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Blog: Helping Kids Become Organized
The ABC's of Organizing Kids: K is for Know Where to Start

One of the many reasons we do not accomplish goals is that we do not "Know Where to Start".  We have good intentions, but get overwhelmed when looking for that place to begin.  This is true of both small and large goals.

This is a common problem for everyone but trying to help a child can be even more challenging.  The best advice I can give is to walk with them through the process as many times as you can and they will eventually learn from it.  The process is no different whether we are 5, 15 or 50.  In order to know where to start we need to review and record what we are dealing with.  Is it one room or one project?  For a student, it most likely is just that; a bedroom or a school project versus an adult who may be taking on the task to choose what end of the house to tackle first.  If the task is a room we are teaching more space management.  If it is a school project we are teaching more time management. 

In a room, help them start in an area where they can accomplish the most in the shortest time; don't' start in an area where it requires a lot of detail review.  When they can see progress quickly they will stay motivated to move to the next area.  If it is a large task; you will want to break it down into several sessions.  You want your child to learn from this experience.  Trying to make an all day project out of it will only teach them to never want to do this again and we do not want that.  End each session with reviewing how much they have accomplished, some tips on how to keep things organized and if possible, highlight a benefit of their new organized area.

If it is a project, for school for example, you need to help them lay out a plan.  What is the over objective or goal?  When it is due and how long is that from now?  What materials are needed and do you have them?  Teach them to break the project down in steps and estimate how long each step might take.  Then based upon how long each step takes and their schedule of time availability, they can layout the dates/times that would be best to work on the project.  Finally, make a shopping list and incorporate the shopping task into the schedule so that they will have the materials necessary in time to complete the project steps.

As I mentioned this process is no different for children than it is for adults, but children more often need to be shown these skills if they have not been exposed to them.  After mastering them, they will be of great benefit throughout their lifetime.

posted on: 12/17/2007 9:00:00 AM by Rosanne Larkins
category: Family

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Helping Kids Become Organized

by Rosanne Larkins

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About Rosanne:

Rosanne Larkins, Defining Time & Space Professional Organizing, Helping people put peace into their life through simplifying things around them. Reduce stress through creating order, save money knowing what you have, save time knowing where to find things.

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