- Have what you need where you need it this might be for anything we store our spare set of towels in the bathroom, spare set of bedsheets in the bedroom, placemats near the dining table. Same for cleaning products I have an all purpose spray and cleaning cloths in kitchen, bathroom, laundry and ensuite.
- Have things accessible to your children if you want them to use them
- Cleaning supplies if you want your children to do chores independently allow them access to the cleaning products they need.
- Art supplies we have an art cupboard where each type of art material or activity is in its own box. Paints, collage, playdough, rubber stamping. All that the children need for using paints for example is in the box plastic lids for palettes, brushes, jars for water, jackets, messy mats everything except paper. When everything is organised this way it means the child can (with permission) go and get the paint box, set themselves up, enjoy the activity and clean up. I intentionally taught my children to do each step for each different art activity. Otherwise I said no to mess and they would have missed out.
- Books We use magazine boxes to help organise our bookshelves. I group books together favourite Australian authors, FIAR, or series like Magic School Bus etc. Bookshelves are labelled Bible and God books, Science, History, Picture books etc.
- Learning Resources We dont have a school room but rather our family room which is the hub for our childrens lives they learn there, play there, read and create there. Everything is available to them to use should the time be appropriate. E.g. the globe, math blocks, or story writing games are available to them in the afternoons even though it is not lesson time. This not only encourages their learning but helps them see that learning is a life long pursuit and it isnt about school.
- Use boxes for everything the kids toy cupboard is sorted by boxes each activity is in a box and they use one box at a time. They have a box or two for unfinished creative projects giving them a home for these things that usually lie around the house. They have a box for their school supplies books they use on a daily basis (this box sits under their desk)
- Find a home for everything – look around and see what piles you have – these are the things that need a home.
- Books pile up around our house I needed to find solutions. I use magazine boxes to organise my current teaching resources I have a box for language, math, character, Bible, history, science etc. In each magazine box is what I need to use to teach that subject for the week. This way we can find the book when we need it! We also have a shelf for just library books and books currently being read – each child has their own shelf. This means library books can be found when we are ready to go to the library and there is a ‘home’ for the books we are currently reading.
- Paper work is another thing that piles up – I have a tray on my desk that is for any paper work that I need to deal with today (that is the plan!!) The children know that if they need to put something on my desk it goes in this tray.
- Another thing that piles up around here is half-finished projects. We now have one shelf that fits four boxes across and two high – so each child gets two medium size boxes for their unfinished projects.
- Let their children have their own supplies – they need to learn to be responsible for them. My children have a box under their desk (already mentioned) and a office tray on their desk where they keep their diary/student journal, unfinished assignments, and their pencil case (pencils, eraser, ruler, textas, glue, scissors etc). These trays and boxes can be quickly removed into their bedrooms, leaving a big table space for any creative project, having friends over, or playing a board game.
There are so many organisational books, blogs and tips floating around. No matter how many tips I read it still comes down to one thing – do it! I set aside 3 chore times throughout the day and part of that time is to pick up and put things away. But the best tip of all is to teach our children (and if you are like me, to teach myself as well!!) that when you are finished with something, or your time has come to an end to pack up and put things away!
A place for everything and everything in its place!