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Blog: Helping Kids Become Organized
The ABC's of Organizing Kids: L is for Less Can Be More

Since we live in a world of so much stuff and have already discussed how hard it is to know where to start in our world of choices, it is then not too difficult to think about how less can in fact be better for us.  When we try to focus on so many things, we cannot give those things the true attention they deserve?  This being Christmas eve for many, it is easy to think about Christmas morning.  Those who have little to open will really cherish the things they get; those who have volumes of things to open will soon become tired of just the event of opening gifts and toss things aside to open another gift.

What do we want our children to learn?  Do we want them to cherish the things they have or feel like they have so much that it is all of little value?  This is where less can truly be more in our life and how we can teach those lessons to our children.   So how can this translate into something tangible to teach our children?  Well, I will offer three suggestions:

First, consider the number and type of things that you give your children and how you shape their expectations.  Children are good at asking for it all, but it is up to us to sort out with them what is best.  Advertising has made this an even harder challenge.  If you are in the marketing industry you know that companies are marketing more and more to the youngest in the household.  This really makes influencing our children a much harder challenge.  I just had a marketing company call today to speak to the youngest person in the house, 12 65 years of age.  They had a slew of questions, all tailored to what the youngest person in the house wanted out of products and services provided to a household.  We have a definite challenge in this area to help them sort out.  Remember that you are "the parent" and sometimes your "teachings" are not always what your children want to hear.

Second, help them to know the real value of what they have and how to make those decisions as to what to keep and what to donate or discard.  This is something that you have to work on with each child individually.  Each one will have different criteria of what they really value and you have to really "listen" to what they are saying to help guide them.  We are trying to teach how to make these decisions not necessarily make the decisions for them.

Third, teach them to have limits to avoid being overwhelmed with stuff in their life.  This will be a life long lesson.  For instance, you might agree that a rule is that when the bookshelf is full, then it is time to make choices as to which books can be donated, sold, given to another sibling, etc.   You can create containers for various type toys or things they have and when that container is full then a choice has to be made as to whether it is time to purge or it is of value to add an additional container.  The idea is to make conscious decisions as these limits are reached versus just adding to piles without any thought about it.

As with all of these lessons, it is important that we teach processes and use their particular cases as examples to refine the processes.  We are again investing in our children and giving them tools that they can use to make decisions and maintain their quality of life both personally and professionally in years to come.

posted on: 12/24/2007 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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