Organizing Your Home and Life

Archive for the ‘Teens and Kids’ Category

I have four kids.  Two are in high school.  One is in elementary school and one is in preschool.  I cannot tell you how many people over the years have asked me what I do with all of that artwork.

Over the past 16 years, thousands of pieces of artwork have walked through my front doors with everything from drawings to sculptures to models.   Miraculously (or  maybe not so miraculously) I have managed to organize it all and keep it all under control.  I am a natural organizer so many times it happens without a lot of thought from myself but I know that is not the case for everyone.  So I have put together several tips that help guide me though the piles so that I can avoid clutter and being overwhelmed.

1. Decide what is worth of keeping.   I know that might be a very tall order considering you would like to keep everything but this is where you need to be extra judicious.  Not everything is keepable.  Perhaps you can sit your child down and go over the keepable stuff with him or her. 

2.  Have a file box or bin or drawer in your house for keepable stuff to store throughout the year.  Preferably this file is flat and a size that can hold odd shaped or sized art.  Everything goes into this file.

3.  At the end of every school year go through these boxes/drawers a second time and sort out the stuff that is keepable and the stuff to toss.  You might have a different opinion on it at the end of the school year.  Do your best to eliminate at least 40-50% of what is in this file.

4.  Whatever is leftover in this yearly file box should be transferred to a more permanent storage spot like the attic.  Get a airtight and waterproof container to store your art.

5.  If you have a scanner you should consider scanning the art digitally.  This is a good idea for stuff that is not your top pick of keepable items but you still would like to have a momento on hand.

 

It’s a subject I have been thinking about for some time now. As my teen boys grow into adulthood I am beginning to help them with some of those life skills that will be necessary once they leave the house and go off on their own. Organization is one of them but it’s a struggle. It’s hard enough to get them to study and do their homework. But I keep pressing on hoping that something will rub off on them and when they do get to college they will at least take a small bit of organizing knowledge with them.

So how do you teach them? For me, it’s all about making organization easy and fun. For example, my oldest son could never get his clothes into the hamper. But by chance I took him to Target one day and there were some nifty cool hampers there. He wanted one but when I pointed out that I wasn’t going to waste money on something that was not going to get use. He assured me that was not going to be the case. I gave in and bought it for him and I have found that he does use it. Problem solved. One down and only 200 more to go. LOL

As for the other teen organizational problems my intent it to blog about it in a series entitled “Teen Organization”. I hope to be able to provide many different suggestions on how to keep your teens organized from my own experiences as well as other people’s experiences. How do you get your kids to be organized? Leave a comment if you have any kind of ideas.