The second in a 3-part series. Read the 1st post in the series: Back to school, into life.
Before I get to container solutions for kids and teens, I need to briefly set the stage with my conversations with adults.
In my seminars I teach five steps to organizing any area of your office or home: 1) remove, 2) sort, 3) eliminate, 4) contain/assign and 5) return. Invariably, the attendees acknowledge that they are good at steps 1, 2, 3 and 5.
Why do adults skip step 4? Because most of us have never been trained in how to organize our stuff. The size of our stuff does not matter – what matters is the size of the containers we choose to organize our stuff and the location we assign it.
Containers are key to knowing what to put where and to finding what you want when you want it. And when you can easily find what you want when you want it, life is easier. Less stress and more time to do the things you enjoy the most.
And that’s exactly what kids, young and older, want – time to do the things they enjoy the most. Once they have organized themselves, their rooms and their stuff, the payback is sheer happiness. Not just to the kids, but to the parents, as well.
The key is teaching kids how to effectively use containers
Every kid intuitively loves containers. From colorful lunch boxes to compartmentalized backpacks to purses and pockets, kids can’t imagine living without them. The key is helping them apply what they already know and like to areas like their rooms, desks and closets.
1. Keep the most used items as visible as possible. My favorite universal pocket wall containers are not only fantastic for shoes, but for mittens and scarves, toys and tools, electronics and other gadgets. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination – and the state of your kid’s room.
2. Keep items grouped by type or function. Inexpensive but nifty drawer dividers and simple shoe boxes are great for school supplies and desk items, baseball cards, artwork, miniature collections, DVDs – anything that needs to be contained.
3. Keep containers from overflowing. For larger items or collections, such as Lego pieces, sports equipment or memorabilia consider open baskets.
4. Keep thinking outside the box. Sometimes boxes and baskets just don’t cut it. Let your kids be creative about how they contain their stuff – like a hat collection. Read about a real-life teen who in less than an afternoon came up with his own solutions to a happy bedroom!
As you can see, there are all kinds of organizing containers for bringing order to a child’s room and the more that you can utilize the better.
Here is a time-proven fact: you can find easily everything that you have placed in organizing containers and assigned to a specific place. But items that float from place to place or get tossed and buried in piles or stacks will eventually disappear!
Point made? Organizing containers are the key!