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Teaching Your Kids To Stay Organized

Parent and Child Inspired Organizers Phoenix

Teaching your kids to stay organized has the same kind of benefits as teaching them any other life skill. It can help reduce stress, build confidence, and build a foundation for a happier, more tranquil life. Of course, as a parent, a clean bedroom, kitchen, and playroom go along way to helping you maintain your own sanity. 

Getting Them Motivated

It's true for most children, learning organization skills is not at the top of their list of priorities, but if you spend some time emphasizing the value of this skill, your children are more likely to grow into more confident, self-sufficient adults. I know many professional organizers and the vast majority of them developed their passion for organizing in their early years. How you teach these skills will depend on their age learning style, and other factors. Fortunately, it's not a skill that needs to be taught all at once. Just like routine maintenance is critical to staying organized, routine reinforcement of a skill set of organization in your child's life is the key to ingraining its importance in their own mindset. 

Development Benefits

In a child's early years, learning organization skills is crucial to their cognitive development as well as their emotional well-being. It goes without saying that maintaining organization in our own lives improves mental health throughout adulthood. This is why it's important to set an example of how to stay organized for your children, just as you would for good eating habits, behavior and discipline. Organized children also perform better in school, demonstrate better time management, and work better as part of a team, which inevitably leads to greater success in their career endeavors. Next, we will get into some ideas of how to teach organization skills to children in various age ranges.

Child Painting Inspired Organizers Phoenix

Starting Early

It was discovered decades ago that we all learned better at an early age, we've all heard the adage that your child is like a sponge, and this is true for better or for worse. It is possible to teach your children organization skills through simple games as early as their preschool years. Starting with simple tasks like organizing their toys by categories or color is an excellent way to create a foundation for both staying organized and creating their own methods of organization in the future. 

Labeling is also an easy skill to learn at this age and can be taught in conjunction with basic word skills. Imagine how much fun it is for a young child to learn the basic skill of creating a label just like they watched mom or dad make. They get to see the magic of typing in a word on a simple keyboard, hitting a button and see their word creation come to life. Next generation label makers like The P-Touch Cube can make very elaborate labels with borders, emojis and other flourishes right from an app on your phone. This makes your little one your helper in a useful way that can save you hours of time and create a useful skill for their future. They can even take pride in putting away their toys in bins and drawers that they labeled themselves. Toy retailers also have sections of educational toys that can help children learn organization skills  saving you some time coming up with ideas on your own.


Establishing routines is another organizational skill that is important for children. It gives them the structure that they crave and makes daily life more predictable, leaving children less prone to tantrums and more agreeable with other children around them. Create an activities board with dates and times that help you and your children keep school and extracurricular activities visible at a glance.

Inspired Organizers Phoenix Child playing

Managing Attention

The most obvious challenge in teaching organization skills to preteens, and young adults is holding their attention. With kids in this age range glued to their phones almost nonstop, teaching organizations skills can seem impossible. This is why it's important to start with an area of organization that will show them a tangible benefit that they can see improving their life quickly. 

For most young adults, time with their friends is of the utmost importance, so if you can reinforce the benefit of developing their own organization skills to have more time to do the things that they want you're much more likely to have a sustained result. Start with a hobby, or other area of interest or obsession for them, and come up with some ideas of how organizing in that area can improve their performance. Of course, incentivizing young adults goes a long way toward keeping them motivated so positive reinforcement will be important in developing their long-term organization skills. 


No matter what age your children are, you will need some tools and techniques to help them develop their organizational skills. Teaching kids at any age is more effective with visual aids, like color coding and labels. If they don't already know how to use one, this is a good time to introduce calendars and other time management tools on a digital level so they can start utilizing them to plan important dates and events. Finding time management apps that are relevant to their passions will make them more likely to utilize them in the long run.

Organization Product

Equally important is choosing the right storage products and containers. Utilize bins and shelves for larger items, and shop smaller bins that can be used anywhere in the home.For school age children, having the right binders and folders will greatly assist in helping them maintain organization of their schoolwork.

Crayons and Paper Inspired Organizers

Make it Fun

Even with adults, organizing in a way that is fun can prove a healthy source of motivation and this is even more true with young adults. Coming up with "gamifying" Ideas for different organization tasks will make doing them much more palatable to children, young and old. Search out apps with game-like features and build challenge and reward systems to your organizing lessons. This can also present a great opportunity to involve your kids in the decision-making processes when it comes to organizing and give them greater freedom in their choices, which is something that is always attractive to kids.

Track Progress

Just as kids get report cards in school, it's important to track and reward progress, so create a regular check-in schedule to review their performance and maintaining organization in different areas of their lives. This is an opportunity for them to learn constructive criticism in way that is less stressful than reviewing school performance.

Dealing with resistance can be a frustrating part of teaching any skill to a child that they're not excited to learn. For this reason, it's important to emphasize the benefit to them of learning the skill, and help them enough that they can see the benefit over a short period of time. Kids recognize results at an earlier age than we think so don't underestimate their ability to make the right decisions when the opportunity presents itself.

Basic organization, skills and adaptive strategies are critical for your child's long-term development and getting the results that they're looking for in every area of life. The sooner you are able to introduce an organizational skills program for your children into their lives, the less likely they will be to find themselves struggling to come up with ways of organizing an age with these skills are much more difficult to develop.

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