Getting organized can seem overwhelming to your child—especially if he’s busy with sports, homework, etc.  To get your child started:
  • Choose one area to organize at a time.  Saying, “Let’s work together to get your study area organized,” is less daunting than, “You need to get your act together!”
  • Help your child understand why being organized is so important. He’s more likely to get on board if he sees that being organized can help him.  Saying, “Getting your study area organized will help you get more out of study time,” will be more motivating to him than saying, “This place is a mess.
  • Take the focus off of “discarding.” Preteens can be very attached to their things—even if you don’t understand why.  Explaining that organizing means putting stuff where it belongs, not in the trash.
  • Build your child’s confidence.  Point out areas where he is currently organized.  “Your CD collection looks great!”  This will help him see that he’s already accomplished this task before—now he just needs to apply those skills to someplace else. Source: Julie Morgenstern and Jessi Morgenstern-Colon, Organizing from the Inside Out for Teens, ISBN: 0-8050-6470-2 (Henry Holt and Company). Reprinted with permission from copyright (c) 2007, The Parent Institute