It's back-to-school time! No doubt, if you're a parent, you're ready for a little break after a fun-filled and jam-packed summer.

That's because kids will be kids, as the saying goes. Which is one reason that it may seem like organizing kids requires a super-sized miracle!

Reese Witherspoon once said that she constantly organized her sock drawer as a child. Ahhh...if only all parents could be so lucky to have a kid like THAT! The truth is, there's an ugly, dark, messy side to almost every child that sends shivers down the spines of even the best moms and pops out there.

Untidy tendencies in children may be an inescapable reality, but luckily there are some viable work-arounds.

(1) Set the example.

Kids mirror the behavior of those around them. That's evident when, one day, you slip up and say *@#%$! and then, the next day, little Johnny says the very same word in front of an audience...and you are mortified.

In the same respect, it's hard to expect your kids to be organized when you aren't organized yourself. So set a good example by keeping your own room tidy.

(2) Straight talk.

Clarify your ground rules and expectations. After all, you can't get upset with kids for not straightening up when you have given them little to no guidelines to follow. Talk to your kids about the 5 Ws - who, what, where, when and why.

Who = You. I expect you to clean up your messes.

What = Your stuff. If you use it, you put it back after you're done.

Where = Your play area and room. That's where you spend most of your time.

When = On your own, on command, or at a scheduled time of day. When you are done playing, pick up on your own. ~ Do so when I tell you to pick up...the first time I tell you. ~ It's 7:30pm! Ready for Nightly Neaties?

Why = My little helper. You're mommy's / daddy's big helper when you do this...

Of course, you'll have to adjust your speech to the age and responsibility level of each child. Just remember that it's never too early to start organizing kids and instilling the habits of proper organization. And be sure to reward good behavior!!!

(3) Stick to your guns.

Once you lay the groundwork of the 5 Ws, don't allow your kids an escape route. You've made your rules very clear, and thus they must be strictly enforced. This is a huge foot stomper when it comes to organizing kids!

(4) Ready, set, go!

If you want to include your little ones in the process, then make organizing a game. Put some clear plastic containers in the middle of a messy room, and then assign a container to each child. (The number of baskets should correspond to the number of kids.)

Tell your children to grab things on the floor and put them in their basket, set a timer for 2 - 3 minutes, and race! Give the one who places the most items in the basket, therefore helping you the most, a small prize.

Another idea: make pick-up a game of "I spy," asking them to locate and dunk a specific toy in the basket.

Author's Bio: 

Carmen Coker is a professional organizer who helps individuals find the motivation and know-how to get organized and stay organized. To learn how to save money, create more space, and manage your time through organization, register for the "FREE Tip Kit: 10+ Pages of Tips and Tools to Help You Get Organized - Finally!" at