Montessori Organizing

It's that time of year when we try new things to help us stay organized and successfully complete goals for the coming year.

There are a few things we've tried this past year that have been a success in our home and I thought this would be a good time to share them with you.

Today's idea is about helping kids stay organized independently.

In the realm of parenting and educating I've studied a variety of ideas. I pick and choose from each and use them in our family. Montessori ideas filter through our home everyday. One thing I learned from her is the idea that children really do want to participate in and be responsible for their part of family life. I've experimented with this and found it to be absolutely true.

So, when my kids turn 3 years old they begin to be responsible for folding their own clothes. Of course we do it together at first, but it doesn't take long before they can do it on their own.

I also have them put their clothes away as well as dress themselves completely on their own by then. It's a goal I have for them that they don't know about. But it isn't a big deal because these are things they want to do-they want to be independent! It's all well and nice to want your kids to be independent, but it's another thing to let go of the control and actually let them do it. It can be a challenge, for example, to let your child wear what she chooses. But, I remind myself that my kids need practice making choices. And the small choices they learn how to make when they are very young will give them practice for big choices that really count later on.

In order to have them fold and put away clothes and dress themselves, I made a dresser that looks like this:

This is what we did to Kay's dresser this past fall so she could find what she wants to wear and put away her things in the proper place. I simply cut out paper shapes and we stuck them onto the drawers with sticky tac. "Sweaters" is the only one I wrote so she wouldn't get it confused with long-sleeved shirts.

She LOVES her independence and so do I!

I love to watch how excited she is to fold her own things and put them away. She does a great job at it. I can sense that she is proud of herself and the "big" things she does. She's gotten better and better at matching her clothes and has quite the opinion about what she likes. Which is good :)

When we did Kay's dresser we also reorganized Jay's dresser (we were changing out summer to fall/winter clothes at the time). And since he's an independent reader now, he graduated from cut out shapes and wrote out cards himself to put on his drawers:

These {Little Projects} have made a great BIG difference at our house.
If you're looking for more great organizing ideas, a new collection of them can be found here by a friend who has a talent for keeping order and making it look cute too!


Jessie, The Education Of Ours said...

This is EXACTLY the type of thing that will help your child feel more independent. Thank you for sharing this with the world!

elspeth said...

This is a great idea. I spent yesterday morning organizing their drawers and today they put their own laundry away. We're both happy with the arrangement.
Thanks for another obvious and brilliant idea!

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