It may be difficult to relate saving money with organization but two terms really go hand in hand. If you are able to organize right down to smallest detail, then not only will you save yourself countless panic headaches, but you will have more time on your hands allowing yourself to be more productive and get more accomplished.
Organizing your own personal belongings can be a daunting task in itself, however if you're also trying to take care of all your children's things, it can be an overwhelming, impossible task .
When children are old enough and capable, they have a responsibility to take care of their own belongings. This includes (but not limited to) toys, clothes, bathroom items, sports equipment, and of course school books and supplies. It should not be parents' responsibility to clean their child's room, or pick up their wet towels off bathroom floor. How is this teaching children to be responsible for their own belongings?
If we teach our children HOW to be organized, this will lead to a more productive and hopefully a more responsible child in school and at home. However take note, if you expect your children to be well organized, you must also do same to provide a good example, or "model", for them. As saying goes "practice what you preach" :-)
For time being, we will focus on ideas to help organize your children's plethora of gadgets, toys, clothes, games, and whatever else may be piled up on closet floor or under bed.
Color Coordinate Everything
The most important idea to incorporate in your family lifestyle is to color coordinate everything. Regardless of how many children you have, assign each one a specific color ie: green, red, yellow, orange, etc...
The color you assign each of your children will go on every item that belongs to them. You will need to get a permanent marker in each of your kid's colors so you can mark/dot each and every item they own.
Here's a list of most common items you'll want to start out with. Use this list as a starting point to help harvest ideas that are relevant in your family's lifestyle.
- bathroom utensils
- sports equipment
With their items, simply put a small colored dot/mark in an inconspicuous area. For example, socks-dot toe or heel; shirts-dot collar tag; puzzles-dot back of each piece; toothbrushes and towels- purchase these in each of your children's assigned color.
Once everything is color coded, you can then quickly scan rooms and bathrooms and see which one of your little angels has left things out of place.
To quickly reinforce this new organization method, simply make rule that if you find items haphazardly strewn about, you'll deduct 25 or 50 cents from their allowance. If that isn't relative, they can always earn additional work like washing a dish per item that is left out or "doggie clean-up duty". After a few times, your children will start picking up after themselves since they hate to lose money and play time, right?