Monday, June 11, 2012

Organizing Family Life

I try to be an organized person, but from the outside I know my life appears very unorganized.  In an attempt to feel more organized I've made a few changes.  Some of these ideas still need a bit of tweaking, but so far they are helping.

First I purchased these cool tie-dye posters to display the children's most recent artwork.  The many drawings and paintings they do were beginning to take over the house.  My hopes are that we will replace these with new pictures every few months and take photos of our favorite artwork.

Next I labeled their book bins, not because they needed it, but because I wanted to give each child a sense of pride that these were their books that they were capable of reading whenever/wherever they wanted.  Don't let the mess of the other books fool you.  I could straighten these shelves every morning and they would look like this by the end of the day.  We are a family who loves books.  We love to read aloud to each other or just thumb through the pages looking at the pictures.
-Side note:  I've actually re-organized these shelves since taking this picture and hopefully it will be easier for the children to re-shelve the books they take off now.

After that I decided to label the children's toy bins.  For the past couple of months it has become a problem to get them to clean up their room because they don't know where to put things.  (Basically this means the Legos and stuffed animals have taken over.)  I purchased several plastic bins with lids that fit under the bed, plus these handy drawer units seen to the left.  The under the bed bins have Legos, baby doll clothing and small stuffed animals in them.  They're all labeled so the children and their friends can easily see what goes where.  The empty drawers in the picture aren't empty due to lack of toys, we just couldn't decide what to put in them yet

I firmly believe that every child needs family chores or responsibilities that they do NOT get paid for.  No one pays me to clean or wash dishes, and no one pays my husband to cut the grass or change the oil in the car.  Why should we pay our children to do things they are "supposed" to do as part of the family?  Now, in saying that, I will pay them for doing extra chores.  Things like picking up limbs in the yard, folding towels or helping me mop the floor.  I created some responsibility charts that I thought were awesome and used a ticket reward system so if they completed everything each day they earned 1 ticket that evening.  Below is an example of my initial responsibility chart.

We used these charts for one week but after just a couple of days it was obvious they needed to be re-done.  Our daughter is only 4 so she doesn't read very well plus the type on this was just too small.  I was so pleased that they worked for ME, but they didn't really work well for the children at all.  So.... I spent another evening creating these charts.

The responsibility charts above have been working great so far, though I'm sure I'll find some way to improve them in another week or two.  Our 7yr old doesn't need the picture clues on his chart, but I felt it was important to have both charts in the same format.  Most of these items are things that the children tend to forget to do without a daily reminder so this seems to really help.

What do you think?  How do you keep your child's artwork organized?  What about weekly chores?  I would love to hear ideas from other parents.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I need to get more organized. We put artwork on the walls, it stays up for a few weeks. Then it get puts in a special folder in everyone's closet and the walls get new artwork. Blue wall putty is our friend lol.