March 12th, 2013 - Category: Organization
In last weeks blog we talked about the strategy behind getting your kids room organized. Today lets discuss what it takes to get it done.
Plan Your Zones
There are several “zones” in a child’s bedroom. Areas where they sleep, do school work, play, and dress. Arrange the furniture and layout the bedroom to better accommodate each of these zones.
For example, instead of lining furniture against the walls, use them as room dividers by turning a dresser, bookshelf, or even bed perpendicular to the wall.
Group items according to how your child relates each item to each other. This will make it easier for them to find and put away their things later.
When you come across items that they have outgrown, broken, or never use, get rid of them. Your child may get wrapped up in the memories and have a hard time letting go. If so, maybe you can create a childhood memory box or book for these things.
Assign A Home
First of all, remember that if you want your child to be responsible for their belongings and put them up, then they have to be stored in places that they can reach, not just you. Designate certain shelves or drawers for certain things.
Here’s my favorite part. Find tough, easy to handle, coordinating containers for all of their stuff. There are so many to choose from. Find ones that are not only practical for what you are storing and the space you have to put it in, but make them cute as well.
Label those containers, shelves and drawers with words and pictures. Not only will it help them know what’s inside, but they’ll learn to read as well! I bet they would love to make their own labels too.
Now, sit back and relax as you enjoy your child’s cleaner room and they enjoy the new found floor to play on.
Remember, to keep it maintained will take time as well. New habits are not established overnight. Create an easy, realistic maintenance plan that you and your child can live with.
And periodically give it a “tune-up”. Your kids are constantly growing and their room and all of their stuff is growing too. Go back through the above steps every now and then to make sure that your system stays in order and their room stays organized.
March 5th, 2013 - Category: Organization
For this week and next, we are going to be talking about helping your kids organize their room. Today we’ll discuss the strategy behind it and next week we’ll discuss the specifics of getting it done.
The key to successfully organizing a kids room is to involve the child as much as possible in the process. As much as you may be tempted to just haul in a dumpster, long range success can only come by allowing your child to participate in the design, transformation, and maintenance of their own room.
Kids love to solve problems – which is what organizing is all about. Provided you stay calm and supportive rather than judgmental and critical, you and your child will enjoy the individual attention and time you get to spend together as you make the transformation.
Just think, through the process you will also get a unique opportunity to observe your child’s emerging and evolving personality. As you help your child make decisions about what to keep and what to toss or how to rearrange their furniture, you can gain insight into how their minds work and where their values lie. You can also learn about any new interests they may have. And together you can create a room that is a true reflection of who they are and what is important to them.
First, with your child, discuss what is working in their bedroom. Maybe the cars are easy to put up because the big bin is in the corner, or they love the bookshelf for their stuffed animals because they can see all of them.
Second, ask your child what they dislike about their room. Create a list based on their frustrations, not yours. Carefully pose questions that speak to your child’s concerns and needs so that your child will have their own reasons for tackling this problem. For example, take a look at the following lists and notice some of the differences between what your concerns may be and what their concerns may be.
Messy room upsets you
You are tired of cleaning up after them
Someone may trip or get hurt walking through their bedroom
You spend too much money on lost or broken things
Their messy room is embarrassing to you
Their favorite toy got broken because it got stepped on
They can’t play their favorite game because the pieces are lost
They got in trouble at school for losing their homework
There is no room to play with their friends
Cleaning up is too hard and takes too long
They don’t know where to put things
Third, determine what items are most important to them. It may be their art and craft supplies or their dinosaurs, maybe their video games or their coin collection. Everyone has things that are special to them.
Fourth, discuss what could be causing the lack of organization. Here are some reasons that may be discussed.
Organizing is boring.
If it’s not fun to clean up, then they won’t want to do it. Yet kids love fitting things into all kinds of spaces. Creative containers may be a help.
Items have no home.
Kids seem to accumulate new belongings faster than they can keep up with them. Naturally, if an item doesn’t have a home, you can’t expect them to put it up.
Frequently storage in a child’s room is impractical or difficult to reach which can impede even the best organizing intentions.
The system is too complex.
Usually a kids room is set up according to their parents idea of logic and placement which may not make sense to the child.
In the end, remember: The goal is to get your child to buy into the organizing process – not force them into cleaning up their room because you can’t stand it anymore. This requires the ultimate in diplomacy and tact. In working with your child, become the organizing consultant. Help your “client” by asking them questions. You may need to offer suggestions to help them put a voice to their concerns, but respect them and their opinions. This may be an overwhelming project for them as well, so be considerate of their feelings. Your job is to guide, motivate, and stay supportive – not just be critical.
Now that we’ve discussed the strategy behind getting your children organized, next week, we’ll talk about the specifics of actually getting it done.
November 20th, 2012 - Category: Organization
If your to-do list for the holidays is anything like mine, I’m sure it’s a long one. Cutting it down in size, delegating, and planning ahead, can help everyone enjoy the season and the festivities a little more.
Start by downsizing.
Take a second look at that list and see if there are items on it that you can do without. Will anyone really notice if the napkins are folded in half, rather than spending hours folding them into a detailed origami turkey? Maybe a few store bought desserts can be added to fill in the tray of homemade ones? If having all the kids in matching outfits is really important to you, then by all means, match, but if not, maybe that is something that can be compromised for the sake of having a less stressful day.
Then, prepare ahead.
Be sure to have all of the grocery shopping done before the big day. Non-perishable items can even be bought weeks before. Be sure to give your house a deep clean several weeks prior so that just a quick wipe down is needed before guests arrive. Cook as much ahead of time as possible and freeze it.
Guests usually love to contribute to the meal. Ask them if they have a signature dish they would like to bring, and then that’s one less side for you to worry about.
Enlist the help of your family. From the oldest to the youngest, there is bound to be something they can all help with. Offer to pay them for help with chores that are above and beyond their normal responsibilities. They will probably jump at the opportunity to earn some extra money to buy Christmas gifts for their friends and family. Here are some ideas of items that you may be able to delegate to younger helpers.
Now, sit back and enjoy the food and the company.
If things still seem a little more stressful than you would like, take a minute to remember what the day is for. Count the many blessings in your life. Name them, one by one, and then spend more time with them.
During this holiday season, MyJobChart.com would like to take a minute to thank all of you for your continued support. We hope that our online job chart is helping you stay a little more organized while teaching your children the value of work and how to manage their money. We hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!
August 21st, 2012 - Category: Organization
We all love the dog days of summer. The laid back attitude of no where to go and no place to be. But with school around the corner, schedules and routines are in sight once again.
No more sleeping in and lounging around in your pajamas all day. There’s breakfast to eat, lunches to make, hair to be fixed, chores to finish, backpacks to load and all in record time. Then the chaos resumes after school with homework to finish, piano to practice, soccer practice to attend, dinner to make, clean up and chores, and then on to bedtime routines if it’s not already too late. I’m tired just thinking about it.
Returning to school brings routine back into our lives with time schedules and due dates. Keeping track of it all will help you keep your sanity and where better to do that than on the calendar.
A family calendar, whether on the fridge, your smart phone, or the latest and greatest idea out there, can keep life flowing. Writing down appointments, schedules, and chores can keep everyone on the same page. It helps you remember and it informs the rest of the family of your whereabouts.
Be specific with the name of the event, the time and place it will occur and who will be involved. Sometimes adding specifics like “bring a green salad” or “casual dress” will help you remember the little things. Use the Note Section of your calendar for specific addresses, cross roads, or phone numbers that may otherwise get misplaced. Use the alarm reminder on your phone 15 minutes prior just in case you forget.
Even if it’s something that happens every week, writing it on the calendar will help you make sure it gets done.
Using your calendar for periodic chores will also help you remember to get them done. You can assign them out or do them yourself, but those chores that only need to be done every once in awhile are sure to be forgotten if they aren’t kept track of.
Try using your calendar for other tasks as well. Record when your next oil change is due, when it’s time to change the air filters in your home or when a particular warranty runs out.
Don’t be afraid to turn those pages and schedule things out months in advance. Yes, something may come up and an appointment may have to be rescheduled every once in awhile, but having it on the calendar will ensure that it doesn’t get forgotten.
Use your calendar better and save yourself lost time and money with better scheduling.
February 3rd, 2012 - Category: Organization
If you’ve ever wasted time looking for something that you knew you had but could not find anywhere, you’ll most likely agree with the motto: “Organization saves time.”
Do your kids run all over the house in the morning trying to leave for school but can’t find the report they need to turn in?
Have you ever been cooking dinner only to realize you are missing a key ingredient?
These types of scenarios can occur in any household but when they happen again and again, it may be time to re-evaluate your situation and try a new plan. Sounds like it’s time to get more O-R-G-A-N-I-Z-E-D!!
Routine is the mother of organization and what better way to instill these habits in our children than for them to have regularly assigned chores for which they must be accountable? The ease and beauty of our “My Job Chart” online chores chart teaches our kids to establish valuable life-long habits that will lead to a satisfying and organized life. It can be customized to fit the needs of your child and your family.
You can turn ANYTHING that needs to be done with any regularity into a “chore” so that My Job Chart becomes the means to creating routines that will benefit our children. We get the most interesting emails from our users. In fact, one mom in California wanted to help her daughter establish the habit of drinking more water so she added it to her chore chart. Here’s what she wrote:
Hi – I just wanted to say thank you THANK YOU for this awesome
service; it has revolutionized chores and daily tasks in our house.
I love anything I can do online, and this was a HUGE improvement
over me scribbling tasks and points and tic marks on a piece of paper.
I hope this service remains free! My 8 year old loves it. I even added
“drink water” to her morning and evening chores, as I was bugging her
constantly to drink more water but she wasn’t doing it.
Steph in California
Now, adding drinking water to your child’s schedule might be something you haven’t thought of, but hey, it seems to be working for this family, why not yours? What does your child need help with as far as creating habits and routines that will lead to their being more organized and more successful? Maybe it’s all their personal care; brushing teeth, washing their hair, etc. or perhaps it’s having a checklist of all the things they need to take with them to school each day and getting points for reviewing the list to be sure they are prepared for the day. You can add their music practice schedule to their “chores.” Whatever it is, you can make it part of their personalized online chore chart and help them become more self-reliant as they log on, do their chores, check them off and earn their rewards; not the least of which will be having more time in their lives for the things that are important to them because the things that are required of them will have become second nature. As you may have heard before, “organization saves time.”