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Charts and Bins Help Organize Kids

By Jodie Lynn


We have tried and tried to help our kids keep their room organized. It's just impossible. There are three of them, two elementary school-aged girls and one toddler boy sharing a room while we search for a new house... which makes it even more important for it to be organized. Surely there's a way without all the arguing and whining. Please help!


My aunt takes care of four children in her home while the parents work. The children range in age from two to four. She keeps see-through stackable plastic bins for each child arranged in a room where they play and also take naps. Their names are printed on them. She is teaching them that whatever they take out of the bins has to be put back in once they are done playing. - Stacey Smith in Fort Meyers, FL


There are long storage bins that are three to four feet in length and around maybe six to eight inches high that are great for storing items under beds. It sort of makes a drawer-like organizational system where they can keep certain items. You can either put the lids on or keep them off. By keeping it off, you can add a few more things inside and there will not be that one more thing to keep up with when it's time for them to get something out or to put it away. These are especially good for the somewhat heavier toys because they can slide under the bed fairly easy. Try using labels on the bins so that each child will have their own or maybe a picture or drawing for the toddler. You could also utilize plastic book shelves with two or more units that can be easily stacked. Use some in the closet for shoes or even clothes or in an open area for various things like puzzles, toys, books, etc. The key is to be sure the kids can reach them. Start some type of reward system for the kids keeping their room organized. This could be a chart attached to the wall of their bedroom. Each day you or your husband could go in and check out their room and put a gold star by their name written on the chart, if they have met specific requirements that have been set up. At the end of each week, give them something simple as a reward for a job well done and to inspire them to continue with their good performance. It could be a toy, coloring book, puzzle or even sidewalk chalk from the Dollar Store. Soon they will be taking responsibility for their own toys and belongings, learn order and be eager to show you that they can be in control of their individual things.

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My 21-year-old daughter's best friend is her roomy at college. She enjoys going to clubs. Her mom goes with her. I think this is totally weird and fear that my daughter is going to start going out with them and her 4.0 GPA will hit bottom. How do I approach the other mom with my concerns?

To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040. Email direct2contact, or go to which provides a secure and easy way to submit tips or questions. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.

© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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