Keeping Track of Kids Stuff

This is a guest blog post written by Jaime-Ann Laidlaw of Mom’s Resource Blog.

Organizational skills.  What?  Yeah – the word skills is in that comment for a reason.  It is a skill, and it is a skill that unless it is relating to my work I am honestly kind of lost.  Growing up my mom was an incredibly determined neat freak but not an organized one.  So that is what I do.  I am the queen of picking up my kids room and putting things away but I always end up forgetting where I put the only doll she ever wants.

So I have been researching some tactics to conquer this habitual problem I have; keeping track of the kids stuff.

Big Plastic Buckets

I know, they sound ugly and can take up some real estate in your little ones room but so can mounds of disorganized toys spread out on their floor.  Try labeling each of the buckets with a picture that represents what goes in it.  Don’t get too detailed here just a simple stick figure for dolls, picture of blocks for blocks, and so on.  This will help teach your child to organize their room themselves (its all about breaking the cycle!)

The Dreaded Drawer of Disaster

Is it just my child who has dresser drawers that looks like a bomb exploded in it?  Every Saturday when we are rushing to get out the door to make it to dance class her leotard and tights can never be found, like clockworks!  I have recently decided to take the idea behind my big plastic buckets and use it with the dresser.  Why not take some scotch tape and magazine cut outs and place them on the drawers to help teach the child to organize and remember where things go.

Now for the slightly older kids:

Homework

If this post was listed by most difficult things to keep track of this would have been the first item on the list!  But how do you keep track of your child’s homework?  It seems the older they get the more difficult and painful (for the child) it becomes.

Lets focus on children in grades K-3.  I have found that an “in box” styled dumping ground works best.  When they come home just have them dump their homework folder and any other hand outs into that inbox.

*Fight the urge to ask for their homework in the car if you pick them up – that may cause a chance for the homework to get lost in the shuffle.  Go through the inbox with your child and go over their homework with them.  Once it is complete move it to the “outbox” and leave it there until they are ready to pack it up for the next day.  No more asking “where’s your homework?” or “did you have homework?”

I know – you think I am passing off the responsibility of keeping track of items on my kids.  Busted!  Kind of!

I have looked at a lot of my friends and fellow WAHM’s and I have found a common denominator with many of them.  Teamwork.  In order for their households to run smoothly and for everything to be accounted for, including each other, there needs to be a good amount of team work and division of the household chores and responsibilities.

The list of things that need to be kept track of when it comes to our sons and daughters is almost limitless.  Homework, School Trips, Grades, Sports, dances, hobbies, etc.  It is highly recommended to have a shared family calendar in a community spot in the house.  Color code each family member’s activities so they can easily be seen.  Starting with these simple little items can really help alleviate the stress and blame with one another when things are not going according to plan!

Do you have any expert suggestions on ways to help keep track of things in the home when it comes to the kids?  Please share!

For more great ideas for family and home be sure to visit Mom’s Resource Blog.

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