Organize and Simplify
Ages & Stages
See also Ages and Stages under Responsibility (later) for age-appropriate chores.
Some ideas to help your children organize and simplify with you:
Preschoolers and Kindergartners
- Go on a trash hunt together;
- Make a game of putting things away -- “You put the red ones away, and I’ll put the blue ones away.”
- Involve you child in housekeeping. [See Responsibility -- later]
Elementary Age Children
- Use a checklist to help them develop before-school routines;
- Do your routines with your children. Instead of directing them to hang up their coats, do it with them;
- Set the timer to spend 15 minutes together organizing your child’s room.
- Get your child accustomed to using calendars, homework journals, or day planners (see ADHD Resources);
- Teach your child how to sort through his things and give away what he doesn’t want;
- Collaborate with your middle-schooler to create routines that help her accomplish her daily responsibilities.
Pre-Adolescents and Adolescents
- Teach children your organization methods to prepare them to be independent adults;
- Cement the habit of using calendars and planning tools;
- Teenagers appreciate independence. Hand them the responsibility for taking care of their things and minimizing clutter.