They tried to clean up...that's good enough for me!
Just this week, one of our organized spaces was featured on MarthaStewart.com. This article was all about fun and stylish ways to organize toys. You can see all of the pictures and tips here.While all of the tips in the article are geared towards ways to help kids keep themselves organized, if you are a parent or work with kids then you know that just simply setting up the systems isn't enough. Even if your kids help put things away, you are always involved in the clean up process too. Whether you are on your hands and knees picking up crayons, reorganizing art supplies or just reminding your kids for the hundredth time to put away their legos because you stepped on one again, we all know that keeping your kids organized is a huge job.
As a mom of twins, I get it. Keeping ourselves organized and on task is hard enough as it is, but when you add keeping our children organized and on task to the mix, it can be overwhelming. As parents, people always expect us to be able to handle everything and stay on top of our homes but with multiple people to be responsible for this can be not only hard but almost impossible! Don't make the feeling worse by pressuring yourself to be perfect. Find a level of organization that you can maintain and decide that that is good enough for you.
I've noticed as the school year winds down that things around the house have gotten even more hectic! With less homework and reading assignments and more time to play, more toys have been left out. With the days getting longer and the sun staying out, bed times have gotten pushed back and lastly with the end of school looming, more and more art projects have been coming home.
All of this adds up to one really big mess of toys, arts and crafts, books and other stuff that my kids leave out. My daughters are pretty good about helping to organize toys and put their things away, but that doesn't mean that I am not involved. They try their best but at the end of the day I am always picking things up and rearranging. However the only reason their attempts are so great is because of the systems that are in place. They have known these organizing systems their entire childhood and are used to them, making clean up easier.
This is exactly why having systems is so important. When you tell your kids to "clean up" they have no idea where to begin or where to put things. Parents often get frustrated and end up doing it themselves. This is a bad cycle.
Instead create SUPER easy systems that your kids understand but that are also easy for you to keep up with, like the ones I used in this article. A large open bin for stuffed animals is no fuss. Everything can quickly be tossed back in. Jars for art supplies again, make it easy to just drop them in, no trying to get things back into the original box.
Systems like these make it much easier to stay on top of things but also keep in mind that these photos in the article are not real! Yes, they are of a real space...but it is perfectly neat, clean and organized...and that is not real life. As a parent you probably know that things only look that good for about 5 minutes. But that is okay! Because the systems are in place, things are labeled and everything has a home, even if things aren't put away perfectly it will still be organized and much better than a pile on the floor. As parents, we need to learn to just let it go at times. So the books are all piled in one shelf and the crayons and colored pencils got mixed together. Hey, at least the kids tried to clean up on their own...looks good enough to me. That is what organization is all about.. having systems that help out with life to make it easier and more enjoyable!
What are you doing this summer to EMPOWER your kids to be more organized and see the benefits of organization?