Maintaining an Organized Home Even When You Have Kids in the Mix
Updated: May 11
I know, it is feeling impossible to keep an organized home when you have kids, and you are probably feeling like you are having to do it alone. For some, you might even feel like you are working against everyone else in the house, especially those tiny, adorable humans.
Am I striking a chord with you? Well, let me give some advice that I find effective in getting your kids on board with keeping an organized home. It is important to note that none of the points that I share will be helpful on their own. You must work through each step to get the results you are looking for.
Pinpoint the Pain Points
So, the first step in solving your problem is to actually figure out what your particular pain point in your situation is. In your home, think about the spaces that are constantly cluttered. Could the problem be that cleaning up is overwhelming for your children? Is there an abundance of things that they are in charge of putting away? Maybe it isn't an abundance of things, but that the items do not have a specific home. Kids need clear directions and the path of least resistance when it comes to cleaning up. It may even be a combination of both. Whether your issue is overabundance or a lack of direction, we will go over solutions in the following steps.
Organize Like a Child, with Your Child
Okay, this may sound a little silly at first, but I want you to let go of your idea of what an organized home looks like and think like a kid! Children are very visual organizers by nature. They usually have an out of sight, out of mind mentality so they feel more at peace when they can clearly see the items available. Kids are also do better when categories are broader. As adults we like to micro organize all of our things, but for kids, this is overwhelming and unappealing.
So, when you are setting up organizing systems in any space in your home that kids will maintain keep these two facts in mind. Make sure that you are organizing with their preferences in mind. You want to ensure it isn't overwhelming for them when it is time to maintain the space. This means big bins and clear containers when possible and visual labels. For younger kids I recommend picture labels. You can download my custom labels here for FREE to help with this.
Make the Goal Clear
When you want to get your kids involved in keeping a simply organized home it is important to communicate expectations up front. Explain the systems that you have put in place and what you expect from them in keeping it that way. It is also important to note that you will have to reinforce your expectations over and over. Kids are not likely to keep up with tidying on their own. Having a predetermined idea of what success is makes it much easier to hold them accountable.
Make the Task Worth Their Time
The last piece to this puzzle is to find something that motivates your little ones to participate in keeping an organized home. Up until now tidying wasn't something that was expected of them. It will probably not be accepted with open arms right away from your kids. Remember that you are now expecting them to do something that wasn't part of the deal before. Ease the pain a bit and find ways to reward your kids when they are keeping up with the systems.
Some ideas that I have seen work are tickets or points that add up to a big prize or experience, taking a picture of the tidied space because you are so proud of their work and even setting timers to beat the world record for the fastest toy cleaner. You know your children best, take some time to find out what motivates them and use it to your advantage.
Well, this is my best strategy for getting you kids involved in creating a simply organized home. I hope that this helps you keep a tidy home without doing it alone. Let me know in the comments what your best tricks for getting kids involved are. I would love to hear all of your ideas.