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Reality Organizing for Teens: It's Not Just Cleaning Up

08/16/2012 4:56 PM | Anonymous

by Terry Cooch of TLC Home


Can your teen be organized? Well, sure... but it's going to cost you. It will go something like this:

Set Example. Your teen can become organized, but it starts with you. Eliminate your own chaos. Be organized and be on time. Learn to prioritize. Know how to work well and how to relax.

KISS and Make Up. "Keep it Simple Sweetie" is the right approach to organizing, but so is forgiveness. Forget who is to blame for the messy path your child has taken, forgive yourselves the past, and start fresh with a positive, can-do attitude.

Give Warning. Do NOT wake your son on Saturday morning and ask which of his preschool art he would like to keep. DO inform him that, "On Saturday morning at 11:00 we'll be working together to reorganize some of your belongings. Eat breakfast first."

Reality Check. Determine what is working and what is not, establish motivation, examine time management and create a goals list. Remember, organizing is about his priorities, not yours.

Reality Attack. Teach the 4 C's: Classify, Clear out, Control, and Continue. Save only what is useful and appreciated, find what remains easily accessible homes in established zones. Together, create a realistic maintenance plan.

Repeat Yourself. Periodic reminders are necessary. Lower the annoyance factor by coming to an agreement with your child as to how often (or under what conditions) he is to be reminded. Pleasant tone, please.

Communicate Expectations. Assume nothing. Everything is in its place and a plan has been established, so we're all good? Not really. Let him know where you've placed the bar and your confidence in his ability to achieve it. Then be patient. Change takes time, diligence, and consistency. 

© 2012 Terry Cooch. All Rights Reserved.

Terry L. Cooch, owner of TLC Home Complete Home Management Services, is a mother of six and a  professional organizer.

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