They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. I beg to differ. No matter how young or old you are, you can learn how to be organized. Yes, even a toddler can do it!
Since I work with so many moms, I get this question all the time. "What chores and responsibilities can my children be expected to do?" Let's focus today on the youngest organizers, the toddlers.
Young children want to help. They are eager to be independent and feel that sense of accomplishment.
Here are a few simple suggestions:
1. They can hang up their own coat. Put a 3M removable hook on the back of the coat closet door or near a cubby in the mud room which is low enough for them to reach but not have the coat drag on the floor. They can hand up their own coat this way. The hooks can be raised as they get taller.
2. They can wipe down the bathroom countertop. Get them a small step stool. When they are brushing their teeth, combing their hair or washing their hands, have them use a damp wash cloth to wipe up any spilled and splashed water from the counter top.
3. They can make their bed. By age 2-1/2, you child should be able to pull up the sheet and comforter if the side of the bed is not up against a wall. (It might not be perfect but it's good enough!)
4. They can put dirty clothes in a hamper. Get them a fun hamper that is open at the top. They can easily put their dirty clothes in every time they change their clothes. Just ask them to do so to remind them.
5. They can put their toys away. After playing with toys, toddlers should be able return their toys to their proper storage bin or shelf. Make sure they are in reach and use picture labels to guide them. Clip art is a great tool for finding the right picture. Teach them that they need to clean up before moving on to another activity.
By age two or three, although most of these chores will need some type of supervision, you will be teaching them the basics from which they will eventually be able to carry out these tasks, and others, on their own. You are giving them a good foundation to get started on the road to organization!
If you need some more tools to get yourself and your family organized, please don't hesitate to contact me. Remember, no matter how young or old you are, you can always learn how to get and stay organized. I can show you how!