Okay the title of this post just makes me giggle for two reasons. First of all, we all know that kids are like puppies and kittens. They can never truly be tamed and organized. Second, I am not the queen of organization... I'm just your average working mom, trying to stay on top of daily chaos and clutter.
Keeping kids organized can be a huge struggle, especially when both parents work full time! There are a few things you can do to keep your busy kids organized. The truth is, you'll probably always be behind the 8-ball if they are involved in a variety of activities, and no system is fail-proof, but at least you can say you tried!
Here's what we do at our house. (Okay - we intend on doing this, we try to do this, for the most part we do this... and sometimes we're just flying by the seat of our pants!!)
* Assignment books must come out of the backpack first thing when we get home. Homework comes next. This is when I sign papers, etc.
* Soccer items stay in a soccer bag, cheerleading items in the cheer bag, etc. Just grab a bag and go.
* Children can write events on a family calendar and younger kids can give you papers with important dates. My kids know that if it doesn't go on the calendar, it doesn't exist. It's their job to make sure it gets to the calendar.
* Do it all the night before: pack a lunch (mine pack their own lunch), get the backpack ready and set by the door, choose clothes and accessories (from head to toes!).
* I keep a binder for all the important papers that come into the house. When I file papers right away, then I'm be able to my your hands on it quickly when I need to! Of course, as much as I try, the paper monster occassionally rears its ugly head!
* Clothes must go INTO the dirty clothes hamper in order to make it into the washing machine. Favorite jeans and tops can stay on the floor forever, as far as I'm concerned, but they cannot be worn if they're dirty. Amazingly, the favorite jeans end up in the hamper, just as I've asked.
Finally to make your own organizational system work, just stick to the basics:
1) Develop a routine, and stick to a it as much as possible.
2) Have a place for everything. Everything goes in its place, or it goes in the trash.
We parents have to stay on top of this and give our little disorganized mushy-brained kids a zillion nudges a day. By keeping some sort of organization system we can prevent a little frustration for everyone!