Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Spring Cleaning: Kids Edition

When my kids were younger, I fought trying to find ways to organize them so that I wasn't constantly cleaning up after them.  It seemed at times as though I would get one area all picked up and cleaned, moved to the next area, and the kids had drug toys out or changed clothes for the third time in a day!  That had to stop, especially because I was not teaching them to appreciate and care for their own things.  Organization had to happen!
(C) www.instructables.com
When I only had three little ones, I got three different colored milk crates:  blue, red, and pink.  We had two boys and a girl, so this was a simple way to organize things.  We bought a dresser with five drawers and painted two drawers blue, two drawers red, and the bottom drawer pink.  I bought children's hangers in, yep!  Blue, red, and pink!  So now I was armed with a color coding system, and I began to train them to put their toys in their crate, hang up clothes on their hangers, and put folded clothes into their drawers.  I was investing in a tool that would serve them as adults and that they might also pass on to their children one day.
Fast forward to a house of eight children--color coding became a bit more difficult as there really weren't many options for milk crate colors.  Hangers and painting drawers was somewhat simple because the older two boys shared a room, the younger three boys shared a room and all three girls shared a room.  So long as the hangers never left their rooms, they could choose identical colors.  As odd as it may seem, this color coding actually drifted over into our dishware and cups!
Now that my children are older, some are adults and have moved into their own homes, color organization is less frequently used.  The kids who are still at home have developed their own sense of organization.  In many cases, it is not how I would organize, but at least they understand that organization has to happen if they are to have an organized spiritual life and personal life.
I regularly have the children bring all of their clothes into my room where we decide what to keep, give away, and throw away (because it's just too far gone to even donate!).  Toys are minimal at this point as only the youngest two children really play with them any more.  But we regularly downsize those as well.
(C) AGirlandHerMutt.com
Finally, the last aspect of organization that I almost demand but definitely expect is for their beds to be made, bedroom floors picked up.  The rule is usually that I have to be able to get to their beds without tripping over something!  A room that is picked up will increase the likelihood that other areas will be maintained as well.  Although, this is not a guarantee, it does make the room (and whole house really!) feel more in order, calm, and peaceful.

I hope this article has given you some ideas!  If you have suggestions for moms to keep children organized, I'd love to hear them!


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