Isn’t it amazing how different two siblings can be? They've been raised in the same house, by the same two parents, with the same rules & expectations, yet they are oh-so very different in so many ways, particularly when it comes to being tidy and organized.
Now, I’m naturally a rather tidy and organized person. Okay, that might be putting it mildly. I’ve been called meticulous, super organized, and ridiculously tidy on a few occasions by those close to me. It’s fine by me, I take it as a compliment. So obviously, keeping a clean, organized home is important to me – which means teaching our two boys to be tidy and organized is important to me as well. I don’t expect them to be neat freaks by any means, but we have taught them that all their belongings have a home, and to put them there when they're not using them. Now, this is where we go back to my very first line….
Isn’t it amazing how different two siblings can be?
Here are just a few examples of what I mean…
Books – Each of them has a spot in their room for their books. They both read before bed each night, so when they are done with their books, they have a place for them.
9-year-old: His books are neatly organized on his desk in the order he wants to read them. The one he is currently reading is set aside neatly with a bookmark.
7-year-old: His books are placed wherever there is open space on his floor.
Hampers – They each have a hamper for dirty clothes in their closets. When they get undressed each morning and night, they are supposed to place their dirty clothes here.
9-year-old: Clothes go in hamper.
7-year-old: Clothes go on the floor, on the chair, on the bed, in the bathroom, in the living room. Basically, wherever he decides to take them off.
Shoes & Boots – They each have their own mat in our entryway for their shoes and boots when they aren’t being worn.
9-year-old: Shoes and boots are placed neatly on mat.
7-year-old: Shoes are thrown wherever they land. Boots? Same.
So, while one child just seems to be naturally tidy and organized like his mama, we’ll continue to work on the youngest one. I’d like to say it’s an age thing and that our 7-year-old will be just like his brother in a couple years, but our 9-year-old has always been neat and tidy. Our 7-year-old…not so much. So, I think it’s more of a personality thing than an age thing. Our youngest just simply doesn’t care as much.
That being said, I do firmly believe that teaching kids organization and tidiness from a young age is important. It not only helps to keep the household running smooth, but it’s important that they understand responsibility and how to take proper care of their belongings. It’s also an important skill to have as they get older. I mean, they won’t be living with us forever, right? Right?!?!?!
So, give your children chores. Give them responsibility. Fight the urge to simply do it yourself because it’s easier (I still struggle with this!). Even when you’ve asked them 283 times to put their dirty socks in their hamper, NOT on the couch!!!! You know, hypothetically speaking… 😉
Feel free to share your tidiness triumphs and struggles below!