Parents of small children often wonder how they can help their children to become better organized. As children grow, it is easier for them to understand the processes involved in sorting, categorizing and organizing their belongings, but if you are a parent of a young child under the age of 5, these tips can help you to organize with your children.
6 Tips for Organizing with Small Children
Lead by Example
If your child sees you organizing your own belongings and putting things away on a regular basis, he or she will be more likely to follow your lead. Organize your own space first and then move on to your child’s space.
View Things From Your Child’s Perspective
Get on your knees to your child’s height, and look around the room you want to organize. Ask yourself these questions:
- What can my child see?
- What can my child reach?
- What needs to be moved so that my child can retrieve and put an item away on their own?
Involve Your Child in the Organizing Process
Depending on your child’s age, personality, and temperament, you could spend a short amount of time teaching them about ways to categorize their belongings. Whether you’re working in a bedroom or playroom, you can explain that like items go with like items. Demonstrate to them that “all stuffed animals go on this shelf,” and “all action figures go in this container.”
Use Labels with Images
You can create labels with pictures of the items being stored, and place them on the outside of each container, drawer or cabinet. There are printables available online, or you can create your own digitally, using images of products found online, such as toys, or you can ask your child to draw a picture of an item such as a sock, hat, or character of a toy, that goes in a specific place in the room.
Choose Organizing Products that Appeal to Your Child
Perhaps your child’s favorite color is pink, then you might use pink fabric bins to hold their belongings. Perhaps they love elephants, and you can use a hamper with an image of an elephant on it to store some of their things. If your child can relate in a positive way to the containers, they will be more likely to use the storage products.
Set Up Routines with Your Child
To stay organized, schedule a certain time each day or week to clean up and put things away. You can make a game out of this by playing music, using a timer to beat the clock, or if you have more than one child, you can have a contest to see who can put things away faster.