Fiona Wright of Mother & Baby magazine shares her top tips.
From a young age, even tiny tots can be encouraged to pack away toys if you turn it into a fun activity. Check out pack away songs on YouTube and get set to sing as you tidy with your toddler. For older kids, cleaning their room and helping out with jobs like folding the washing can be chores rewarded with pocket money or a rewards chart.
Keep their bedrooms – and your living areas – clear of clutter with stylish storage solutions like ottomans or wicker baskets, in which you can quickly pack items away at the end of the day. Cube shelves are handy for creating a designated spot for each child’s gear. They can place their bags and shoes in their cube after kindy or school, and quickly collect again in the morning when you’re all rushing to leave.
WRITE IT DOWN
Keep track of your littlies’ activities and social lives with a calendar that has a storage envelope at the bottom. When you make appointments or receive party invites, write the details on the calendar, then pop the letter in the envelope to be pulled out for actioning when the date rolls around.
Creating a chart which lists exactly what needs to be done can prevent nagging and gives kids a clear idea of what they need to do. For example, a morning routine lists tasks such as eat breakfast, clean teeth, make bed; an evening chart might include tidy room, do homework, have bath. A daily structure like this will comfort your children, knowing the order of their day.
GET APP SAVVY
Yes, there are websites and apps just designed to get you organised and save you time. Evernote is touted as your “second brain” and lets you create notes, to-do lists and capture ideas. The Artkive app allows you to store, share and print your child’s artwork. Google Calendar is a sanity saver: mum and dad can sync calendars and keep track of movements and upcoming events.