Teaching Kids to be Organized (Start when they’re young!)

It is important to teach our children organization from the time they are very young because if we don’t teach them who will? From the time Malea leaned to walk (10 1/2 months) we started doing clean up time with her. I looked up a cute little clean up song on youtube.com and tried to make it fun for her. Now that she’s 2, sometimes I will hear her singing the song to herself, in the other room, while she’s picking up her toys. Kids need order, they thrive on it, and if their toys are organized and easily accessible then they will get played with more. When every toy is thrown on the ground it’s hard to find toys and know what is available to be played with. Today I’m sharing a few tips for getting your toys organized.

1. Organization bins
It’s important to have a specific place for toys to go because otherwise clean up time is confusing for kids. My mom taught me that “everything has its place” and that has always stuck with me. Where do the blocks go? Where do the books go? And so on and so forth. I purchased a toy organizer for my daughter’s room and it has been awesome. I labeled each bin so she knows where all of the toys go. She can’t read yet but she will learn to associate they toys with the words on each bin.

They toys don’t always look perfect but we do have an order to playtime. Another thing my mom taught me was “when you are done playing with something you put it back before getting out another toy”. I have taught Malea the same thing, so when we are done playing with the block we put them away and get out the puzzles. When we are done with the puzzles we put them away before getting out the animals, etc.

2.  Baskets
Baskets are another great way to organize toys. They hold lots of toys and they are fun to play with! My daughter loves to do chugga-chugga around the house with me pulling her in this big basket.

3. Set an example  
Set a good example and teach your kids how grown ups organize too. Malea got a play kitchen for Christmas this year. She loves it and plays with it all the time and usually by the end of the day it’s a huge disaster! I’m teaching her that just like mommy cleans up her kitchen, it’s important for her to clean up hers. Each night we put the pots and pans away, the cups back up on the shelf and hang the cooking utensils back on the rack. It’s a fun way for her to play but she’s also learning an important life lesson. I’m sure someday her husband will thank me!

4. Organize to fit your style
Right before Malea was born my husband and I bought an ottoman that served as our “coffee table” and when you lift up the lid there is hidden storage. Walking into our living room you would never know that we have a ton of toys sitting right in the middle of it because they are all hidden! Every night we clean up Malea’s toys and books and then close the lid and VOILA our living room looks “grown up” again. I was recently told that my home looked like a “model home” and that you’d never guess we have a ton of toys for our daughter. That was the best compliment someone like me could receive!

5. Bookshelves
We have SO many books, it seems like they are everywhere in our house. This January I got tired of having them in every room so I set up a bookshelf for Malea in her room. The bottom two shelves are for her to read as she pleases and the top two shelves are “special books” that she can only read with mommy or daddy. I have loved having all of the books put in one place because it’s fun when she takes me back to her room and we sit down and read through 10 books at a time. I think she feels like big girl now that she has so many of the books she loves right in her room.

For more ideas on teaching kids to clean and organize visit this post.
About the Author

"Hi I'm Anna! Welcome to Ask Anna where I love to answer your household questions! I have always loved to clean, organize and decorate and this blog is a fun way for me to help you love it too! I am a busy mom of a beautiful little girl and I'm married to the love of my life. Together we fill our days with projects , laughter and love. I serve an incredible God and overall I'd say I'm truly blessed!"

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  1. GREAT post Anna. I love so many things about it. I love that you lead by example with your daughter and her habits. I love that you hide your toys in the ottoman. You're awesome. Thanks for sharing!

  2. My parents have that ottoman and love it! I think i need one for my house!

  3. You have said just about everything I tell everyone, too! My kids know I'm going to ask them, are you done? If you're done, clean it up! Now my eleven year old just does it automatically. You've got great tips!Becky B.www.organizingmadefun.blogspot.comOrganizing Made Fun

  4. I love that ottoman. And yes, Malea's husband will thank you one day. Good job!

  5. Great post. I struggle because I wasn't tought well, but I am trying ottrain myslef so I can help my girls

  6. Great tips! We have toys EVERYWHERE!!! :)

  7. That is so great. I wish that my son would help with keeping organized. This is a great post! Thanks for linking up to Tuesday Tell All.

  8. I wanted to come back and thank you for this post. Because of this post I went out and bought the storage ottoman. What a life saver! Now my livingroom looks tidy and guests don't see My Little pony toys all over the place!Again ThanksJada Roo Can Do:)

  9. Thank you so much for sharing! Super star toy organizing right here! Love it!xoxo,Jen

  10. Great tips for organizing the kids toys. Thanks for linking to We're Organized Wednesday. I'll be featuring this tomorrow.

  11. i have that same ottoman and i bought it for that exact purpose–having a grown-up living room is SO nice at the end of the day! my neighbor saw mine and went right to Target and got the same one–lol. :-) thanks for the great post!

  12. Oh, how I agree in all parts of your post! We JUST found a great ottoman to use in our den.

  13. This is great! We have recently been getting more baskets and such to hold toys and it makes it so much easier. I have been looking at bookshelves for our books and was looking at one similar to the one pictured above. Have you like that one? Is it sturdy? Thanks so much

  14. Candace Pecaut says:

    Great to revisit this post! Rachael Reuther and I were just talking about this this morning. Her girls got a play kitchen for Christmas and Rachael put some baskets in the cupboards to organize all the play kitchen tools. Then she taught the girls how to keep the cups in one basket, plates in the other and silverware in the other. Now they get all excited to clean up after they play! Start em young!

  15. Hi Anna,

    Love the post! Where did you get that adorable kitchen too?