Your disorganized child can learn
habits and skills for success!

Is your disorganized child frustrated? Are YOU frustrated? Is it difficult to get out the door because he can't find his shoes? Are socks strewn about the house? Does his backpack land somewhere near the front door and stay there? Are library books lost? I've been there with my son and I feel your pain. Whether or not your child has ADD, many kids are just easily distracted or naturally disorganized. You can organize kids clothes. Here's what you can do.

organized child
Teaching a disorganized child to become independent with their clothes was the first step I took. The first thing I did was declutter his drawers. I removed and donated all but four outfits of clothes. Yes, you heard me correctly. Four outfits! Not only did this create more space in his drawers, it enabled him to really see what he had. Most kids will just look for the next thing in their drawers until there isn't anything instead of keeping track of what they do have.

Most problems can be solved by simplifying to the most basic needs. I kept four pants, four shirts, four pair of underwear and socks. I gave him my hanging shoe organizer, hung it in his closet, and had him put one day's worth of clothes in two spaces, one for pants/socks and one for shirt/undies. There are sweater hangers that would probably provide enough room in just one opening, so if you're buying it new, that will be more efficient.

On his checklist I added “I have clothes for tomorrow” on his evening chores so that if there aren't any clothes left in the hanging organizer, he can start a load of laundry. So far, this system has worked very well and there are several benefits. First, there aren't clothes strewn all over his room due to having too many outfits and him not taking care of them. Second, since he knows he has four outfits, it's easy for him to keep track of them and he can see instantly by looking at his hanging organizer whether he needs to do laundry or not. Because of these two benefits he has started to feel more in control of what used to be a frustration for us both, which builds his confidence, makes him feel more responsible. This positive cycle will continue to strengthen, and will hopefully impact other areas that have been difficult for him to organize.

If you have a disorganized child, it can be a frustrating, hair-pulling out experience (for both of you!) Remember that your child is just as exasperated as you, if not more due to his sensing your frustration in him. With some active support, clear expectations, some organizational tools and patience, you and your disorganized child can work together toward organization. Good luck!

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