Alright, so this blog may seem pretty silly, but hear me out on this one. Obviously having an organized home is good for your children, right? It teaches them life long organizational skills that will benefit them in their own homes as well as in their careers one day. It also goes without saying that being organized saves you time that can be better spent with your children. Also, a clutter-free home is almost always a cleaner home with less dust and dander for your children to inhale. Those are pretty obvious, but being organized also teaches your children respect, independence and how to take pride in their personal space.
My three year old is an amazing little person. Everyday she learns something new and surprises me with her wisdom that has certainly not come from me! My daughter is a very tidy little girl and she takes such pride in her belongings. She always puts her toys, clothes and shoes away all by herself. I truly believe that if you treat your children’s toys as though they are all very special, your children will too. Toys should never be thrown in toy boxes, piled on the floor or just left thrown about. I try to display my daughters toys on shelves and the ones that are in toys boxes are divided into their own seperate bins inside the toy box to discourage dumping and tossing.
My one year old is a force to be reckoned with. She is fiercely independent and very strong willed. My little ones always wants to do EVERYTHING herself and having an organized home allows her so much more freedom to exercise her independence. She gets her own shoes, diapers and even her own snacks and juice from the fridge. Because everything in my home has a place, she always knows where everything is and how to easily access it. She is also getting very good at putting things away in their right spot as well. I think it is insane to expect a small child to clean up their toys if their toys do not have a special designated spot. Children learn by example and if you are not putting things away regularily you can not expect them to know how to do it! It is equally insane to wait to a child is older before you being forcing them to clean up after themselves. Making a ten year old start cleaning their own room when they never had to before will be like pulling teeth, it just won’t be a natrual instinct for them.
Our home is far from perfectly organized, but I do make as effort to make sure the kids belongings all have a special spot that is easy for them to access. I also try to make sure that the living spaces are clean and clutter free. Children are much more likely to tidy up their toys in a clean and tidy environment. It is also much easier to teach the importance of respecting your belongings in a tidy home. Our children are very aware of keeping food and dirt off our furniture, taking your shoes off on the mat and never banging, throwing and breaking our belongings on purpose. These basic rules of respect have been inforced since they were babies and we never have to worry about them breaking or wrecking anything in our home or anyone elses home.
I just recently reorganzied the pantry and placed all the kids snack foods on a low shelf. At snack time they are allowed to pick out their own snack and take it to the table. They also have their own low drawer for juice cups, plates and bowls. They can set the table with their own dishes as well as help me empty the dishwasher. I fill their sippy cups each morning and place them on a low shelf in the fridge. They can just open the fridge and get a drink and put it away whenever they wish! My goal is not to have less work for me, but to encourage their own independence!
My whole point is that by taking the time to tidy up and put things back in their place will not just make your life easier, but it will help to teach your children so many important life lessons as well!