“When I tell people I am a Professional Organizer, the most common plea I hear is, “Help me with my kids; they are a mess.” I hear ya, parents!” said Colleen Butler with Refresh Home Organizing.

Keeping your children organized can be challenging. Their rooms have mountains of toys, their backpacks are overflowing with papers, and their schedules rival any top CEO. It can all lead to hectic home life that mom and dad are charged with navigating.

Colleen suggests implementing these tried and true practices to instill organizational skills in your children early and consistently.

Create zones by function. Arts and crafts supplies are all stored together near a small table. Pencils, rulers, and a laptop are kept on a desk for homework. Reading takes place in a corner nook with a bookshelf and lamp nearby.

Set clear rules on toys and clean up. Every toy has a “home”, a designated space it is returned to after play time. As a parent, impose the expectation that your children pick up after themselves (immediately or at the days end). Stuffed animals all go on top of the bed, trucks park in the closet corner, and Legos return to a specific shoebox EVERY SINGLE TIME. Putting away their toys should be accessible (within their reach) as well as fun. Try a cleanup game with a timer, silly music, or even a reward for young children.

Store like items together. Clear containers or open bins help children visually recognize where items belong. If they participate in sorting and placing like items together, they will be more likely to return it back later to where it belongs.

Be specific with instructions. Early on I was the parent who commanded the generic, “clean up your room.” Only then did I find everything that was out had been stuffed under the bed and it was “cleaned up.” Teach them what you expect. Candy wrappers belong in the trash, towels hang in the bathroom, and school papers belong on desk space.

Lastly, don’t forget children follow your lead. Yes, keeping yourself organized is challenging. Adding children and their busy schedules to the mix can almost be overwhelming. Take time daily to clear off your countertop and put clothes into the hamper; a clear space will give you just the peace of mind you need.

If you need more help, Colleen Butler with Refresh Home Organizing is ready to help. Refresh offers busy people solutions to gain control of their space, conquer clutter, and make their homes more efficient. More information at www.refreshhomeorganizing.com or contact Colleen at 770-601-8581.