Organising your inbox – Is your in box out of control?

Everyday we are surrounded by clutter in some form at home or at work.  One of the big ones for many people is their email inbox.  Are you good at organising your inbox?   For many people this can be hard to achieve particular when they have multiple inboxes to manage so the issue of clutter can be magnified somewhat.  Does this sound like at all like you?image of on email inbox page

Several of my own friends have thousands of emails in the inbox and when they are looking for something it can waste so much time and be very unproductive.  Using your inbox as a pseudo filing system does not really work.  There are certainly better ways to use one’s time than scrolling through pages and pages of emails to find something you need!

Steps to organising your inbox

Here are 6 steps your can take to tame your out of control inbox and save yourself time in the long run:

  1. The first step will be to clean out your inbox – to do this I suggest you create a few folders in the first instance – usually by year is the best place to start – 2017, 2016, 2015 …..  If your emails are actually more recent then you might like to name folders that are relevant to you and your needs.  Afterall you are the one who needs to be able to find them easily.
  2. Once you have created these folders then move all your emails from these years into their relevant folder.  If this step is creating angst for you don’t worry as you are just moving them and not deleting anything at this stage.
  3. The next step is to take control from here on in of what arrives in your inbox.  All those emails we have put into yearly folders can be dealt with later when you have time.  Even consider this that if you don’t find yourself looking for anything over a period of time you may also want to just delete them.  The important point here is to make sure you have a process moving forward and that you are not adding to the backlog.
  4. For any new emails that arrive in your inbox from here on in you need to make decisions on what to do with them and not just leave them to pile up again.  Questions to ask yourself are:
    • Does this email require me to action it?  If so either you can deal with it there and then or add it to your to do list for later.
    • Is this something I might need to refer to later?  By this it might be useful information that you might need at a later stage ie tickets to an event, travel ideas, financial or tax information etc.  My suggestion for these type of emails is that you create folders within your email that make sense to you and allow you to easily find your these materials at a later time.  Using the examples above the folders you might like to create are ‘My ticket information’; ‘My travel details’ and ‘Financial information’ respectively.
    • Is this something that is trash and can be deleted?  If necessary unsubscribe or just delete the email.  Be decisive in that if it’s not relevant delete it!
    • Do I actually even want this in the first place?  Over time we tend to subscribe to many different newsletters, product updates or email updates and some of these are probably no longer relevant or needed.  If this is the case I suggest that from here on in as you receive one of these emails that you go to the bottom of the email and hit ‘unsubscribe’ (Sometimes this button can be hard to find but keep looking).  Another way of doing this is to create a folder called ‘subscriptions’ or something and move all the emails of this nature into that folder for say a month.  Make a diary not for a month’s time and go back and see how many you have and then to decide which of those are of value and which aren’t and then hit unsubscribe.
  5. If you now have time and want to go back through those emails we moved into yearly folders then go for it.  However the most important thing you can do moving forward is to ensure you keep on top of any new emails that arrive in your inbox and follow the steps outlined above so that it doesn’t get unwieldly again.
  6. If you are someone who has multiple inboxes then you might like to follow the same steps above for each inbox that you have.

There are many other ways to manage your inboxes with setting spam filters, using junk folders and also setting email rules.  If this might be something you’d like to do then I suggest you check them out in the email system that you use.

Good luck and here’s to no longer spending ages trying to find an email again! Remember your inbox is there to serve you and not the other way around.

If you are still unsure of how to take control of your inbox or maybe you have issues with your electronic files as well then please do get in touch as this is something I can assist you with.

6 homework tips – how to focus and get homework done

Parents often think to themselves why don’t they just do their homework and get it out of the way – for some students it isn’t that easy.  Sometimes getting started can be the hard part.

Here are 6 homework tips that will assist students to stay focused and assist them to get their homework done:Image of a student working at her desk - get homework tips to get it done

  • Start homework sooner than later – students tend to waste time from 3-6pm most days.  To be more productive it is useful to start homework within 1 hour of finishing school where possible.  They are still alert at this time, particularly after having a good snack too.  This is much easier to do it or at least make a start than having to sit down and start after dinner.  This might not always be possible with after school activities and sport but worth putting into place on days when it can be.
  • Have a plan – having a plan means students are more likely to take action, know what they need to do and make a start.  It’s important that the plan is manageable and actionable.  It doesn’t have to be very detailed and can just be written down on a scrap piece of paper or even a post it note as to what they’d like to achieve today and allocate an estimated time they think it will take.  Through the action of breaking down activities into smaller time segments students develop a clearer sense of how to prioritise, focus, initiate, transition and complete their daily responsibilities.
  • Have a reward or treat in mind – for some students this can really motivate them to get their homework done.  One way is for students to challenge themselves to do their homework before a certain time.   Another is to just work and get it done (without rushing through and making sure it is their best work).  Following the completion of homework they then get time to do something they like – ie catch up with friends, play video games, spend time on social media.
  • Eliminate distractions – students, like most of us, do better if they only focus on one thing at a time.  Many students though when doing homework are constantly interrupted and distracted often by their phones, device they might be using and social media.  It is best if students can recognise that this happens and remove the distractions where possible or otherwise seek assistance from parents to assist them.  If students do get distracted it can take quite a bit of effort to get back to where they were with their focus and attention and therefore it increases the time it takes to complete homework.  Also a students learning is not going to be as great in terms of what they remember if they keep getting distracted.
  • Use a timer – sometimes students can struggle to get started and using a timer can help.  One technique that often assists students is to work for 20 minutes and then have a on 5 minute break.  I often refer to this as the 20 minute/5 minute techninque and others may know it as the Pomodoro technique.  Some students may need to continue using this technique and others may just need it to get started.  Another option is to get them to challenge themselves to compete their homework before the timer goes off – naturally they have planned out first before they started as to how long a piece of work should take.
  • Get enough sleep – this is such an important thing for students and their brain needs it.  This can be challenging as many students, particularly teens don’t recognise they actually need this and that is good for them.  They should try to set themselves a ‘bed time’ and follow a regular routine of going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.  By getting enough sleep students are more likely to cope with all their academic and extra curricula activities.

By following all or some of these tips students are more likely to take control of their homework rather than it taking control of them and leading to an increase in stress and anxiety.

For further assistance in assisting you and your child with their studies, their organisation or time management (or lack of these skills) please get in touch.  

There are answers!

Everyone needs a plan to get organised

What is it that you keep putting off?

Is it the pile of paper clutter in your study or the spare room which has become a junk room?

Or is it that pile of photos you still need to sort and go through?

Please don’t put your life on hold and continue to worry about as it can be both physically and mentally taking valuable time – put a plan in place to deal with it!

IMAGE OF A ROAD WITH A START AND AND ARROW - suggesting everyone needs a planWhy everyone needs a plan

Whatever it is that you keep putting off might seem just too hard to deal with but it is worth having a think about what you want to achieve and then putting a plan in place to get it done.  You don’t have to do it all in one go and often taking the small step approach is the best way in achieving a plan to organise something.  You might even like to seek the support of someone to assist you – this could be a friend, family member or even an organiser like myself.  Sometimes just having another pair of hands can make it seem so much easier too.

The hardest thing for most people is often the overwhelm they feel and not knowing where to start. This is where having a plan comes into play – you might like to note it down or you can have it in your head but having one is the first step.  The plan should include the overall goal that you would like to achieve so:

  • if it is clearing the paper clutter all over the house then note that down or
  • if it is sorting out the spare room the goal might be to have the room cleared so it can be used for that hobby you never get to do or for those visitors you’d like to have stay.

Having a plan and vision will help you to keep a focus on what you are trying to achieve.

Allocating time for the plan

The next step is in your plan is allocating some time to begin ie today I will spend 30 minutes to an hour and will keep allocating similar blocks of time on a regular basis.  It might only be 15 minutes a day and that too is okay.  You need to find the amount of time that is sustainable and achievable for you.

I also recommend having steps to a plan so that it can assist with the overwhelm.  Continuing with the same examples:

  • for paper clutter it might be to clean out the filing cabinet first so you have somewhere to put the sorted paper – one drawer or 5 files a time then sorting through one pile at a time after that before filing it away.
  • for the spare room it might be to start with one box or one section and keep working through the room like that.

Taking steps

In my experience having a plan in place will see you are more likely to achieve your goals than not having any plan at all. If it starts to get hard then the plan is also there to remind you of your vision and why you are doing what you are. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day and getting yourself organised will take time and effort and won’t always be easy – take small steps to achieving your overall goal. Believe me when I say it will be worth it in the end and you no longer have that worry of the physical or mental clutter pulling at you. You can stand back and be proud you have done something about it and can get on with enjoying life!

So are you going to put a plan in place?  What have you got to lose – go on give it a go!

If you would like some to make changes in your life and think you really might need some help then please just get in touch.

Future of education in Australia

image of an old school house and statement of school system designed in 1893 and how the future of education needs to changeWhat is the future of education in Australia?  Towards the end of 2016 I had the opportunity to see the educational film – Most Likely to Succeed by Greg Whitely.  This film has in recent times created quite a lot of interest and discussion on the future of education in America, Australia and around the world.

Personally I believe it to be very thought provoking in that it makes sense that one of the main themes of this film suggests that a review of our education system is needed considering the last major change was way back in the Industrial Revolution in 1893! Don’t you think it is hard to fathom that students today are still learning what was put in place over a century ago?

Shortcomings of the current system

Some of the key areas highlighted as shortcomings of current school models were:

  • Technology, the economy, and our understanding of children and learning have all evolved far more than our schools, and it’s time for that to change.
  • How it is becoming harder to find jobs at the end of our education system and how the shift în technology is partly to blame where many jobs have or will cease to exist. Entry level jobs used to be plentiful and college was an affordable path to a fulfilling career.
  • The current system appears to reflect that of a factory culture particularly with the ongoing use of bells and timetables.
  • Standardised testing is out of date – the goal of the current curriculum system is to pass tests whether students are interested or not – it doesn’t teach students about learning, preparing and succeeding later in life.

Key messages

For me the key takeaways were:

  • An education system needs to keep students interested and engaged.
  • We need to be looking at what technological skills we will need in the future.
  • Students need to be excited about a particular topic or subject and then they are more likely to be interested to learn and remember the information.
  • When students study they should have a choice how they do it and what works for them – they shouldn’t have to do it a certain way as they are all different.
  • The learning way suggested was a focus more on student centred learning and what they are interested in as opposed to saying they must learn a particular subject.
  • Students are more likely to gain a real sense of purpose which is suggested with a new education model.
  • The idea is that students learn best by doing, and what they do should be complex, challenging, self-directed (with support), and purposeful.
  • It can be really powerful for students to make something during their learning that wasn’t there before or that is new.
  • A problem/project-based learning approach that features flexibility and autonomy for both teachers and students, will provide students with skills and mindsets that are more valuable and more effective than are typically fostered in schools today.
  • No situation in real life is similar to how one takes a test!  So why is the education system using this?  We grind out learning in our system and students memorise things that they then forget a short time later.
  • It’s a big change for parents to get their heads around though they need to remember that education is and should be different to what they experienced.

Image of school children

A must see

This film is really a must see for anyone with an interest in educations place in society today and our children’s futures.  If you get the opportunity I encourage you to take a look for yourself and see what you think!

For a preview of the film click here

The film suggests that teachers, education leaders and policy makers must look at creating new visions of what schools are and what they do.  A move towards it being more specialised and more personalised for students can only be a step in the right direction!

So what do you think?  What do you think the future of education in Australia should be?  Please get in touch and let me know.

Decluttering – What happens to my clients stuff?

When I work with clients on decluttering and getting organised, the outcome is that there are usually many excess items they no longer require or want in their spaces.

I regularly get asked by people what do you do or they do with the stuff they no longer want?  Keep reading below for the answers to this common decluttering question.

Decluttering – items of value – selling is an option

For items with a value I usually discuss with my client whether it is worth the time, effort and sometimes money, in trying to sell something.  For some items it definitely can be and depending upon what they are I usually can recommend places, websites or people to get in touch with to assist.

image of antique dealer to get rid of items from declutteringSome of the sources my clients have used to sell items include:

  • antique and second hand dealers
  • gumtree
  • ebay
  • other specialised websites for specific items

 

Homes for stuff – charities

Unfortunately often there can be quite a bit of rubbish when sorting through stuff but where possible I usually help my clients to identify things that can possibly recycled rather than just going to landfill.

As a an extra service to my clients, on the day of service, I usually take away items that they no longer require other than rubbish.  As part of this process we usually discuss if they have a preference for where things should be donated.  Nine times out of ten the clients are just happy for it to be removed and are just pleased to see that it will be given to someone else, usually in need, for them to use.

Over the years I have provided many items to various charities including:

Other homes for stuff

Other uses or places for items where I have given bits and pieces over the years have included:

  • Metal coat hangers in good condition being returned to the local dry cleaners for re use.picture of a metal coathanger
  • Blankets and towels delivered to the lost dogs home or even pet shops.
  • Cardboard is usually put into the recycling or taken to the transfer station for the same purpose.
  • Many transfer stations also take other items for recycling like tv’s, computers, printers, cables, books, paper etc.  You need to check our local transfer station to see what they take at no charge.
  • Often things like dress ups, toys, games and books in good condition have been donated to local schools or kindergartens.
  • image of old bicycleOld bicycles can often be reused and repurposed and are taken and then fixed up by many local charities.
  • Gumtree or Zilch have been another valuable sources to get rid of unwanted items that can still serve a purpose for someone else.  For many of my clients who list items for free they are usually snapped up very quickly.

 

Do you have any other sources or places where you like to recycle or donate items?  I am only more than happy to include them on my donation list for the future too. 

If you’d like assistance to undertake some decluttering of your own and get more organised then please get in touch – or call me on 0409 967 166.

The importance of a growth mindset for students

Growth Mindset quote and why growth mindset is important for studentsThe importance of a growth mindset for students cannot be underestimated.  Students are more likely to succeed with their studies if they develop a growth mindset compared to having that of a fixed mindset.

So what is mindset?

Mindset is the established set of ideas and attitudes held by someone.  Someone’s mindset will determine the way they behave, their attitude and outlook on life and what’s going on around them.

The kind of mindset a student has can really alter the way they approach everyday life and study.  The good news is that ones mindset is not set in stone and there are things you can do or change to shift your mindset to ensure you get the most out of study and life.

Different mindsets – fixed v growth

There are two different mindsets often discussed and outlined below are the basic differences between them when it comes to students and their learning.

Fixed mindset

Those students with a fixed mindset often process a belief that their talent and intelligence is fixed and incapable of being changed or improved.  With a fixed mindset they often:

  • ignore constructive criticism
  • have a negative internal dialogue with themselves
  • they don’t like to ask questions in case it makes them look stupid
  • use the words ‘I can’t’ a lot
  • give up quickly and particularly if something is hard or challenging
  • avoid challenges
  • they don’t want to look like failures.

Growth mindset

Students with a growth mindset typically believe they can grow their intelligence, are motivated and keen to learn.  Those with a growth mindset usually:

  • see mistakes and feedback as an opportunity to learn
  • actively pursue difficult things
  • seek new challenges
  • use the phrase ‘I can’t yet’
  • have a positive internal dialogue with themselves
  • if something is challenging they persevere.

So which mindset would your rather your child have?

I’m sure you can now see why developing a growth mindset for students is the way to go and how it is important for not only their studies but life as well.

To begin the process of fostering a growth mindset with our children (no matter what age) we need to catch them when they are thinking or speaking with a fixed mindset and assist to revise those patterns more towards a growth mindset.

If you need assistance to assist your child with their mindset and ensuring it is a growth one please get in touch as this is something I regularly work with individual or groups of students on – get in touch amanda@organisingstudents.com.au

 

10 common organising challenges

Have you ever wondered what the 10 most common organising challenges are that people face in their everyday lives?  Maybe you too will be able to relate to some or all of these in your own life?

At my last few organising and decluttering workshops in 2016 I asked people to list their organising challenge that they struggle with or what annoys them the most.  All the 10 common organising challenges listed here, to be honest, are pretty much what I expected based on my experience as an organising expert and are the common organising challenges most of my clients face.

10 common organising challenges

The 10 most common organising challenges listed here are ranked from the most common to the least common for people who have attended my workshops.

  1. A pile of paper clutterdealing with paper clutter – this is by far most people’s biggest challenge with 1/4 of those surveyed noting it as the organising challenge that annoys them the most.  Many vary from having one pile to multiple piles of paper throughout the living space and home.
  2. wardrobes – this was also quite high with just under 1/4 indicating that they wish their wardrobes were more organised so that they could find the clothes they want to wear more easily.  Many people also admitted to having too many clothes for the actual wardrobe space.
  3. bedrooms – this was next on the list where people felt their bedrooms were too cluttered, with clothes and other items, and could do with better organisation.
  4. kitchen space – This too is quite a common organising challenge for many people and often the source of the problem is that the kitchen becomes a dumping ground for anything including school notes, mail and papers to wallets, keys and many other items which either don’t seem to have a home or people choose not to put away at the time.
  5. junk drawer – the junk drawer is also another common challenge that comes up time and time again.  All homes have that drawer in their kitchen that just seems to accumulate more items over time.  Click here for a blog on how to organise your junk drawer in 5 easy steps. An image of a junk drawer in a kitchen which can be an organising challenge
  6. home office – this was lower down the list than I thought it would be and probably because it is often a space that is removed from the rooms most used in people’s day to day lives.  In my experience home offices are often another dumping ground for things that either don’t get put away or don’t have a home. T his space can become a ‘junk drawer’ for the entire home.
  7. time management – several people indicated that rather than a physical space being their main organising challenge it was their inability to manage their time that was more of an issue.
  8. photos – this too is a common issue that many face in today’s day and age.  This issue can centre around the move from physical photos (of which people often have lots sitting unsorted in boxes) to digital photos (which are often not organised in any manner to allow quick access and review in terms of finding when needed).  I was only talking about this with a client recently and providing her with a solution going forward so she doesn’t add to the issue and then when she has time going back through and organising all those prior to now.
  9. too much stuff – many people admitted that thy feel overwhelmed by too much stuff and don’t know what to do about it and where to start.
  10. image of a young child's drawingmiscellaneous – this is a mixture of miscellaneous items that were included and that I grouped together just so I could list them in the top 10.  I believe many are common organising challenges people face – from how to deal with memorabilia including children’s school and art work; toys both inside and outside the home; the whole house; and the inability to throw things away.

So what about you, can you relate to any of these common organising challenges in your own life?

If you are feeling overwhelmed by any of these challenges or would just like a plan of attack to know how best to deal with them and feel more organised, then please get in touch – amanda@organsingyou.com.au or call 0419 967 166.

How to get more than a yes or no answer when asking children questions about their day

Can you relate to this when asking children questions about how they went at school and the only answers you get are short one word responses or no response at all?

How often have you asked the following questions to your child and have been frustrated with their response?

How was school today?  – ” Fine” or “okay” or “not good”

What do you do? – “nothing”

This is a topic that often comes up when conducting workshops so I want to share with you the following tips on asking children questions and getting better responses.

Asking children questions

As a parent I know I have often asked these same questions to my own children.  When your child is younger it isn’t too bad as you generally kept abreast of what was going on at primary school anyway.  However when your child start’s secondary school, and the communication from the school is usually less, it would be great to know more about what is happening in their daily lives.

Don’t despair it may be that you are just not asking the right questions, or not asking them at the right time, which then allows your child to give you the one word responses they give.IMAGE of a family eating dinner around the dining table asking children questions

Here are a couple of tips that you might want to consider when asking children questions:

  • Ask open-ended questions which will allow you to keep the conversation going longer rather than questions that can be answered by one word responses.
  • Children don’t often realise the type of answer you are wanting so it is a good idea to make sure you ask specific questions.
  • Try and ask positive questions which will give your child a chance to express concerns where as asking negative questions it might stop the conversation quicker.

Questions you might like to ask (apply to children of all ages)

Below are a few suggestions on questions you might like to try but feel free to alter so they are applicable to you, your children and circumstances:

  1. Tell me about the best thing that happened at school today.
  2. What was the best thing you learnt today?
  3. Was there something really interesting that you learnt?  I’d love to hear about it.
  4. What was challenging about your day? Why did you find it challenging?
  5. Did a classmate or friend have anything fun or interesting to say?
  6. What was the best thing your teacher asked you to do  in ____ today?
  7. What game did you play at recess/lunch?  Who played with you?
  8. Tell me about a moment in class when you felt confused.  Did you seek any assistance?
  9. Was there anytime today that someone wasn’t very nice to you?
  10. Were there any moments today when you were proud of yourself and something you did?
  11. What did you learn about yourself today?
  12. Is there anything that you are worried about?
  13. What are you looking forward to about tomorrow?
  14. Is there a question you’d like me to ask you about your day?

Give it a go

Why not give some of these questions a go when your child comes home from school today?

Before you do it might be an idea though to consider picking just one or two rather than starting to ask all of these at once.   Your child, particularly older children, will really start to wonder why the change and become suspicious about why you are now asking so many questions!  If it goes well, then next time why not throw in a couple of different ones.

If you want to encourage this to become an ongoing part of your communication with your child it is important that when they actually do talk and answer your question that you make sure you listen.  Teenagers in particular are vary wary of parents cutting in and not letting them speak.

Personally I usually find I have the most useful conversations, and get the best answers, when they are having an afternoon snack, in the car on the way to after school sport or at the dinner table.  These sort of questions are pretty much routine in our household these days and not only my way of taking an interest but also allowing me to find out more about what is happening in the day to day lives of my children.

It would be great to hear if your communication improves as a result of altering what you ask your child about their day – please let me know – amanda@organisingstudents.com.au

It is never too early (or late) to teach children organising skills

Children really are like little sponges from an early age and we need to start teaching them to pick up after themselves and be organised or they will never learn.  It really is up to us as parents to begin facilitating this and it is never too early or late to start! 

If you teach them from a young age, it will not only free up your time, but allow them to gain important life skills and it will assist them with self confidence by feeling capable of being able to do things themselves.quote on not doing things for your children but letting them learn by doing - teach children organising skills

Here are 8 tips to assist you to teach children organising skills:

  1. Developing and following routines – this is one thing that helps children right from an early age begin to learn the foundations of basic organisational and time management skills.  In the beginning it does require a bit of work from us as parents and in particular ensuring everything has a place to live and letting children know where things go.For younger children it can be useful to begin verbalising or making charts with the steps of a particular routine such as morning or evenings.  The clearer you make it for your children and develop regular routines the easier it usually is for everyone.Another example of this is to have toys and things in containers that are labeled or for younger children they could have pictures rather than words to assist them to know where things live.  When children are young and they ask you to find something it can be useful to remind them that they know where they live as that is why we put things back away so you can find them easily next time.
  2. Understanding what it means to be organised – children like to understand why it is important to be organised, how it helps to make life easier and why it can save time.  Be honest with them and naturally give them explanations that are age appropriate so they can understand.  Explain that getting organised isn’t always fun or quick but that it helps in the long run.For younger children you can keep it simple by teaching them things like stacking, matching, wiping, sweeping which are all developmental skills and often they won’t even realize or know that they are learning organising or cleaning up skills.
  3. Leading by example – One of the very first steps as a parent, in teaching your children organising skills, is to ensure you are leading by example.  We have all heard the term ‘monkey see monkey do’ and it really is true.It is really important that you create an environment that reflects organisation.  For instance you could have a family calendar in a central location that everyone, children included, put their information on.  It is also good to ensure that everything has a specific place to live so it is easier for you and your children to find.  It also encourages children to put things back and keeps the place more organised and with less clutter.Remember if you are expecting them to clean up their toys you also need to make sure you don’t leave your own clutter lying around either.Many mothers often get in touch as they are worried they might be passing on bad habits or skills to their children so they get me involved to assist in breaking the cycle, teaching them organisational and time management skills that they can then pass on to the rest of their families.
  4. Don’t just assume they understand what you mean – often we expect our children to know what we are trying to get them to do.  In most cases though they need to be shown first, and possibly several times before they are able to begin doing something themselves.  Usually I suggest you show the child and then be there providing support as they do it themselves a few times and then eventually they will get the hang of it and you no longer necessarily need to be involved in the process.As an example you can show children that when they play with something it needs to go away before the next thing comes out.  You can also involve them in picking up their toys and putting them away at the end of playtime or at the end of the day.  You can start teaching this at a very young and continue on as children get children.  If you struggle with getting your children to do this then a strategy could be to give toys or things time out so they soon get the picture.
  5. Give and teach them strategies – you can teach and use the simple 1-2-3 method to break down most tasks:

    Getting organised or ready – this is teaching your children where they need to be and that they have everything with them they need to complete a task.
    Staying focused/doing the task – this means teaching them they need to stay focused in order to complete the task at hand and learning to say ‘no’ to distractions along the way – this becomes an even more important skill as children get older with completing homework and technology.
    Getting it done/finishing the task – finally this involves teaching a child to complete a task and then checking it has all been finished or done.

    Once children understand this basic method they can then start tackling more tasks independently.

    Try these for simple tasks where you can use this method – brushing ones teeth, packing up a room, emptying the dishwasher or for older children completing their homework.

  6. Asking them for their help – this is another way of empowering children at a young age to help you and to learn organising skills.  Why not ask them how they might go about doing something and give them the opportunity to have a go.  Remember that this is a good way for children to learn and where you can support them rather than doing it for them.An example of a task could be asking them to do something like help you to fold and put the washing way – for younger children you could start by giving them socks to put away and then increasing this to folding them and other items like undies and continuing to progress with other items as they get older until they can do it all themselves.
  7. Making things fun – sometimes making things fun can be a good strategy to adopt in teaching organising skills without children even realising.  For instance at a young age you can make something like packing up toys or getting ready for school into a game of ‘beat the buzzer or the time’.
  8. Please don’t just do it for them – this doesn’t help anyone and if anything creates more work for us as parents.Sometimes we need to reinforce something with our children to ensure a task gets done and I encourage you to do this even though it can be tempting and easier to just do ourselves.  If we continue to pick up after our children then they never actually learn.  An example of this is that I have for some time been getting my children to put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher, and if they leave it on the bench or near the sink, I ask them to come and do it rather than just doing it for them.  Another one is that I no longer pick up their dirty washing in their rooms and that it is their responsibility to put it in the wash or they run the risk of running out of an item or something they need to wear.

If you are still not sure on what you can do for what age group – a simple way to look at it is:

Age 2-4 – keep it simple and very easy without too many steps

Age 5-8 – get creative, give them a challenge and start teaching responsibility

Age 9+ – up the responsibility, give them choices to make and let them establish their own routines  

If you get children involved and start by making some of these things fun from an early age and they won’t even know they are decluttering and organising.  Remember these new skills won’t develop over night and might take time but it really will be worth it in the long run!

If you feel you need assistance to teach children organising skills please get in touch – I regularly work with children of all agesamanda@organisingyou.com.au

Top 2016 organising and decluttering posts

Organising and decluttering to some can be very daunting and overwhelming when it really doesn’t have to be.  As another year has passed I thought it would be useful to put together a summary of articles, quotes, blogs from 2016 that might assist you and others when it comes to getting organised. Maintenance is the key image - organising and decluttering

As I enter into my 6th year of business as an organising expert I can honestly say that I love making a difference to the lives of my clients and to thank them for having me part of their journey to become more organised.

I hope that you find something here that inspires or assists you in some way on your own organising and decluttering journey.

Trends/Articles of Interest

The 6 habits of highly organised people

How to live with a messy person (or a neat freak) and not go insane

What is the Konmari method of organising?

6 things I question about the Konmari method of organising

What is a digital estate?

Maintenance is the key to being organised

If you ever wondered what my life as an organiser is about

How writing to do lists helps your brain

Great Quotes

These are just some of the quotes people responded to in 2016:

text on a quote about not letting go of stuff - organising and declutteringquote about it's not a good deal if you don't need it - organising and decluttering

quote text on this being the beginning of anything you want

image and text of a child being able to focus on what they are good at

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blogs

Making the most of vertical space

Do you suffer from procrastination?

Move from busy to balanced

10 common organising myths clarified

Tips on organising recipes in your kitchen

 

Please do get in touch if you’d like some further advice or any assistance to get better organised in 2017.