Personal Finance

Kondo Who Has Great Organizational Skills

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 25 minute read

Many overworked parents find the very idea of asking their children to clean up their rooms and put things in order to be comical. We’re lucky if they’ll pick up their soiled clothing off the floor, let alone organize their Legos by color.

However, there are many useful arguments to persuade them to help out with housework. In the first place, decluttering and arranging your home without the support of your loved ones is pointless, even if you do believe that order will help you save money. 

A 2010 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology is only one of many that draw a direct correlation between clutter and emotional distress. It’s already difficult enough to be a parent without having to worry about stepping on toys.

Children can learn essential lessons about managing their money by practicing organization at home. Furthermore, it is essential to instill in early children the value of financial education. 

According to a study conducted in 2013 by academics at the University of Cambridge, a child’s financial outlook is mostly determined by the age of 7. So, it’s best to get going as soon as possible.

Beth Kobliner, a PBS expert on youth and finance, says that hands-on, everyday experiences are the most effective means of imparting financial literacy to young people. 

That’s why it’s so helpful to use mundane tasks like tidying up to teach children about things like budgeting and saving money.

Organizing Teaches Children Financial Lessons

There are many things in the life of children, from what they themselves own to what their peers own to what they admire and covet. Cognition published a study in 2015 showing that children see their possessions as an extension of themselves. 

Having a conversation with them on how to handle and respect their belongings shows them the true worth of their possessions. This teaches kids financial discipline, which is essential for building wealth. And that’s just the beginning of the financial lessons youngsters may learn from being organized.

1. They learn to value their possessions.

Unfortunately, kids’ belongings are easily misplaced or ruined when they don’t take responsibility for them. Toys go lost, pieces become stuck in air vents or crushed underfoot, and even the most carefully stored toys can go missing. 

In contrast, when children have a specific spot for their belongings, they are more likely to take care of those belongings and less likely to trash their toys when they are not in use.

That means you won’t have to waste time running to Target to replace a broken Spider-Man or searching for hours to find a matching pair of Barbie shoes.

Furthermore, teaching kids to respect their belongings is made easier when they are given responsibility for putting their own items away. Don’t rush out and replace a beloved toy that is broken or lost because they won’t put them away. 

Stop trying to rescue them and make them feel better about themselves and let them suffer the repercussions of their carelessness. They have to either do without or spend some of their allowance for a replacement.

They learn fast how important it is to take care of their possessions when they see how much of their income is being diverted to repairs rather than fun purchases.

They are, whether or not they realize it, learning the lesson of opportunity cost, which states that once resources are allocated to one activity, they are unavailable for use in another.

Children who don’t yet have an allowance or a firm grasp on the notion of money will have a more difficult time learning this lesson. Expert organizer Julie Morgenstern, however, claims that children as young as two can begin developing significant organizational abilities. 

Further, certified financial planner Brian Ellis tells Fatherly that parents can use natural consequences with younger children to help encourage a later grasp of money, even without the use of actual money.

The child abandons a toy in a high-traffic area; suggest donating it to charity as a subtle hint that the child is no longer interested in the item. 

According to Ellis, even if you don’t end up doing that, it might spark a discussion about how much they cherish their possessions, which can lead to an appreciation of their monetary worth.

2. It cultivates a solid work ethic.

The Harvard Grant Study, which has followed the same group of people for 75 years and counting, found that those who went on to lead successful lives as adults were the ones who had participated in regular chores as children. 

That’s because learning to value hard effort is one of the main lessons taught by chores. And the study of Harvard found that all one needs to be happy and successful is love and the willingness to put in the effort.

The earlier parents start pushing kids to do chores, the better, according to Julie Lythcott-Haims, a former dean at Stanford and author of “How to Raise an Adult.” It instills in them the roll-up-your-sleeves and pitch-in work ethic that will serve them well in adulthood.

She also notes that a cooperative spirit is fostered by this, which is vital to developing a solid work ethic. When children don’t pitch in with household chores, that’s a sure sign that someone else is taking care of them. That not only saves them from doing the work but also prevents them from understanding how important each member of the team is.

Workplace success depends heavily on the ability to work together effectively. In fact, teamwork is ranked third among the most in-demand hard and soft talents in LinkedIn’s annual 2020 poll.

Don’t forget to assign your children some chores that are within their abilities. You may reinforce these skills by having your children participate in a family-wide system of toy storage and management. They learn that helping out around the house is an essential aspect of being a family member.

3. It enhances their sense of intrinsic worth.

You and only you can decide if you want to incentivize duty completion with cash. Regarding allowances, there are competing viewpoints.

Having children be compensated monetarily for doing household tasks is one option. The notion is that children should be compensated for their labor in the same manner as adults. Proponents argue that showing children that hard effort is rewarded monetarily is a great way to teach them about money management.

The other is to expect youngsters to help out around the house without expecting any sort of money in return. To put it simply, doing chores isn’t the same thing as working a job. 

After all, parents do all the housework and cooking and cleaning, and the laundry for the family for free. In that case, why should children be compensated for fulfilling what adults consider to be their normal duties as family members?

One of the major advantages of the latter is that it helps to further establish the idea of intrinsic worth. Doing something simply because you enjoy it is an example of intrinsic value. As a result of their efforts, kids feel good about themselves. 

The term “extrinsic value” refers to the motivation to perform an action based on the possibility of some sort of material gains, such as recognition or financial compensation.

That’s another nugget of wisdom that could have far-reaching implications for their future professional success. A meta-analysis published in 2017 in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience demonstrates the stronger relationship between intrinsic motivation and improvements in learning, performance, and creativity. 

However, research published in Harvard Business Review suggests that monetary rewards for work can have the opposite effect. Each household must decide for themselves if they will link allowance to household chores. 

However, it may be best to let children learn the importance of organization on their own, since this will allow them to find their own motivation for doing so. They are encouraged to keep doing it since they are able to find the toys they want quickly and easily.

4. It Educates Them About Budgeting

Children of varying ages have widely divergent perspectives on what money is and how it works. A preschooler may be aware that you need to pay for items, but he or she might not be able to tell the difference between a $5 and a $50 price tag. 

A high school student, on the other hand, typically has a firm grasp of the fundamentals of personal finance, including but not limited to spending, saving, and investing.

Therefore, the process of creating a budget is more reflective of the value disparities between adults and children than of the understanding of adult concepts like necessities versus wants, especially for children under the age of 10. 

All the necessities are provided by the parents, thus most of the things children spend their money on are luxuries. They see it all as a need, nevertheless.

Despite their lack of conceptual understanding, you may help kids build a foundation for making wise financial decisions by teaching them to set priorities. One way to discover this is through the process of organizing.

Toys, for instance, can be organized with the A-B-C-D approach, as recommended by Good Housekeeping. Toys are those that kids frequently play with, B toys are those that they play with occasionally, C toys are those that they play with infrequently, and D toys are those that kids never play with. 

Toys marked with a “D” should be donated, and the remaining items should be stored in an easily accessible location. Toys in categories A and B should be placed at a child’s eye level, while category C should be stored out of reach.

Although, that isn’t always effective with toddlers and preschoolers. The way they feel about their playthings shifts constantly. Some of my son’s favorite toys are ones he hasn’t touched in months, if not years. 

But Peter Walsh, a professional organizer, tells HGTV that Having this talk at a young age will help your child develop the ability to use their judgment as they get older. 

With repeated questions like “Do you play with this anymore?” they will get the point. And that lesson provides the groundwork for later comprehension of what actually matters in terms of budgeting cash.

Similarly, there are plenty of opportunities to put your newfound knowledge of budgeting and saving into practice. Instill in them the habit of actively analyzing ads. Explain the advertisement’s strategy for getting them to spend more money. 

Does it make sense to have one of each color? Do they truly save money if they don’t need it but buy it anyhow because it’s on sale or do they have a coupon for it?

That’s an important organizing principle to learn, too. The first step in winning the war is ensuring no more invade. It also helps people develop healthy financial routines. Children have to make choices on what to buy because they can’t have everything. 

Walsh claims that by the time children are tweens between the ages of 9 and 12, they are making increasingly independent decisions about how to spend their money. This is helped by their habit of periodically sorting through their possessions to determine what is truly important to them and what they can do without.

5. It Promotes Simplicity

Spending less on frivolous items is one of the best ways to keep your financial situation stable. Family values on the number of possessions that are considered “too much” varies from one group to the next. 

However, it is always beneficial to examine our spending habits attentively. In addition, decluttering is the first step in getting organized, as having fewer possessions makes it easier to locate storage for them.

As a result, it’s not uncommon for children to have a surplus of possessions. Parenting expert and best-selling author of “Honey, I Wrecked the Kids” Alyson Schafer tells Today’s Parent that children are constantly being showered with gifts, such as books, toys from kids’ meals, inexpensive toys from dollar stores, and gifts at birthday parties. 

She claims that because these are just little things, parents tend to ignore them. The result is a culture of constant wanting and a belief that one is entitled to things at all times. And that’s not a good sign for sound financial practices in the future.

But raising minimalist children can be challenging. The Cognition research found that young people’s attachment to material possessions stems from the fact that they use such objects to define themselves. The thought of giving up a toy, even one they haven’t used in years, can be traumatic.

Younger children can be helped over this barrier by repeating Walsh’s activity—asking whether or not they play with things—until the lesson is internalized. 

As for the older kids, you can check if they still care by asking, Do we still desire, use, or need this?”How much more money could we make if we sold it? If we gave it away, would someone else appreciate it more?

Educator and author of Kids Are Worth It, Barbara Coloroso, tells Today’s Parent that connecting minimalism to a good cause is another strategy that works well with children. 

She recommends that parents explain to their children why reducing the family’s carbon footprint is so important and how that commitment manifests itself in the family’s day-to-day lives. She believes it is successful because of the natural altruism in individuals. 

Kids especially enjoy the empowering and self-affirming experience of championing a cause and seeing their efforts bear fruit.

Another tactic is teaching children the importance of selecting high-quality items. For a few days, it’s fine to let kids play with the inexpensive plastic toys they brought home from a birthday party. Then you should check to see whether there’s anything in the bag that they wish to retain. 

You can have a conversation about why the toys shouldn’t be kept and then get rid of the ones they aren’t interested in. That way, the little objects they aren’t likely to play with don’t accumulate over time, and there isn’t as much clutter.

And if you really want to drive that point home, give some thought to what you’ll put in your kid’s birthday party favor bags. Even if you don’t feel comfortable skipping them totally since they’ve become routine, you can at least avoid the predictable ones. 

Consider replacing cheap plastic toys in goody bags with edible treats or a single high-quality yet inexpensive item, like a Beanie Baby.

Finally, teaching children about the appropriate level of possession accumulation might be aided by allocating dedicated storage areas for their own belongings.

The Wall Street Journal quotes decluttering expert Marie Kondo as saying, If you designate a container — like a drawer or a toy chest — for kids’ belongings, it’s easier to decide when they amass too much. 

The only way to make room for new possessions is to get rid of some of the ones you already have.

6. It Instills Gratitude in Them

Children lose appreciation for their possessions when they are immersed in a state of constant acquisition. They are caught in an entitlement mentality that is contradictory to gratitude. Children with a “me orientation,” as described by Schafer in Today’s Parent, want people to take care of them in every way.

Reinforcing lessons about money management can be greatly aided by teaching kids to be grateful. By appreciating what we already have, we are able to reduce our fixation on wanting more material goods. 

As an added bonus, it can help you spend less money by reducing your desire to compare yourself to others.

Typical organizing practices, such as decluttering, which involves not only getting rid of things but also acquiring fewer of them, can serve as a useful vehicle for imparting such lessons. 

In addition, by helping people in need by donating their gently worn clothing and toys, children might gain an appreciation for generosity as a means to their own growth.

Reinforce the lesson by explaining to children how much someone with fewer resources will benefit from the donation they make if they choose to do so. 

You could use Goodwill’s Impact Calculator to assist and guide the conversation. The results demonstrate the positive effects that charitable giving has on both local communities and the global environment.

7. It Supports Basic Math Concepts

As challenging as it may be to organize with young children, doing so can be beneficial because it helps to build early math abilities such as counting, sorting, and categorizing. Plus, early exposure to mathematics is invaluable. 

There are two main ways in which a solid foundation in mathematics might pave the road to future success. To begin, a study of 35,000 preschoolers in the United States, Canada, and England published in 2007 in Developmental Psychology found that early exposure to mathematics predicted both later math and reading success. 

Students’ mathematical abilities correlate strongly with their financial literacy, according to data collected in 2015 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Preschoolers can get a head start on learning more complex mathematical concepts like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division by engaging in more fundamental math practices like pattern recognition and counting. 

And that’s something readily accomplished by having preschoolers organize their belongings into piles and boxes. Young people develop skills in data analysis Where is the best location to put this? , rule application What category does this thing go in?, and relationship discovery Spider-Man and Batman should both go in the action figure bin.

In particular, it’s great when youngsters can see how math is used in the real world since it makes the subject more tangible and meaningful to them.

8. It Encourages Entrepreneurship

If your children have outgrown a toy, don’t assume it has no value. Show them how to make money off of their unwanted items while you go through the purging process.

Used items in good shape not damaged, missing pieces or soiled can be sold on sites like eBay and Amazon, or in a garage sale, where youngsters can learn about making money.

Give them complete control over the process for a more meaningful financial education that may inspire your children to become entrepreneurs. 

They should be allowed to set their own prices for their goods and to keep the proceeds for any personal or financial purposes. They will get insight into the value of work, the benefits of saving and investing, the potential of spending wisely, and much more.

As an added bonus, they will benefit greatly from lessons learned about entrepreneurship in terms of their financial security in the years to come.

More than a third of the American workforce is made up of freelancers at the present time, according to the “Freelancing in America 2017” report sponsored by Upwork and supported by independent research by Edelman Intelligence. 

To be more precise, freelancers sometimes known as solopreneurs are a subset of entrepreneurs. They provide their services as independent contractors, which means they are paid on a per-project basis rather than receiving a regular salary from an employer. Independent contractors are projected to make up the bulk of the labor force by the year 2027.

While there are certainly drawbacks to freelancing, the benefits far outweigh the negatives. As many as two-thirds of those who took the survey said they were better off financially as independent contractors. 

Freelancers also might have a leg up on the competition in terms of future readiness. The survey found that 54 percent of American workers are concerned that their current profession will not exist in 20 years. 

In spite of this, the vast majority of freelancers are always trying to better themselves and their abilities, which makes them more flexible as the job market evolves.

What it means to have secure employment is changing as a result of the rise of the freelance economy. Due to the volatility of the economy, it is prudent to diversify one’s clientele and not put all one’s eggs in one basket, lest that basket is shattered if one’s primary source of income suddenly vanishes. A little over two-thirds of those who took the survey felt the same way.

As a result, the ability to make money on demand is becoming an increasingly important skill, even if your children plan to hold down full-time positions with companies in the future.

9. It Strengthens accountability

Effective toy storage is just the beginning of a lifetime of organizational success. These abilities are also put to use when a child remembers to pack a lunch or bring home an essential paper from school.

When children learn to be responsible for their belongings, it’s not long until they’re willing to pitch in with other tasks around the house, such as loading and unloading the dishwasher or folding and putting away their own clothing. 

They can learn abilities that make daily life easier. They can get ready for the next day by setting out their clothes, meals, and bags the night before.

Kids who are given this level of autonomy and responsibility are more likely to develop into responsible, self-reliant individuals. They will be more efficient and effective in their future careers as a result.

Make use of the power of natural consequences in this context to teach responsible behavior. If your child forgets something at school, for instance, it is not your responsibility to either chastise them or rush to the building to retrieve the item.

Give older children increasing independence with managing their belongings, while still being there to help younger children who are still learning the ropes. 

In this way, by the time they are preteens and teenagers, they will have learned to fend for themselves. And that’s important because it will affect their future success as adults. Professor emeritus at Stanford and published author Lythcott-Haims reveals as much to Business Insider.

Lists are a fantastic tool for directing children. Make a list of everything everyone needs to bring on a trip so they can pack their own bags, for instance. 

You can also have them help you write shopping lists and packing lists for their school bags, giving you a chance to talk about how you shop to save money. And when there are a lot of chores that need to be completed, to-do lists are especially useful for decreasing the need to nag.

10. It improves their chances of academic and professional success

Preparing children for adulthood and autonomy requires instructing them in the art of organization. Making their own money is part of that.

Experts in the field have seen that good organizing abilities are essential to monetary success in school. Saint Xavier University published research in 2008 in which educators from three public schools looked into potential factors contributing to pupils’ low grades in grades 3–12. 

They concluded that a lack of organizational abilities was to blame for the tardiness, lack of preparation, and careless demeanor that they observed across the board. Students’ performance in school was found to be directly related to the orderliness of their personal belongings such as desks, lockers, binders, and bags.

Although the term “organization” is most typically associated with putting things in their proper places, the term actually refers to the way in which information is processed. 

Early intervention professional and author of “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education” Amanda Morin writes for the nonprofit Understood about how we employ organizational skills to keep our thoughts in order. 

That means poor organizational skills have far-reaching consequences for our ability to access and use information, beyond simply making us late for class.

The good news is that the Saint Xavier University study indicated that low-achieving students’ grades improved after intervention focused on helping them improve their organizational skills. 

Furthermore, this is significant because a study published in Psychological Science in 2013 found that higher levels of schooling were associated with increased job options and professional success.

Perhaps even more importantly, the 2016 National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook Survey found that organizational abilities were among the top five most desired by employers. 

They benefit the company since they aid workers in setting and meeting objectives. Companies benefit monetarily and temporally from employees with such abilities.

How to Motivate Children to Clean and Organize

The advantages of organizing are obvious, but winning over the support of children is a different matter entirely. For example, getting rid of everything that doesn’t spark joy is a good idea for adults, but it’s not so great for kids. 

Toys strewn across the floor may look like a stressful disaster zone to adults, but children see it as a delightful playground.

Also, while adults may appreciate the relaxing effect of an orderly space, children may find it difficult to keep the space that way. Therefore, when it comes to organizing children, it is best to disregard adult standards in favor of some basic rules.

Speak Exactly How They Do

Adults across the globe are adopting the KonMari approach in droves. The key concept is to evaluate whether or not each item parks joy before keeping it. If it doesn’t work, we’ll have to get rid of it.

However, the strategy has a terrible effect on children. To a youngster, even old, broken toys can bring back fond memories, as noted by Fatherly contributor Patrick A. Coleman. This is not a problem that appears only in very young children. 

The University of Minnesota conducted a study in 2007 that indicated the highest levels of materialism defined as selecting material goods as the response to the question; What makes me happy? occurred between the ages of 10 and 13.

How do you encourage kids of any age to get rid of their clutter? Put it in a language they can grasp and relate to. A child of four years old cannot be trusted to answer whether or not their toys bring them happiness. 

Instead of saying, “Do you play with this anymore?” you can question, “Are you trying to declutter?” Sometimes that’s all it takes to get them to give up an old favorite. Alternatively, you might store the toys that are rarely played with in a box in the cellar. After a few months, you should ask again if they still want the toy. 

Alternatively, you may say that unless they make room by getting rid of old toys, they won’t be able to obtain any new ones. My four-year-old reacted quite positively to that.

And if you make decluttering a regular part of your family’s life, like cleaning out the kids’ rooms before going back to school shopping, it will soon become second nature.

Get Their Assistance

While the need to sneak into your children’s rooms and impose your own brand of order on their abodes is understandable, please resist the urge. Without their help, however, neither the system nor the principles it teaches will endure. 

Organizing guru Dawn Morgenstern recommends including your kid in every aspect of the process, from removing clutter and classifying items to creating and maintaining the organization system.

For instance, we realized that our toddler was always misplacing small items, so we began teaching him organizational skills. In the past, we wasted a lot of time trying to locate Batman’s little Batarang. And in the meantime, he had a tantrum since he couldn’t play with it until we located it.

To get him to cool down, I asked him how we might prevent the same thing from happening again. And he reasoned that if we arranged his belongings in the same manner they were stored at his preschool—with related objects stored together in bins—he would never lose anything again. 

One bin may hold action figures like Batman and his small gadgets, while another could hold Legos and other construction toys. Very practical, and, best of all, he’s on board with keeping it up because it was his idea, to begin with.

It’s best to ask your children how they would want to arrange their belongings before deciding on a system yourself.

  • So why is it so crucial that you keep your belongings in order? You can use some subtle persuasion here if necessary, but they absolutely must get the reasoning behind it. They will never support ongoing organizations if they don’t. In addition, they will perceive any coercion on your side as an act of control rather than cooperation.
  • Tell Me What We Can Do to Make That Happen. The answer to this question varies from child to child, much like their reasons for asking it. Most kids’ “whys” center around playthings. If you ask an adolescent, it’s probably about something superficial, like clothes. Therefore, they will be less bothered with toy containers and more concerned with organizing their closet by color, season, and type of clothing.
  • In What Ways Can We Keep It Going? You might think it’s apparent that the Batarang will go missing if the kids don’t put it away in the action figure bin when they’re done playing with it. Younger children in particular may benefit from periodic reminders that it is ultimately their responsibility to keep their system running smoothly. If kids don’t keep their belongings safe, they’ll inevitably lose their toys, break them, or forget to bring their schoolwork to class. Inquiries like, What can we do to make sure we don’t lose Batman’s Batarang? might help drive home the point that it’s crucial to keep their system in working order, or What would happen if we didn’t put the Batarang away?

Make it simple

All of us are familiar with the picture-perfect homes that occupy design books, online pinboards, and cable television shows. However, many modern families’ hectic schedules don’t reflect the ideals depicted in glossy periodicals. It’s not only idealistic but also impractical, to keep everything hidden and out of sight. 

This is quite acceptable, by the way. Organizing still involves putting things where they make sense and can be quickly accessed. The whole point of the organization is to make things easier in the long run.

Gather everyone you live with to discuss where it makes sense to put stuff and how to organize it so that it is simple to keep up. 

Here are a few examples of possible solutions:

  • Set up landing zones. Prepare a spot close to the door where you enter your home to store items such as backpacks, handbags, and coats. Provide a spot to hang coats if, for instance, that’s the door leading from the garage into the kitchen. Create cubbies in a mudroom or an entryway with baskets for everyone in the family to keep their belongings neat and tidy, as seen on Houzz. And if you don’t have one, just make one, as they do on the Happy Housie. It may be less aesthetically pleasing to have everyone’s jackets hanging in the open rather than hidden away in a closet, but it prevents clutter from appearing in unexpected places, such as on the kitchen island.
  • Establish designated areas for certain activities. The first step is to determine the rooms in your house that will be used for specific tasks. Have you ever done something like schoolwork in the kitchen? Do sports require a large outside area? Can you tell me if people typically read in bed? Then, store their respective implements there: The kitchen is a great place to keep things for schoolwork. Keep all of your sporting goods in the garage. And please do not leave books out on beds. In this way, you can easily access the resources you require whenever you need them. Select the most practical option if a given task may be performed in more than one place. You will never know if the missing piece to Hogwarts Castle is in their room or the living room if you provide both spaces as Lego storage. The Legos may be scattered around the floor of the kid’s room, but at least they’re all in one place when you set up activity zones.
  • Bring Ease of Use. You already know that it’s impossible to keep things organized if you keep the things you use most frequently too far away. Indeed, the same holds true for young people. Young children’s belongings should be stored at waist level for easy access and return when finished. If a child is unable to reach the bar in his or her closet, a lower one can be hung for easier access to clothing. Arrange the toys they use most frequently closer to the floor.
  • Tag All of It. Label everything as you organize your family’s belongings into different storage options, whether that’s boxes, baskets, cabinets, or drawers. So, everything has a home and everyone in the family can find it easily. And if your kids are too young to read, label everything with pictures.
  • Set up some regular practices. By sticking to the same schedule, children are more likely to pick up new skills without much thought or effort on their part. Keep a basket or folder in your drop zone just for things like paperwork your child needs you to sign. Make it a habit for them to go through their belongings as soon as they walk in the door after school each day. Place documents needing signatures in that folder. If they frequently lose their schoolwork, you should also make it a habit to pack it in their backpack each night when they are through.

Stay Positive

Getting organized at home can be exciting, but even for kids who help out, that feeling of wonder might fade. Children might easily revert to their previous ways of doing things. Not to mention, few children enjoy being told what to do.

Try to think of a better way to respond than a power struggle if you really want to win. Provide them with a clear benefit, and they will complete the task voluntarily rather than out of obligation.

Use phrases like, I know cleaning is boring, but if we don’t pick up our toys, they can get lost and destroyed or We’ll trip on them and get hurt when dealing with younger children. Using humor when everything else fails is a common survival strategy. 

Try saying something like, Whoa, I’m tripping on this toy and falling! as a means of practicing a faux tumble. Or they may snow angel among their playthings and exclaim, I can’t move my arms because there’s no space! Can we do anything?

Always use natural consequences instead of punishment with older children to maintain their cooperation and guarantee they learn and benefit from the organization. 

Say something like, When you pick things up, you can have Sam over, if their room is a disaster and they want to host a party. Instead of penalizing them, which rarely works, you can teach them that having an untidy room isn’t very welcoming to guests.

Bottom Line

Recent studies have shown the positive effects of having conversations about money with children. T. Rowe Price’s 2017 Parents, Kids, & Money Survey, for instance, indicated that children who had financial discussions with their parents were much more likely to report feeling financially literate.

Kids learn best through doing, so educating them about money through organizing and decluttering is a great way to get them involved in the process. There will be plenty of chances for parents and children to have discussions about budgeting and saving. 

Plus, students get to put what they’ve learned into practice by participating in everyday activities.

Yes, persuading youngsters to clean up their rooms and put things where they go may seem like yet another chore on a long list. Teaching children to clean up after themselves is its own task and not the same as having help around the house. 

However, the effort is well worth it because of the valuable lessons youngsters may learn about money management.

Having a specific spot for each item also means you won’t have to waste time looking for things like crafting supplies or a comfort item just before bedtime. Making your house more manageable isn’t about perfection; it’s about finding some sanity again.

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