Organising Kids

The first thing to mention before I get into this post is I agonised over whether to use ‘organise’ or ‘organize’. My feeling is that typically ‘organize’ is more commonly used. However I am a Brit, so I’ve gone with the traditional English spelling of the word. Anyhow now that’s been cleared up… 😉

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” Zig Ziglar

As a mother you can sometimes be expected to do it all. It can feel as though 24 hours a day just isn’t enough. An efficient happy family home, holding down a job, studying, trying to fit in time to do what you enjoy, whilst supporting everyone else – it’s demanding. Even those who have chosen a family life simply done, are busy. Busy is the norm for us Mums.

“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” Proverb

Maybe us Mums don’t need to do it all. Maybe delegation is the way forward.

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Maybe by organising our Kids, not only can we be less busy, but teach them valuable life lessons along the way.

For me, there’s no ‘maybe’. about it. It may be less time-consuming, initially, to do ‘everything’ for ‘everyone’ but in the long-term, my feeling is, it’s detrimental.

This is how I organise my Kids:

  1. An uncluttered home – By decluttering the home there’s less to tidy and put away. Fewer places for things to hide. Less time spent on chores. Less time spent looking for things. An uncluttered home promotes efficiency within the home. After all, housework is boring. The less time spent doing chores the better, in my opinion. Keep it simple and increase the amount of time you have to do other things. For example this is how I do my laundry. I need to be organised, to help my kids organise themselves. The kids have responsibility for keeping their spaces tidy. They have set weekly decluttering time. Hopefully this will teach them a valuable lesson in that not everything can be kept, and decisions need to be made. This is something I wish I’d learnt as a child, and this may have helped combat the sentimental hoarding issues that I have, finally, brought into submission.
  2. Contain it – What you do have around the home – contain. Swim stuff should be in the swim bag ready to grab and go. This applies to much else also. Extra bedding for the spare room can be contained in a zipped bag. Cooking spices (even if you have 36 jars like me!) contained in an open box ready to be pulled out of the cupboard.  Containing things means that they have a specific place in the home, and are easily accessible. I’m a fan of containers – this is how I give gifts. The Kids have their own containers. Recycled shoe boxes make great creative projects, as well as superb toy boxes, and even sock organisers.
  3. Communicate – We hold a weekly house-meeting at Chez Wright. Among other things this sorts diaries and priorities for the forthcoming week. It helps me to pull together a meal plan, and to communicate that plan to the family on our kitchen chalk board. I communicate visually as much as I can. When asked ‘what’s for dinner?’ I direct to the board. Then I’m not physically needed to answer questions, all the time. As the Kids are now that little bit older and have learnt to read, they are now included in a mini-meeting to schedule their activities and fill in their own planners/calendars.
  4. Routine – As boring as routine sounds, it works. I’m a recent convert to the benefits of routine and forming habits. One of my biggest regrets is not realising 10 years ago that children thrive on routine. It was when my second-child was born in 2008, and the reality of organising a family of four dawned on me, that I set about improving our routine. It has paid dividends. The Kids daily routines are framed for all to see.
  5. Responsibility – To take responsibility is a good thing. It instills self-esteem and makes a person feel empowered. Responsibility shouldn’t be saved for the adults among us. To encourage self-sufficiency in a child should result in a self-sufficient child. Again a valuable life-lesson.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, or particularly a list of how you should organise your Kids. It’s simply an outline of how we do it here. Children, parents and family units are individual and unique. There’s never one size fits all, for any situation. But in my mind encouraging children to be organised can only be a good thing.

It appears I’m not the only one. Long-time reader (and friend) Apple shared this with me recently:

“I find an organised and simple environment (from my handbag to the entire home) gives me the bliss of a peaceful mind. 
Most of us have too many clothes in our wardrobe, yet “nothing to wear” in the mornings. Would it not be better to have a wardrobe with just the right amount of clothes that fit, match and that we look good in? Most of us have a  daunting amount of tasks we need to tackle each day, swirling in our head. How much easier it would be if on a clean white sheet we only had a list of things that need to be done in order of priority?
Decluttering our physical environment  will provide the space where we can tackle our mental clutter.” Apple.
This is Apple’s Kids’ planner – I love it!
ApplesPlannerJan14

And there are many more ways to organise the Kids. For more inspiration, why not check out this great post by Be A Fun Mum. Kelly, Mum of four, really has it sorted!

How do you organise your Kids?

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • JennyS February 3, 2014, 3:02 pm

    I am amazed at the amount of free time on Apple’s schedule. Our schedule is so compressed between school, 1 activity, and homework, my oldest (age 7) has barely an hour of free time in the evenings before bed.

    • Apple February 4, 2014, 6:18 pm

      Most days are tight fot us too, Jenny. However, and that is the wonder of an orgsnised afternoon, the kids know that they can have more time to play if they help to set the table etc, eat without messing and then do their homework without delay. 🙂

  • JennyS February 3, 2014, 3:02 pm

    I am amazed at the amount of free time on Apple’s schedule. Our schedule is so compressed between school, 1 activity, and homework, my oldest (age 7) has barely an hour of free time in the evenings before bed.

    • Apple February 4, 2014, 6:18 pm

      Most days are tight fot us too, Jenny. However, and that is the wonder of an orgsnised afternoon, the kids know that they can have more time to play if they help to set the table etc, eat without messing and then do their homework without delay. 🙂

  • Kelly Burstow February 4, 2014, 4:07 am

    This is a fabulous list. Thanks so much for linking to my blog.

    Kelly

  • Kelly Burstow February 4, 2014, 4:07 am

    This is a fabulous list. Thanks so much for linking to my blog.

    Kelly

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