4 Quick Tips To Getting Your Child Organized

Helping your child or student get organized can sometime feel like an uphill battle. For many children the problem isn’t that they won’t organize their bedroom, binder, desk, or backpack but truly that they can’t. For example, many children lack the ability to visualize what their desk is “supposed to” look like when it is clean and organized. Difficulty with organization may be hard to understand, especially if you consider yourself to be an organizational expert.

The following tips can help begin the process of teaching organization skills:

• Take a picture of their desk when it is organized and post the picture inside of the desk. Have your child refer to this visual example when it is time to clean the desk. This strategy can also be to help clean up a bedroom (be sure to take pictures of specific parts of the room – i.e. an organized dresser drawer etc.)

• Give your child very specific and concrete directions when asking them to organize. “First pick up all of the dirty clothes from your bedroom floor. Second, put the dirty clothes in the laundry basket.”

• Create a checklist to guide your child through the process of organizing. This can be helpful for children that tend to get distracted, or children that have difficulty initiating tasks.

• Don’t forget to be your child’s cheerleader as they learn how to become an organizational master – give them praise with every small accomplishment!

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4 replies
  1. Scruzin34
    Scruzin34 says:

    What do you do for a teenager who has difficulty organizing her classes, schoolwork, folders, etc. My daughter is 15 years old, has been working with several OT’s over the years both in and out of school. There is no method that has worked for her. She still loses work/ important papers, forgets assignments, fails to turn in work. Any suggestions? I’m looking for something new. She has an IEP. Diagnosis: ADHD, LD & Dyspraxia.

  2. SmuellerTexas
    SmuellerTexas says:

    I lose things constantly due to my disorganization due to deficits in executive functioning from ADHD. Have all my life. Now that i have been diagnosed with ADHD, I read everything I can about it.
    WHat helps me get my needed materials, keys, papers, errands list, debit card, (you name it!)
    I put certain things (like favorite pj’s lingerie, in a laundry basket in my room every night/day
    When I am suppose to take something “out the door” (school books, library books, returns,):
    I physically place them in front of the front door the nite before
    When I have made a thousand “things to do” lists (which are sometimes on envelopes, sticky notes, note book paper–but NEVER in all the “organizers” that my daughter has bought for me)
    I put the “One list” with words like “GO to..Bank, Grocery store, drug store/ mail box /laundry room” by my coffee pot for the next a.m.
    Another problem is “missing appointments” in spite of my 3 “organizers”. I write on back of envelopes, and then forget to put on Calendar.
    SO, I have made it a point right after I call for appt, and put in IN MY PHONE, on APPTS, and ALWAYS create an “ALARM” tone with it.
    TO keep me “on task” and not lose myself in TV, or playing MAJ JONg on computer too long, I set my PHONE ALARM for “TASK” setting.
    One day last month, I lost track of time and didn’t have my PHONE ALarm set, and I Missed a planned “OVernite OUTING” w/my daughter.
    I was so ashamed, and disappointed that we missed the event, I USE MY phone ALARM for almost EVERYTHING!
    MY room, my kitchen drawers, my bathroom counter, my dining table: a MESS. BUT its my “IMPORTANT PAPERS” ( and then they get “lost”.
    I solicited my SIster’s help for tomorrow, an “APPOINTMENT” and we “tackle” one area at a time.
    Maintaining is still a BIG problem for me.
    B/C if its “out of sight”, its “out of mind”.
    COLORED FOLDERS, RED for “right now!”, Yellow: for NEXT, GREEN for :Money/bills, etc BLUE: MISCellaneous.
    Clear folders: for “IMPORTANT PAPERS” (PErmanent records/ taxes/Disability letter/ MY APT Lease/ etc)
    Hope this helps someone.
    Love to all! We can DO this!
    S. in Texas


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