child organizing

20 Organizing Projects Kids Can Do

The skill of organizing can be learned by anyone, even kids. A good way to ease them into it is to have them contribute in small ways. Start by giving them organizing projects that match their skill level, so they don’t get discouraged or frustrated. Beginners can sort, categorize, and dispose, as well as assist with specific tasks. Once those skills are mastered they can advance to decision making and item placement. Ongoing practice and participation will improve their skills. Offering rewards and showing appreciation will help facilitate positive reinforcement and encourage future participation. By helping kids learn the skill of organizing at an early age, not only are they contributing to organizing the household, they’re acquiring skills that will help them in every aspect of their lives now and in the future. Here is a list of 20 organizing projects kids can do.

  1. While organizing kitchen cupboards have kids match food storage containers with their lids and recycle all the unmatched ones.
  2. Test pens and markers and discard the dried up ones.
  3. Check games for missing pieces. Make new pieces if possible.toys
  4. Disinfect door knobs and light switches. (Cleaning is part of organizing.)
  5. Sort craft supplies into categories and put away.
  6. Help clean out the car by tossing trash, wiping down doors, and washing mirrors.
  7. Shred papers that are deemed shreddable. Have them work from one box or bag of shreddable papers at a time.
  8. Collect mail and put into one designated mail in-box.
  9. Check dates on magazines and catalogues and recycle anything over 3 months old.
  10. While cleaning out the pantry have kids check expiration dates on canned goods, boxed food, and condiments. Toss what’s expired and donate to a food bank what won’t get eaten.
  11. Include them in the kitchen clean up by having them empty the dish washer.
  12. Create a donate box with images of what can go in it. Put 3 things in it from their room that they’re ready to get rid of.
  13. Label their devices, adapters, cords and headphones. backpack
  14. Try on clothes for the next season to see what fits. Put what doesn’t fit into the donation box.
  15. Put all dirty clothes in hamper. Wash their own clothes if they are capable.
  16. Include them in the laundry process by having them put away their clean laundry.
  17. Pick 10 school and art projects to save for the year. Store in one bin with label that they create.
  18. Make a spare parts bin to collect all the wandering game pieces, puzzle pieces, and legos. Collect them daily and empty the bin weekly.
  19. Clean out school bag/backpack and get rid of what’s not needed.
  20. Mark important dates (birthdays, school events, sport events, parties) on the calendar for the next 3 months.

©May 2020  Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer®  All Rights Reserved

date book

Fear of Putting Away

Organizing tipPut stuff away instead of leaving it out as a reminder or action prompt. One exception to this rule is if you’re going to take action within 12 hours. For example it’s a good idea to place your theater tickets for tonight’s performance on the kitchen table so you remember them, but it’s not a good idea to leave your sweater that needs to be mended on your dresser. I’d recommend that you put your sweater in a mending box and write on your calendar when you want to take care of it.

Offering virtual organizing

Staying Organized During Uncertain Times

Wishing you good health and an optimistic outlook!

How are you? I hope you and your family are staying healthy and safe during this unprecedented health crisis. Both my husband and I are well. However we have been struggling with the unfamiliar situation we are in, especially in regards to feeling sluggish and unfocused, sharing one computer, and prioritizing time. I’m wondering if you’re experiencing something similar? If so, I wanted to share some insights that you may find helpful.

hands heart

Love It or Lose It!

Organizing tipDo you love your stuff? If you don’t love it or use it, LOSE it!

Unfortunately during this pandemic many donation drop off locations are closed. So it is a bit more difficult to get rid of your unwanted things. My most recent blog, How To Get Rid of Stuff will provide you with some options and resources. Please stay healthy.

clean out project

How to get rid of stuff?

During this stay-at-home directive many of us are taking time to clean out and organize our homes. That is a great way to create a happy home and an orderly home work environment. However, what do we do with all the stuff we want to clear out and get rid of? During normal circumstances I’d recommend donation-drop-sites, such as Savers, Goodwill (some Goodwill locations are still accepting donations), Salvation Army, and Saint Vincent De Paul. I’d also recommend at-home donation collection options, such as Big Brother/Big Sister Foundation, the Epilepsy Foundation (still collecting) and the Vietnam Veterans of America, but many of these places have closed their doors to keep their employees and volunteers safe. So what are our options?donate don't dump sign

Here are a few suggestions: (Please note that some of these options may not be currently available in your community.)

  • Contact the organizations in your area that give directly to those in need. They may be searching for what you’re wanting to give away. A few organizations are Cradles to Crayons, My Brother’s Keeper, and Clothes to Go.
  • Use the available donation drop boxes in your community for clothing, shoes, and books. Please respect the drop box boundaries and don’t leave items outside of them to become someone else’s clean up problem. Bay State Textiles works with schools in MA on recycling textiles. They set up collection bins in school parking lots. Check their website for locations.
  • Use recycle drop boxes for small electronics, adapters, cords, batteries, and light bulbs at stores like Best Buy, Lowe’s and Target if available.
  • Use on-line free-give-away communities like Give Back Box, Free Cycle (not operating at this time), and Buy Nothing.
  • Post on Facebook Yard Sales, Craigslist and other on-line options.
  • Reach out to local Senior Centers, Boy Scout Troops, and Mom’s Clubs to see if they’re planning an annual rummage sale. You may have to hold onto the items for a few months, but it’s motivating to know you’ll be helping your local community.
  • Put items out on the curb with a free sign on them.
  • Ask friends and family if they want anything you’re ready to let go.
  • Box things up to donate later, but be sure to clearly label what’s in the box.
  • To donate specific items contact food pantries, homeless shelters, domestic violence centers, and organizations the distribute hygiene products (Dignity Matters and Hope and Comfort) to see whats in high demand.

If you have other suggestions that will be of help to others please share. Thank you. Be safe and take care of you!home happy

©April 2020  Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer®  All Rights Reserved