Organization | Day Twenty-Five

I'm coming at this topic from the perspective of a "J" {a Myers-Briggs personality labeled Judging} -- someone who finds neatness good and necessary to happiness. I am completely aware that not everyone feels exactly like me {my husband and eldest have taught me a lot}, but I still believe that teaching your child organizational habits {time and space management} will help them achieve future successes as well as support their future relationships.

Happy children know the benefits of an organized life.

Have you ever played the "where are my keys/wallet/phone?" game? More than once this week? You need a designated spot for your items.

Has your child been searching for that one crucial piece to play the game...but it could be anywhere in that pile of toys...and who wants to let's just do something else? You need to put away one toy before getting out another.

Teaching your child basic organizational skills like sorting and storing toys in separate containers and putting them away when they are done is a happy habit! A habit that will promote future success in the workplace. A habit that will make life easier in the short-term as well.

They will know where to find things.
They will have more floor space to play on.
Their imagination will be freed up to run at peak performance.

Personally -- I am my most creative when my environment is neat. But I've heard others say that they can't conjure up a creative anything when their space is clean and empty. I like a blank page, others might like a colorful inspiration board of tacked up magazine photos and paint samples. So, that last point is still before the jury. Tell me what you think.

Children need to feel comfortable within time and space constraints. They need to have room to move and create. They need to understand their boundaries -- where things go, what happens next, how long they have until they need to be somewhere.

I like to give a ten and five minute warning so my kids are better prepared for transitions. We have pretty low expectations when it comes to sticking to a schedule {I'm learning} and we're keeping things simple. I love Kara Fleck's approach to time management for families -- "Do what will work for your family the way things are right now."

Organization is just as much about balance and flexibility as it is about self-discipline.

And self-discipline is always an important lesson to learn. Kara also writes about the benefits of teaching your children to perform household tasks -- "Having an age appropriate level of responsibility builds their self-esteem and character."

Maybe you need to start by creating a home for everything or perhaps get past the idea that organizing just isn't for you.

Every individual, every child, will have their own unique style of organization and their own level of tolerance to mess. We are all different.

But if we agree that being organized is a valuable tool in the toolbox of life, improving our efficiency, productivity and saving us time and money, then I'm sure we'll agree that children need to be informed and trained in the art.

Because happy children know where their toys go. ;)

Before the recent toy organization project!!

Click here to read the rest of the posts in the series, 31 Days to Happier Children.