I just read this post on Sandra Felton’s daily post, “The Organizer Lady” and I wanted to pass this along for those that struggle with delayed decisions (piles of stuff) to think about.

One of the differences between people whose houses look good consistently (usually without really working at
it much) and those who do not, is the length of time between the time the mess is made and the cleanup.
Each time we let a mess just sit there until we get around to it, we give clutter permission to happen. If we do enough
of that, the house is one big series of messes. Then these messes turn into a project later on down the road!

The answer is to quit saying we will get back to it later because “Neatness Delayed is Neatness Denied.”

This is the main reason my phone rings is because all if these delayed decisions create huge projects that are overwhelming for my clients. Think about this the next time you say to yourself “I will just do that later!”

Happy Organizing! Bridges

As a professional organizer, I sometimes feel that people expect my kids to inherently be good organizers.  Like I passed down some all powerful organizing gene that automatically makes my kids understand how to keep things organized.

Although some people are more natural organizers then others, most people know that there is no organizing gene and that kids need to be taught organizing skills.  This starts at an early age when we teach our children about picking up their toys.  But simply teaching our children how to pick up after themselves does not necessarily translate into them being organized.  We need to teach them skills that help them learn that everything has a proper place to be kept and that items need to be returned to their proper place. 

Some of the rules of organizing get more involved and need to be taught to older kids and adults, but don’t discount what the little ones can do.  Young children, even as young as 2, can learn to Sort Like Items (or Grouping).  Get a few baskets, tubs, or even shoe boxes for them to sort their toys in.  Remember my LIDS OFF policy, put the baskets out and teach them to put Lego’s in one box, Matchbox cars in another, and Barbie clothes in yet another.  You can even turn this simple sorting exercise into a craft project by having them decorate the boxes according to what is kept inside. 

(photos courtesy http://simplemom.net/organizing-kids-stuff/)

As your children grow, you can give them more responsibilities that continue teaching them about sorting like items, such as sorting the laundry into darks and lights or sort the clean clothes into piles for each persons.  Have them sort and put away the silverware after it comes out of the dishwasher.  Be sure to show them the proper place to put their items away.  Continue to give your children responsibilities that suit their age but also train them to organized.  Sorting is one of the basic skill to staying organized, but is an important skill to have and as your children grow into adults they will appreciate that you taught them this valuable organizing skill.

Happy Organizing! Bridges

Craft Supply Overhaul

September 7, 2011

Image from Press Real

If your craft supplies could use you an overhaul, then this ultimate guide is for you!

Here is another great guide from Organizing Your Way…a Life Your Way Blog!

Craft supplies include can be hard to organize, especially when you’re constantly in and out of the boxes searching for specific supplies. But it is possible to get organized — and stay that way —with these strategies:

Before you begin the process of organizing your children’s craft supplies, it’s a good idea – like with every area we organize– to begin by asking yourself some questions about the age and maturity of your children, the role you want crafts to play in your family and the space you have available for them.

Considering Your Children

  • How old are your children?
  • Can you put the craft supplies at their level, or is that a disaster waiting to happen?
  • Do you want them to be able to get the craft supplies on their own, or only when you help them?

Read More…

Happy Organizing!  Bridges

What is your “toy philisophy?”

I was just perusing through my emails and blogs and stumbled across this great blog by “Organizing Your Way” with some great suggestions on how to organize your kid’s toys.  I wanted to pass it along since a lot of us struggle with this.  She has a great thought process on “your toy philosophy” and provides some great suggestions and insights.  I hope that you enjoy this blog as much as I did!

“In the wake of Christmas or “birthday month” in September (when three of our girls celebrate their birthdays in a span of three weeks), I always find myself wondering if I’m ever going to get the toys organized and put away. With two aunts, three sets of grandparents and several sets of great grandparents and great aunts & uncles, they are showered with gifts.

We work really hard to limit the number of gifts they receive, but new toys are a fact of life and so organizing and decluttering their toys is also a fact of life.

If you struggle with toy organization, here are my best tips for getting organized and keeping the toy chaos under control:

One Toy In, One Toy Out

What to keep, what to give away? In our house, the  rule we follow is “one toy in, one toy out.” I’ve always involved my girls in the  process of cleaning out their toys to make room for new ones. Because  it’s “normal” for them, they don’t get upset by it, but rather help me  decide which we should keep and which we should pass on to other kids  who might not have as many toys as they do.”

To read more on this article, please click HERE!

Happy Toy Organizing!  Bridges

Are your kids doing chores around the house?

 

If you want to get your children to do chores well, you should understand that it will cost you a lot of time. Making your children get involved in daily household management is very good for them as it can make the kids more responsible and can help them realise the value in the home. What’s more, the child can enjoy a team atmosphere and develop good habits and organizing skills at an early age. Read on this article to learn about 5 ways to make children participating in chores. 

Work on doing one chore at a time well. Don’t overload your child with a million things to do every day. Give them one chore a day and in the beginning help them until it is done well. When this chore becomes more of a habit, give them a second chore and let them have the space and time to do this chore well without any reminders. This is the beginning of developing independence, good habits and routines. 

Children love to help out and chat with their parents. In the beginning doing chores together can create a fun atmosphere that makes time fly as well as giving you the opportunity to model how to perform the task well. Little things like cleaning the kitchen while your child unloads the dishwasher and having a nice conversation can go a long way to making helping in the house a good experience. 

Acknowledge their contribution. Let Dad know what they did and acknowledge how valuable their help is and how much you appreciate what they do. Praise is always valuable and your child will glow with pride. This supports those feelings of being included, of being important and being of value and creates a team feeling within your family. 

Set your boundaries and get play and chores in balance. Removing children from the computer, T.V. or play to help out will always be difficult so timing is everything. When you plan a chore, make sure you are clear and communicate when it needs to be done. Examples are making beds before school; watering plants before play, no T.V. until rooms are picked up. Planning chores in the morning, just after school, before Saturday play or before they leave the house are times that can all work well. 

Be consistent. Follow through and consistency are really important and getting yourself organized enough to choose what chores you need done, how you will model the task, what follow through may be needed and how you can support your child is critical and can save you a lot of frustration. Get clear on what chores are daily, weekly or monthly and follow through to make sure they are done. Try these home organization tips so you can discover how to organize some help in your home and foster the seeds of good organizing habits, independence and team spirit in your children and your family. 

Ezine article by Jane Alais 

Happy Organizing!  Bridges

Organize your homework area!

 

Here are a few simple organizing techniques to make your home a good place for homework: 

  • Establish where homework will be done. Stick to it. Designate a homework center. This is the location where homework is done daily, so choose one with fewer distractions. It can be a desk but it can also be the kitchen table. The point is to establish a spot and a routine so there isn’t a struggle about this daily.
  • Clear the clutter: As you know, kids will pick up and fiddle with anything. No matter where your homework center is located, make it a daily habit to clear off toys, paper and clutter distractions. Clearing the space means you are serious about the work to be done.
  • Set up a homework supply box. Stock it with needed items such as pens, erasers, pencils, a sharpener, glue stick, calculator, ruler and so forth. Place it in their homework center. Kids won’t need to jump up and hunt for things.  
  • Plan for homework. You know they are going to have it, so plan when they will do it. If you announce the homework time the day before, when reviewing the next day’s activities, you’ll head off a lot of bartering over when they will do the work. If your calendar is so busy you can’t figure out when they can sit down peacefully and concentrate, then it is time to change your schedule.
  • Have a homework folder. Purchase a folder just for homework. Have your child label it and put all homework, for all subjects, into it. At school, they won’t need to stress and dump the book bag out trying to find a piece of paper. All homework goes in one folder. Easy!
  • Organize reading with them. Elementary kids, and even middle school students, may not be capable of deciding how much to read to complete a book on time. Make a set of bookmarks and label them with the days of the week. Work with your child to divide the book up, using the markers, so they learn how to spread out the task and manage their time. Each day they read from one marker to the next one. No more arguing about if they have read enough pages.
  • Get some extras. Eventually you will need more supplies or special ones. Designate a shelf in a cabinet or even a plastic tub. Stock up on the things you know you will eventually need. This is a great stress reduction tip for parents and kids. Buy a few poster boards, stick-on letters, report covers and a back-up supply of printer paper and ink.

These tips are brought to you by Professional Organizer Lea Schneider!  Great Job! 

Happy Homework!  Bridges