursue order, committed to the process, made the time and got started, and began to make decisions, then you’re ready to move on:

5.  Let go.  I’ve said it before, “You can’t organize clutter!” You may try, but it won’t bring you the lasting order you long for.  The only way to get organized is to let go.

That means you have to declutter and determine what you truly want and need in your life and remove anything that is unused, unloved, or unneeded.  Decluttering can be a difficult process and often a stumbling block for most people. However, once you do, you’ll find your life and your space, brighter and lighter!

6.  Create systems. Once you’ve decluttered and kept only what is important to you, then it’s time to create a system that will allow you to house and organize those precious items.

The problem for most people at this stage is their desire to copy or emulate what is seen on Pinterest or in the magazines.  While those are great sources of inspiration, organizing isn’t one-size-fits-all.  Whatever organizing system you chose, it needs to be based on your personality, your stage of life, your space, and your stuff.

It also has to be a system that can be tweaked and has room for growth.  After using your system for awhile you might find some things didn’t work as you’d hoped.  You haven’t failed, you just need to adjust!  You’ll also need to remember that inevitably, you will buy or bring new items into your spaces.  Can your system handle more? Make sure to leave some empty space in your system for new items so you don’t cause fresh clutter and overwhelm.

7.  Apply the system.  Once you’ve created and set-up your organizing system, you can’t just leave it there and think that it will take care of itself.  It won’t!  You’ll have to work and maintain the system on a regular basis. You see, organizing isn’t a one-time event, but rather a lifelong process.

So how do you do that? Revisit your system frequently and change what isn’t working, identify items that are no longer need and let go of them, and actually use the system by putting things back.  When disorganization slips back into a space, it’s usually because most people ignore or skip this step altogether.

8.  Follow-through.  I like to say that the fortune is in the follow-through! True organizing success not only depends on the blocks you’ve completed beforehand but also the habits you develop to sustain your journey.

Here are a few follow-through habits that you can work on to keep you orderly:

  • Do things now, not later
  • Assign homes to items as they come in the house
  • Purge frequently
  • Finish what you start
  • Establish routines
  • Avoid temptations

As Aristotle said, “We are what we habitually do.”  Try to instill one habit into your life and see how it makes a difference in your organizing efforts.

9.  Lifestyle.  The ultimate goal of getting organized is not to just have an inviting and pretty space but to create a lifestyle for yourself.  Living organized allows you to be and do so much more – from inviting family and friends over to eating healthy to enjoy the things that matter most in your life. And isn’t that what life is supposed to be about?

While this isn’t a fool-proof or guaranteed approach towards an organized life, it is a great way to start building one.  You may find as you climb these blocks that you’ll take one step forward and two steps back, but it’s not a race.  Do what you can, with what you have and where you are and eventually you’ll reach the top!

What building block are you currently on?

How can understanding these blocks make a difference for your organizing journey?

Leave a comment and let me know!