Encouraging children to be neat and clean…is often a challenge. Rather than always picking up after them, which only reinforces bad habits, or yelling at them all the time because their rooms look like bombs hit them, use the following tips to help them learn why tidiness is so important:
Set A Good Example
Keep a clean house, and always, always, always pick up after yourself! If you don’t set a good example regarding tidiness, what do you think you’re teaching your kids? Show them through example that it’s important to keep things neat and put items back where they belong. Failing to do so results in lost toys, homework, and anything else you can think of, which wastes time trying to find them. Also make a point of demonstrating how to take care of possessions, particularly those that are fragile or delicate.
Pick Up First
Teach young children to put toys and games away before they may take out another toy or amusement. For example, if your child wants a toy on a high shelf but hasn’t put away a game from earlier, gently let he or she know that they cannot play with the new toy until they put the old one away. Do this a few times and it will catch on.
Use Clear Containers
Store toys in clear containers so children can see what’s in them and sort them before they get ragingly out of hand. It will also help them remember what’s in what rather than wondering what happened to that toy truck or Star Wars action figure. Labeling toy bins also helps considerably.
Keep Dress-Up Clothes Separate
Use separate hooks for dress-up clothes, which prevents them from getting mixed in with regular clothes.
Utilize Small Containers
Place small containers in dresser drawers for smaller items such as socks, underwear, and belts. This helps keep the drawers organized instead of a jumbled mess.
Let Them Help
Allow your children to help you decide what clothes and toys go in what bin, closet, dresser, etc. Feeling like they’re part of the process will encourage them to put things back much more than keeping them out of it.
Make A Binder For Keepsakes
Help your children store birthday cards, letters, special pictures, and similar items properly by providing binders featuring clear page protectors. This helps keep such items safe while also avoiding excess clutter.