Start an Organizing Project With Your Grandchild

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Over the years I’ve used the services of professional organizers to help me with different organizing projects. Recently, I met Pauline Wiles, The English Organizer, and invited her to write a guest post offering some ideas for teaching our grandchildren how to organize.

An organizing project with your grandkids can be a fun way to teach them valuable skills, including the concepts of sorting, the benefits of keeping like-with-like, and principles such as one-in/one-out. Moreover, it’s a great time for the younger ones to practice shape and color recognition.

What to Organize

Look around your home to see what kind of things your grandchildren enjoy, or what has previously caught their interest. For example, you can:

  • Purge photos, picking favorites together
  • Tidy craft or sewing supplies
  • Organize DVDs or games
  • Rescue your junk drawer
  • Make a weekly menu chart
  • Arrange the pantry or baking supplies
  • Sort tools and small do-it-yourself supplies like screws, batteries and light bulbs

How to Organize

In each case, you can:

  1. Sort the items so that similar things are together.
  2. Weed out excess or broken objects (for trash, recycling or donation). Allocate new places for the remainder to live.
  3. Keep things fun by getting creative with color-coded containers.
  4. Encourage the kids to label things once they’ve been given a home. Labels can be hand-written, printed on a label maker, or made from pictures and photos, which represent the objects—this is ideal for little ones who can’t yet read.

Finally, a good way to wrap up your task is to plan a donation drop-off trip to show where the unwanted things are headed and who will benefit. Your grandchildren will start to appreciate the value in donating unused and excess belongings to others.


  1. says

    This is a great idea. One of my granddaughters is currently having great difficulty in junior high because she doesn’t keep her papers organized. She’s not a naturally methodical person, although she is a wonderful artist. But I just think that if we had worked more on organizational skills with her, she might be better off.