Organization Skills

Families want a peaceful, organized, happy home, but how is it done?  An organized beehive needs bees with good habits so the honey flows!  Your children NEED organization skills.  You are the Queen Bee that can train them.  You don’t have to do it alone.  Your husband, the grandparents, extended family, scout leader, neighbor can also teach your children life skills like how to make a pie, fix a bike, make spaghetti, and learn organization skills.

Whether our habits are good or bad, they are with us everyday of our life, – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.  Our habits are our organization skills.  It’s critical to choose habits that will streamline the house organization and facilitate a happy, orderly, peaceful hive.

Are your families organization skills good, better, or best?

Explain to your children “Why” they need organization skills?  Let them know about the science of efficiency.  Find ways to open their mind to quicker and better ways of being organized.  Who knows, you may create an Edison.  Ask your children questions like the following:

  • Ask your children what being efficient means?  (If they don’t know, then have them look it up in a dictionary.)
  • Ask your children how being efficient would help them now and in their future life.  (Remember, that whatever a child should be doing in 5 years is what the parents should be talking about now.)
  • Ask your children what is the most efficient way to clean a kitchen.  (House Organization Tip:  Teach your children to clear the kitchen table in one trip by putting all the dishes in a dishpan like restaurants do.  That’s efficiency!)


1.  “Have a place for everything, and put everything in its’ place.”

This simple organnization skill was taught to me by my Grandma Lola Cooper.  Though it sounds simple, it’s importance can’t be overstated.  The average U.S. household has 20,000-40,000 objects so if things don’t have a place to go then the home is going to look crazy and cluttered.  Queen bees are in charge of figuring out a “home” for everything and seeing that its put away correctly.

Start small.  For example, create a  “home” for your purse, keys, coat, and cell phone all in one location (preferably by the door that you exit or enter).  Train yourself to always put your “to go items” in their home and you will find them every time you need them.  Marla Cilley, a house organization expert known as the Flylady, teaches this idea which she calls creating a launch pad and landing pad.  A landing pad is an area to put everything you acquired when you get home, such as the clothing shopping items being dumped in your craft room.

2.  Train your bees to have good habits – good organization skills.

Be very honest with yourself – how are your habits as the queen bee?  If the Queen Bee puts away her things correctly she can teach her little bees how to do it too, by WORD and EXAMPLE.  If the Queen Bee doesn’t put her things away, why should the children?  If she doesn’t make her bed, why should they?  We have to practice what we preach, then our bees will gain organization skills! 

Here are family sayings I learned from the Queen Bees who mentored me:

  • Leave the room better than you found it.  (My mom)
  • Don’t pass it up, pick it up.  (My mom)
  • Rise and Shine.  (Grandma Lola Cooper woke her 11 children up every morning with this phrase.  It’s short and positive for tired, grumpy bees.)
  • Put it away right the first time or at least Take stuff one step closer to it’s “home.”  (My mom)
  • Give it a lick and a promise.  (Grandma Oldham said sometimes we’re short on time, so we give the bathroom, kitchen, or a mountain of pans a rinse or a quick clean with a promise for a deep clean later.  This saves oodles of time later because your maintaining the hive instead of digging out disasters.
  • Up, bed, dressed, pray, let’s have a great day!  (My mom)  Make your bed everyday.  The bed is the largest item in the room and makes the biggest difference whether the room looks clean or not.  It may seem like a waste of time or energy, but making one good choice will grow into many more good choices.  Try it and see!)

I teach my bees what I have learned from the great Queen Bees of the past.

  • What are your family sayings that keep your hive running well?
  • What are the family sayings you will pass on to future generations?

3-  Create Put Away Pans

  • Create a put away basket for each level of the house to quickly declutter pick it up and put things away.
  • Have a put away basket by the stairs.  When the family walks up the stairs, they can take an item with them to put away.
  • Have a designated time of day or day of the week or person who puts the put away pans away often.
  • You can also have an put away pan under the kitchen sink to take to the dinner table to take all the dishes off the table in one load just like a restaurant does to clear a table rapidly.

4.  What are your family’s habits?  Work within your family’s organization style.

Will your family put their things away?  You may answer no, but there are some areas in the house they stay organized.  Why?  Look closely at those areas that work well to discover your families organization style.  Is the area labeled?  Would labeling the container with words or pictures help?  Instead of expecting the world, work within what your family will do and create a home.

The truth:  Most families have a very low organization style.

Since that’s the case, make it EASY to put clutter away.


Throw away the lids of your containers, label the containers, train your bees and watch miracles happen!  If the family can just shoot stuff where it goes, it’s a lot more likely to happen (Trust me I know, I have 5 boys).  Put square baskets and containers where the family usually piles their stuff.

Have the family do 15 minute family pick ups once or twice a day.  If it’s not pick up time, then create good memories, enjoy your family, and smell the roses.  (It is a talent to let the house go and relax even if the home doesn’t look perfect).

If it’s pick up time, put on some Bumblebee music and buzz around the house shooting everything into a dishpan.  The house can look great in minutes with everyone’s help.  Put the Put Away Pan away then or at a later time.  We pick up before school and before my husband get’s home from work so he comes home to a heavenly hive.

Here’s another example for the sports equipment on how to make it EASY for your family to put things away.  Put a big tote or tall trash can by the door where the basketball court is.  Then the basketballs are EASY to put away.  Click here for more tips to help you choose the right containers to organize your house and family.

5.  Choose a color for each person in the family.

  • Toothbrush – Even if a child can’t read, they can remember their toothbrush is orange because that’s their color.
  • Towel – Train the family to use their unique colored bath towel.  Only wash stuff if it’s truly dirty.  The towel doesn’t need to be washed more than once a week because children are clean after their bath, so the towel is clean too.
  • Scrapbook – Put a colored paper in the front and side of each child’s 3-ring binder scrapbook for their masterpieces they bring home from school and their class photo.

6.  If you care, keep a spare.

If you buy an item repeatedly like toothpaste, then buy two or more to save time, gas, and money.  A family usually spends an average of $35 every time they enter a store.  Save more money by keeping a spare and by staying out of the store.  Be your own store.

7.  Limit your toys.

The average U.S. child gets 70 toys a year.  THAT IS WAY TOO MANY!  Less is more.  How many toys are in your house?  Only keep as many as your children can pick up in 15 minutes or less.

If you have too many toys, the children will dump thousands of pieces out and not play with anything.  Then the family will be tripping, crying, and cleaning instead of playing.  What truly is the goal of the toys?

Choose only a few toys to reside in the house and send the rest “on vacation” to long-term storage.  You can rotate the toys that come in the house and then it’s like Christmas when the toys come back in your house.  That way you can declutter without permanently disposing of your toys!  (But, if the toys should go then let them go and let flow into your home.)

Here’s  a great simple rule:

  • Children can play with one toy at a time.  Once they put it away, they can get out another toy.

You are developing great organization skills!  Click here to learn how to find a container that makes it easy to maintain your house organization.  Keep adding good habits into your family.  It will the make whole beehive jive!

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