Thanks so much for all your great questions about Organizing with Your Kids. I did my best to answer the questions about the class. See below for answers!

How long is the course and how long are the course materials available for review? The workshop consists of three lessons. With our self-paced classes you gain instant access to all of the class materials as soon as you sign up. You will have lifetime access to the class materials.

Since I’m from Sweden will there be a lot of tips for storage bins and boxes that can only be bought in the states? My approach to organizing isn’t a one-size-fits all solution. So, I don’t say “go out and buy this container” and it will solve all your organizing dilemmas. I believe that storage is just one piece of the overall organizing puzzle and you can create an organized space with a variety of storage solutions. So our classes are designed to work for people in all parts of the world.

Does this class deal with how to deal with all the papers and pictures that kids bring home from school?  This topic is covered briefly in the kid’s class. I also offer a comprehensive paper organizing online class called Organize Your Paper Clutter which is also available as a self-paced online class. This class covers all types of paper and how to organize them, including kid’s paper.

Kids artwork binders

My question is: How can I get my son (12 yrs old) on board with this class? I did not get the most enthusiastic response from him when I mentioned it! I think the best way to get anyone on board with anything is to show them what’s in it for them. How will your son’s life be better as a result of doing this with you? Is his clutter a source of stress and disagreement right now? Can you see how things would improve if you came together on this issue, and worked as a team to meet in a place that works better for both of you? Can you think of ways that the current situation is causing negative consequences for your child? And / or can you think of ways that things would be better for all of you if your child were to get on board?

I have a son, too, so I know it can be hard to get them enthused about things. But, if I key in on what motivates him specifically and frame things in a way that speaks to what is important to him, then I find I have the most success.

When does the class start?  Organizing with Your Kids is a self-paced class which means there is no set start and stop date. You can begin the class today and work on the lesson materials at the pace that fits your lifestyle and schedule.

Do you address space issues? The topic of space is addressed in the lesson content. And you can ask specific questions and brainstorm space-saving solutions with members of the online community forum.

Display shelves

There were a few questions surrounding kids’ ages for this workshop, as well as how the kids are involved in the classI’ll try to answer all of these in groups.

What is the youngest age this class will help? My girl is only 3 years old. Does this class work for her too? The class is written for the parent. As a parent myself, I’m a big fan of starting kids young when it comes to organizing. A very young child may not have the attention span to help you with every single minute of an organizing project, but he or she may be old enough to help with bits and pieces of it.

I started involving my kids in organizing projects when they were four and six. When my daughter was four, she didn’t last the duration of the project. I was able to get her input on things and she helped with the organizing enough to give her a sense of ownership with the end results. This ownership is a key component in having your kids help with keeping things organized going forward.

What age is this class recommended for? I’ve read the Organizing with Kids class description and it sounds great for younger kids, but is it also appropriate for a 13 year old?  As I mentioned above, this class is written to the parent. If you have kids living at home with you and you’d like to teach them how to organize and involve them in the process of organizing their spaces, then this class could be for you. For this class to be effective for you and your child, however, it’s important that you still have your child’s ear. In other words, you and your child need to be able to communicate effectively with one another and work together as a team. I think this line of communication with one another is more important than the child’s age.

Would my son attend this class with me? Will you be directly talking to the kids – or is this more for us parents to take into our homes? How are the kids involved in this class? I picture the parent reading the lesson materials and then involving their child in the action steps and organizing projects. For example, there will be an optional, fifteen minute daily organizing challenge. You and your child could decide to take part in this challenge and work together each day making progress on your child’s organizing projects.

Are you going to address the issue of spouses with conflicting opinions on how much clutter is acceptable to allow for kids? This is a great question, one that I’d like to address here. Certainly if Mom and Dad aren’t on the same page when it comes to kid clutter, then it will be hard for the kid(s) to know what is acceptable and what isn’t. I think that the first step is for Mom and Dad to sit down and have a conversation and strike a compromise. You may not end up exactly where you want to be, but if you can both takes steps in the direction of the each other and reach a compromise then you can bring your kids into the equation. Without this agreement (or compromise) it will be really hard to get everyone moving in the same direction.

Clutter bin

Do these online classes work for people anywhere in the world? (I’m in London). Is it all done in your own time, or do I need to be able to ‘connect’ to a discussion in a particular time-slot? simplify 101’s online classes most definitely work for people anywhere in the world. We have students from all over the world, including England. The class is done on your own time schedule. You don’t need to be available to connect at a specific time slot.

My question is: How to strike that balance between a.) It’s their room and the child should feel comfortable in it and b.) It’s my home and I need to feel comfortable with its cleanliness/clutter level. I love this question because I really think this is such an important part of the process of organizing with kids—striking the balance between what your child finds comfortable and what you find comfortable. In my home, we’ve worked this out a couple of ways. In the shared and public spaces, it is expected that the norm will be my comfort zone and my husband’s. So, the kids are expected to keep their clutter in check in these shared areas. Certainly when they’re using the space it is okay if their things are out and in the space. But, everything gets picked up and put away before bedtime. And the kids know that this is their responsibility. Yes, we remind them from time to time…but they know this is expected and so it really isn’t a source of conflict.

In their own spaces—their bedrooms—I let things lean a bit more to their way of doing things. Oddly enough, my son’s room is a bit sparser than my comfort zone, and my daughter’s is more visually cluttered than my comfort zone. I think there are three elements to an organized space – how it looks, how it feels, and how it functions. My daughter’s room doesn’t look as organized as I might like, but it does function well for her and she loves how it looks and feels. We also have some kid-friendly rules to keep ourselves on the same page. (This is a topic I cover in the workshop, by the way.) For example, there are rules for putting away clothes, and keeping things off the floor. My focus is on making sure my kids know how to organize a space in a way that works for them, and that they have the habits to keep things organized, too. But it is also really important to me that my kids feel comfortable in their own rooms. I know how important that was to me when I was a child.

Thanks again for all your questions! Remember, Organizing with Your Kids is a self-paced online class, so you can get started today. Grab your spot here!

Aby

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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and organizing eBooks.

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