For many frazzled parents, just the thought of trying to get kids to organize their stuff is laughable. We’re lucky if we can get them to pick their dirty laundry up off the floor, much less sort Legos into color-coded bins.
Yet there are a lot of practical reasons to get them on board with household cleaning and organization. For one, even if you believe there are money-saving benefits of organization, decluttering and organizing your home without the whole family on board is an exercise in futility. For another, numerous studies, including a 2010 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, have shown a significant link between clutter and stress. And parenting comes with enough stress without tiptoeing through piles of toys.
But practicing home organization can also teach children valuable money lessons. And teaching money lessons while kids are still young is crucial. In 2013, researchers from the University of Cambridge found kids’ money habits are mostly set by the age of 7. So the sooner you can get started, the better.
And the best way to teach kids about money is with everyday real-life activities, according to PBS’s youth and money expert Beth Kobliner. That makes ordinary household chores like organization a valuable way to teach them many lessons, including those about money.
Money Lessons Kids Can Learn From Organizing
Kids have lots of things in their lives — from the stuff they have to what their friends have, to all the things they see and want. A 2015 study published in the journal Cognition found kids view their things as extensions of themselves. So talking with them about how to take care of and respect their stuff teaches them directly about value. It also helps them learn how to spend money wisely when it comes to accumulating even more. And that’s just the start of what organization can teach kids about money.
1. It Teaches Them to Value Their Things
When kids don’t pick their stuff up and put it where it belongs, it gets lost or broken. Favorite toys go missing, small parts end up in irretrievable places like air vents, and toys get stepped on and crushed underfoot. But when kids have a designated home for their things, they can find it when they want it, and toys don’t get destroyed. That means no more spending hours looking for that specific set of Barbie shoes or running to Target for a new Spider-Man to replace the one with the broken leg.
Plus, when you make kids responsible for putting their things away, it creates opportunities for teaching them about respecting their stuff. For example, if they don’t put away their toys and a favorite gets broken or lost, don’t run out to buy a replacement. Instead, make them deal with the natural consequences of their failure to take care of it. They must either do without or dip into their allowance to get a new one.
That quickly teaches them how crucial it is to take care of their things when they realize their money is going to replacements, limiting their ability to buy new stuff. Whether they know it or not, they’re learning a lesson about opportunity cost: When their money goes to one thing, they won’t have it to use for another.
That lesson is a harder one to grasp for younger kids who don’t yet receive an allowance or even understand the concept of money. But according to organizing expert Julie Morgenstern, even kids as young as 2 can start learning ample organizational skills. And Brian Ellis, a certified financial planner, tells Fatherly that parents can implement natural consequences with younger kids to help facilitate a later understanding of money — even without involving actual money.
For example, if a child leaves a toy out in a place where it can get ruined or stepped on, you can casually mention it must be time to donate it to charity since they’re no longer interested in it. Even if that’s not what you decide to do, according to Ellis, it can start a conversation about valuing their things that eventually translates into an understanding of financial value.
2. It Instills a Strong Work Ethic
According to the Harvard Grant Study, the longest-running study of the same group of individuals in history (covering 75 years and counting) — the kids who grew up to be successful adults did chores. Chores have that impact because they instill a strong work ethic. And the Harvard study concluded people need only two things to be happy and successful: love and a work ethic.
In her 2015 TED Talk, Julie Lythcott-Haims, a former dean at Stanford and author of “How to Raise an Adult,” notes that the earlier parents start requiring kids to do chores, the better. It teaches kids a “roll-up-your-sleeves and pitch-in mindset” that’s invaluable in the workplace.
She also says it instills an attitude of cooperation, a necessary component of a strong work ethic. For example, if kids aren’t doing the dishes, that means someone else is doing it for them. And that not only absolves them of the work but of learning there’s work to be done and that each member of the team contributes to the whole.
Teamwork is also essential in the workplace. In fact, according to LinkedIn’s 2020 annual survey of the most in-demand hard and soft skills, collaboration is No. 3.
So whatever chores your kids are capable of doing, be sure to give them some. Having kids put away their toys — according to the organizational system you decide on as a family — reinforces these lessons. Kids learn there’s work to be done and that it’s part of being a member of the family.
3. It Develops Their Sense of Intrinsic Value
Only you can decide if you want to tie chores to an allowance. There are two schools of thought on allowances.
One is to pay kids for doing chores. The idea is that kids should get paid for doing work the same way adults get paid for working their jobs. Supporters say it teaches valuable financial skills because kids learn that doing work earns them a paycheck.
The other is to expect kids to contribute to the family by doing ordinary household chores without tying it to payment. Here, the basic idea is that chores aren’t actually the same as a job. After all, Mom and Dad have to clean dishes, wash the laundry, and cook meals without getting paid. So why should kids get paid for doing the ordinary activities involved in being part of a family?
If you opt to go the latter route, one of the huge benefits is that it reinforces the concept of intrinsic value. Intrinsic value means doing things for the sake of doing them. Kids get an internal sense of accomplishment, satisfaction, or joy from the activity. Doing something for its extrinsic value means doing it for an external reward — like praise or money.
That’s another lesson that can have a long-lasting impact on their ability to be successful in their future career. Research from a 2017 meta-analysis published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience shows that intrinsic motivation is more closely tied to increases in learning, performance, and creativity. On the other hand, according to Harvard Business Review, some studies have shown that earning money for tasks can decrease motivation.
Whether you tie allowance to chores is a personal choice for every family. But when it comes to teaching kids the value of organizing their things, it may be better to leave it to them to discover the intrinsic reward in the task. Namely, when they see how easy it is to find the toys they’re looking for, they become more motivated to keep doing it.
4. It Teaches Them Budgeting Skills
Depending on their ages, kids have very different understandings about money. For example, a preschooler knows you need to exchange money for things but has no understanding of the value difference between something that costs $5 and something that costs $50. On the other end of the spectrum, a high schooler can usually understand basic personal finance — from spending and saving to investing.
So the younger kids are, the less likely they are to understand adult concepts like needs versus wants, which are value differences reflected in the process of making a budget. Since parents are generally providing all the needs, everything kids spend their money on tends to fall into the wants category. But to them, it all feels like a need.
Despite the lack of conceptual understanding, you can still help lay the foundations for making spending and saving decisions by teaching them how to prioritize. And that’s a lesson that can come from learning to organize.
For example, Good Housekeeping suggests organizing toys using the A-B-C-D method. A toys are ones kids play with all the time, B toys are ones they play with often, C toys are ones they rarely play with, and D toys are ones they never play with. Donate D toys should (D for donate), and store the other toys according to accessibility. For example, put A and B toys low to the ground where kids can reach them and C toys on a higher shelf.
That doesn’t always work for very young kids, though. They feel differently about their toys from one moment to the next. My son frequently rediscovers old toys he hasn’t played with in months or years, and suddenly, they’re his new favorite. Yet organizing expert Peter Walsh tells HGTV starting the conversation early helps instill discernment skills that will click later on. Keep asking questions like, “Do you play with this anymore?” and eventually, they’ll get the lesson. And that lesson lays the foundation for later understanding of what really matters when it comes to budgeting money.
Likewise, you can use all kinds of everyday moments to practice savvy shopping skills that reinforce lessons on spending and saving. Teach them to watch commercials with a critical eye. How is the ad trying to trick them into buying more? Do they really need one in every color? Just because something is on sale or they have a coupon, are they really saving money if they don’t need it?
That’s also an essential lesson in organizing. Preventing more from coming in is half the battle. And it teaches good money habits too. Kids can’t buy everything they want, so what goes into deciding to buy something? By the time they’re tweens, ages 9 to 12, Walsh says kids are making more and more decisions about what to spend their money on — and that comes from regularly going through their things to discover what they value and what they can donate, sell, or never buy in the first place.
5. It Encourages Minimalism
Minimalism is a vital money habit because it reduces spending on unnecessary things. Different families have varying values when it comes to how much stuff they’re comfortable owning. But carefully examining our expenditures is always helpful. Plus, decluttering is a crucial first step to organizing — the fewer things we own, the easier it is to find places to stow them.
And kids have a way of accumulating an overabundance of stuff. Alyson Schafer, a parenting expert and best-selling author of “Honey, I Wrecked the Kids,” tells Today’s Parent kids are continually getting things — books, a kids meal toy, dollar store toys, and birthday party goody bags. She says parents forget about all that because they’re just small things. But it drives an overall attitude of consumerism and the expectation they should always be getting something. And that doesn’t bode well for future financial habits.
But practicing minimalism with kids can be a complicated task. Kids get attached to stuff because they form an identity around their things, as discovered in the Cognition study. So even a toy they haven’t played with in years can feel painful to part with.
To get over this hurdle with younger kids, go back to Walsh’s exercise of continually asking if they play with things until the lesson sinks in. And for older kids, ask, “Is this something we still want, use, or need? Could we get more value out of selling it? Would someone else enjoy it more if we donate it?”
Barbara Coloroso, a parenting educator and author of “Kids Are Worth It,” explains to Today’s Parent that another trick that works well with kids is to tie minimalism to a cause. She advises parents to explain to kids that the family has committed to have a smaller carbon footprint, why that’s important, and what that looks like in their everyday reality. She says it works because people are hardwired to care for others. And kids love to take up a cause and feel they’ve made a difference because it gives them a sense of power and significance.
Yet another trick is to talk about quality with kids. For example, if they bring home a goody bag from a birthday party and it’s filled with cheap plastic toys, let them play with them for a few days. Then ask if there’s anything in the bag they still want to keep. You can discuss why the toys aren’t worth keeping and toss the things they don’t care about. That keeps the little things they’re unlikely to play with from accumulating over time, keeping the excess to a minimum.
And if you want to reinforce the lesson, rethink your own child’s birthday party goody bags. Though you might not feel confident foregoing one altogether since they’ve become an expected convention, it’s still possible to skip the standard filler. Instead of tiny plastic toys, fill goody bags with consumables like candy or cookies or go with a single higher-quality yet still affordable toy — for example, a Beanie Baby.
And finally, designating specific spaces for kids’ possessions can reinforce lessons about how much it’s OK to accumulate. Decluttering guru Marie Kondo tells The Wall Street Journal that if you designate a container — like a drawer or toy chest — for kids’ stuff, it’s easier to decide when they accumulate too much. When their things outgrow their designated space, they must get rid of some before they can get more.
6. It Teaches Them to Be Appreciative
When kids are in a state of continually accumulating things, they don’t value them. Worse, they get stuck in an attitude of entitlement, which is antithetical to a sense of appreciation. Schafer tells Today’s Parent that kids who have a “me orientation” expect others to do everything for them — from getting things for them to serving them to entertaining them.
Teaching kids about gratitude is also invaluable for reinforcing money lessons. Gratitude for what we have helps us put less emphasis on materialism and the need to acquire more stuff. Additionally, it can reduce the tendency toward social comparison, which is a prominent driver of overspending.
And these are lessons you can teach through common elements of organizing — like decluttering — which is not only about purging but also about bringing less in. Even more, when kids donate their gently used clothes and toys to those in need, they’re also learning valuable lessons about sharing — another pathway into appreciation.
If kids do decide to donate items, reinforce the lesson by explaining how someone who has less than they do will use and value their things. To help facilitate the discussion, try using Goodwill’s Impact Calculator. It shows how donations impact others in their community as well as the planet.
7. It Reinforces Foundational Math Skills
Although organizing with little kids is no easy task, part of the value in doing it with even very young kids lies in its ability to reinforce foundational math skills like sorting, counting, and categorizing. And any chance for little kids to practice math is invaluable. Math skills help set the stage for later success in two crucial ways. First, according to a 2007 study published in Developmental Psychology analyzing 35,000 preschoolers in the U.S., Canada, and England, building math skills early in life not only predicts future math achievement, but it also predicts future reading achievement. And 2015 data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development shows a direct correlation between students’ math skills and financial literacy.
Though organizing their stuff could potentially involve addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, basic math activities — like creating patterns and counting — are the ones that lay the foundation in preschoolers for those more advanced mathematical calculations. And that’s a task that you can easily achieve by having little kids sort and categorize their things. Organizing teaches kids how to analyze data (“Where’s the best place to put this?”), apply rules to groups (“What category does this thing go in?”) and find relationships between things (“Spider-Man and Batman should both go in the action figure bin”).
Best of all, when kids understand the practical applications for math in their everyday lives, it becomes all the more real and valuable to them.
8. It Inspires Entrepreneurship
Just because your kids no longer play with something doesn’t mean it no longer has value. When you go through the organizing step of purging, teach them the art of resale. If something is only gently used and still in good condition — not broken, not missing any pieces, and not stained — kids can learn how to make money selling their things on eBay, Amazon, or in a garage sale.
To make this a real money lesson that encourages your kids to become entrepreneurs, give them full ownership over the process. Let them figure out how to price their stuff, and let them keep their money to save, spend, or invest however they wish. They’ll learn valuable lessons about earning money as well as how money can grow if they save or invest it and what money can do — or not — when they spend it.
Additionally, lessons about entrepreneurship are extremely valuable for their future financial success. According to the “Freelancing in America 2017” report sponsored by Upwork and backed by independent research from Edelman Intelligence, freelancers currently account for more than a third of the American workforce. Freelancers are a type of entrepreneur, technically “solopreneurs,” or self-employed people. They offer services as independent contractors — meaning they get paid for each job they complete rather than earning a salary or wage through an employer. And the study predicts that by 2027, freelancers will account for the majority of the workforce.
Though freelancing comes with its cons, there are also a lot of pros. A full two-thirds of survey respondents reported they made more money as freelancers than they did as full-time employees. Additionally, freelancers may be better prepared for the future. According to the report, 54% of the United States workforce isn’t confident their job will still exist in 20 years. Yet the majority of freelancers continually work to improve current skills and learn new ones, giving them more adaptability as job markets change.
Freelance work is also redefining what it means to have job stability. In an unpredictable economic climate, it’s become increasingly important to maintain multiple streams of income, like a diverse roster of clients, than to rely on a single employer — who could disappear — for one’s income. Two-thirds of the survey’s respondents agreed with that assessment.
So, even if your kids grow up to maintain full-time jobs with employers, knowing how to earn their own money when they need it is becoming an invaluable financial skill.
9. It Reinforces Responsibility
Solid organizational skills aren’t only about learning to put away toys. Kids also use these skills when they remember to bring important papers home from school or pack their backpacks with needed school supplies.
When kids can master taking responsibility for their things, it’s not a far step to helping out in other ways, including chores like folding, sorting, and putting away their laundry and loading and emptying the dishwasher. They can also master skills that help their days run more smoothly. They can lay out their clothes, pack their lunches, and load their backpacks the night before.
Giving kids this kind of responsibility and independence helps them grow into successful adults capable of managing their own lives. And that translates to increased productivity and effectiveness in whatever jobs they work in the future.
To reinforce lessons about responsibility, use natural consequences here too. For example, if your child forgets something at school, don’t scold them for it, but don’t run to school to get it, either — because that’s not your job.
While younger kids need more guidance in keeping track of and organizing their things, gradually give them more responsibility as they get older. That way, by the time they’re tweens and teens, they’ll have developed independence. And that’s crucial to them becoming successful adults, Lythcott-Haims, the former Stanford professor and author, tells Business Insider.
Making ample use of lists helps guide kids. For example, if you’re going on a family vacation, make a packing list so they can put together their own suitcase. You can also make packing lists for their school backpacks or have them help you with shopping lists, which can provide an opportunity to discuss the ways you shop to save money. And to-do lists are especially helpful for reducing the need to nag when there are a bunch of tasks kids need to get done.
10. It Increases Their Odds of Academic & Career Success
Teaching kids to organize is an essential step on the road to independence and adulthood. That includes making their own money.
And when it comes to making money, educators have noted that sound organizational skills are a vital part of academic success. In a 2008 study from Saint Xavier University, teachers at three different public schools analyzed possible reasons for students’ low grades in third through 12th graders. In all the cases, they found the culprit was a lack of organizational skills, which led to late work, unpreparedness, and lax attitudes. They discovered a direct correlation between the state of students’ desks, lockers, binders, and backpacks and their grades.
While we often think of organization as keeping our stuff in order, it’s also about how we process information. But writing for the educational support organization Understood, Amanda Morin, an early intervention specialist and author of “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education,” notes we use organizational skills to keep our thoughts in order. That means, far from merely forgetting our homework, organizational skills profoundly affect how we retrieve and use information.
Fortunately, the researchers from the Saint Xavier University study found that when they intervened in organizational skills issues with the low-achieving students, their grades improved. And that matters because educational success, though not a perfect predictor, is often correlated with better job opportunities and career success, according to a 2013 study published in Psychological Science.
Perhaps more critical, organization is one of the top skills employers look for in job candidates, according to the 2016 National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook Survey. They help employees plan, prioritize, and achieve goals, which is good for business. Those kinds of skills save employers time and make companies money.
How to Get Kids on Board With Cleaning & Organizing
As clear as the benefits are, getting kids on board with organizing is another thing entirely. Ideas that work for adults — like purging anything that doesn’t “spark joy” — don’t work well for kids. And while adults see a stress-inducing disaster zone when toys accumulate all over the floor, kids see a fun playground. Plus, organizational systems that look beautiful and calming to parents are challenging for kids to maintain. So, when it comes to getting kids organized, forget about grown-up ways of doing things, and apply a few kid-specific guidelines instead.
Speak Their Language
The KonMari method has become wildly popular with adults. Its primary method of decluttering involves asking yourself if each possession “sparks joy.” If it doesn’t, it goes.
But the method is disastrous with kids. As Fatherly writer Patrick A. Coleman observed, everything sparks joy to a child — even broken toys or those they haven’t played with in years.
And this phenomenon isn’t isolated to young kids. A 2007 study from the University of Minnesota found that materialism — which the researchers defined as choosing objects as their response to the question, “What makes me happy?” — peaked during mid-adolescence.
So how do you get kids of any age to purge their stuff? You have to put it in terms they can understand and relate to. Don’t ask a 4-year-old if their toys spark joy. If you’re working on decluttering, ask them instead, “Do you play with this anymore?” Sometimes, that’s enough to help them let go of an old toy. If not, try putting the rarely used toys in a box in the basement. If they don’t ask about the toy for several months, revisit the question. Alternatively, try explaining they can’t get any new toys until they make room for them by getting rid of old ones. That worked wonders with my 4-year-old.
And if you make decluttering part of the ordinary family routine — like purging kids’ closets before you do back-to-school shopping — it becomes natural to them.
Enlist Their Cooperation
It’s tempting to sneak into kids’ spaces to declutter and organize everything yourself. But it won’t last without their cooperation — nor will they learn any of the valuable lessons that come with it. According to organizing expert Morgenstern, that means involving your child in every step of the project, from decluttering to sorting to the system design and maintenance.
For example, we started working on organizing with our preschooler because he was always losing tiny objects. We once spent hours looking for Batman’s tiny Batarang. Meanwhile, he had a meltdown because he couldn’t play with it until we found it.
So in a calmer moment, I sat him down and asked him how he thought we could keep that from happening again. And he decided that if we organized things the way they were at his preschool — like items with like sorted into bins — he’d always be able to find his things. For example, Batman and all his miniature gadgets could go in one bin along with his other action figures, and his Legos could go in another. It was a very doable plan, and best of all, he’s on board with maintaining it because it was his idea.
So instead of deciding how your kids should organize their things, start by asking them:
- Why Is It Important to Organize Your Stuff? You can lead them a bit with this one if you have to, but they must understand the why. If they don’t, they’ll never be on board with maintaining any kind of organization. And any effort on your part to force them will feel like control and not cooperation.
- How Can We Achieve That? This question is different for every kid because the why is different. Children’s whys are typically related to toys. For a teenager, it’s more likely to be about something like clothes. So they’ll be much less concerned with toy bins than with organizing the clothes in their closet by color, season, or type.
- How Can We Maintain It? It might seem obvious to you that if they don’t put the Batarang in the action figure bin when they’re done playing with it, it will get lost again. But sometimes kids — especially younger ones — need the reminder that the maintenance of their system is ultimately on them. Otherwise, the natural consequence happens: They lose their toys, they get broken, or they forget to take their homework to school. So make sure to reinforce the importance of maintaining their system by asking questions like, “What can we do to make sure we don’t lose Batman’s Batarang?” or “What happens if we don’t put away the Batarang?”
Make It Easy
We’ve all seen the magazines, Pinterest boards, and HGTV shows filled with beautiful, well-organized homes. But the reality for many busy families just doesn’t match what we see in magazines. Tucking everything away and out of sight is often unrealistic — and even impractical. And that’s OK. Keeping things where they’re logical and easy to grab is still organizing. It’s the essence of organizing: making your life feel more effortless.
So get the whole family together and decide where it feels natural to put things and how to to do it so it’s easy to maintain. Some ideas include:
- Create Drop Zones. Set up a place to drop stuff like backpacks, purses, and coats near wherever you typically walk into your home. For example, if that’s the door from the garage into the kitchen, have a place for coat hooks. If you have a mudroom or a convenient spot in a foyer, set up cubbies complete with baskets for organizing individual family members’ things, as shown on Houzz. And even if you don’t, improvise a mudroom-type space as seen on the Happy Housie. Even though that leaves everyone’s coats out in view instead of tucked away in a closet, it keeps stuff from getting dumped haphazardly elsewhere — like the kitchen counter.
- Create Activity Zones. Decide on spaces in your home where certain activities usually take place. For example, is homework done in the kitchen? Are sports for outside? Is reading done in bedrooms? Then keep everything you use for them in those zones: Keep homework supplies in a drawer or cabinet in the kitchen. Store all sports equipment in the garage. And put books away in bedrooms. That way, you always know where to go to find what you need. If there are some activities done in two locations, pick the most convenient one and stick with it. If you have storage for Legos in their bedrooms and the family room, you won’t know if the piece to Hogwarts Castle is in one place or the other. But when you have activity zones, you know all the Legos are in one spot, like a portable bin in the kid’s bedroom.
- Make It Accessible. You already know not to put things you often use out of reach, or you can’t maintain that system. It’s the same for kids. Put kids’ stuff down low so they can get to it and put it away when they’re done. For example, if kids’ can’t reach the bar in their closet, hang a lower one so they can get to their clothes. Put toys they play with often on a lower shelf.
- Label Everything. Whether you opt to sort your family’s stuff into bins, baskets, cabinets, or drawers, label everything. That helps every family member remember where things go. And if you have little kids who aren’t yet reading age, make sure to use picture labels.
- Establish Routines. Routines lead to habits, which ensure kids learn to do things automatically. For example, if your kid forgets to hand you papers to sign, keep a basket or folder in your drop zone just for that. Every day when they get home from school, have them sort through their things before they do anything else. Papers to sign go in that container. Likewise, if they regularly forget their homework, establish a routine of packing it in their backpack every night right after finishing their homework.
Keep It Positive
Even for kids who fully participate in the home organization process, the excitement can wear off. Kids can backtrack to their old habits. Further, few kids are fond of being told what to do.
Instead of getting into a power struggle, be prepared with a more effective response. Let them know what’s in it for them because that will ultimately result in them doing it because they want to and not because they have to.
With younger kids, try something like, “I know cleaning is boring, but if we don’t pick up our toys, they can get lost and broken,” or “We’ll trip on them and get hurt.” If all else fails, resorting to silliness often works. Try play-acting falling over with a, “Whoa, I’m tripping on this toy and falling!” Or make “snow angels” among their toys and add, “I can’t move my arms because there’s no space! What can we do?”
For older kids, to keep their cooperation and ensure they learn and benefit from organizing, always go with natural consequences over punishment. For example, if their room is a mess and they want to have friends over, say, “When you pick everything up, you can have Sam over.” That way, instead of punishing them, which is rarely effective, you help them understand that a messy room isn’t an inviting space for entertaining friends.
Research shows that talking with kids about money can make all the difference. For example, the 2017 Parents, Kids, & Money Survey conducted by T. Rowe Price found that kids were significantly more likely to say they felt smart about money when parents discussed financial topics with them.
And since kids learn best by participating in practical, everyday activities, that makes organizing and decluttering an ideal activity for teaching kids valuable financial lessons. The process provides many opportunities for kids and parents to talk about money. And kids get to experience the lessons in action through hands-on activities that are an ordinary part of life.
Granted, getting kids to organize their stuff seems like just one more thing on an endless to-do list. Encouraging kids to pick up isn’t like having help with the housework — it’s work of its own. But the financial lessons kids learn from the process are well worth the effort.
Plus, giving everything a designated home means not wasting hours looking for a pair of scissors or a glue stick to do crafts or searching for a missing favorite stuffy when it’s time for bed. It’s not about creating a perfectly ordered home — it’s about regaining just a little bit of sanity.
Are you a parent trying to encourage your kids to develop organizational skills? Do you have any tips that have worked?