As parent, it is your responsibility to prepare your children for the world. Your college-age – well, almost adult – child is about to fly the coop. You are woefully aware of their lack of organizational abilities and want to save their future roommate or significant other from experiencing the same devastation you have. How can you better prepare them to live with other human beings? How, indeed.
Be forewarned that the topic of organizing their belongings will seem as monumental a task to them as if you asked them to climb Mount Kilimanjaro—they will balk, say it’s impossible, that you’re insane…but stay strong and start with the basics.
Prepare for Any Event
Here are some tips to start the ball rolling. Not all these fixes will be needed by your young adult in the immediate future, but it never hurts to introduce new ideas.
- Under bed or closet storage containers. Dorm rooms and starter apartments are notorious for lack of closet space and a perfect opportunity for your young adult to fling caution to the wind and dump their clothing in a pile on the floor. Purchase stackable plastic containers that can fit under a bed or in a closet for easy access. The clear bins provide the perfect storage spot for out-of-season clothing, books from a previous semester, mementos and more. Best of all, they can use the same bins to move from your house into the dorm or that first apartment.
- Shoe organizers. One can only hope that, once shoes are removed, they are put away in the box they came in. If your adult child falls into this category, the fix is easy. Just snap a photo of the shoe, print it and post it on the front of the box. But, alas, that is often not the case. What options do they have, you ask? Shoe organizers! Sold as standalone units or as an accessory that can be hung from the back of a door. Clear acrylic boxes can also be used.
- Drawer. Plastic drawer dividers keep clothing and undergarments organized. This especially works well with socks.
- Expand closet/storage space. If closet space is at a minimum, purchase a collapsible hanger system. Or make your own by attaching a hook to a chain and hanging it from the closet dowel. Baker’s racks, bookshelves and baskets are also great ways expand your storage real estate. A pre-fab closet system can be quite useful but may prove economically prohibitive to your offspring.
- Create closet space. If there is not closet at all, create one. Use a tension rod between two walls. Viola! Instant closet space.
- Suggest they get a key holder for the wall or use a small dish to place their keys in when they enter the apartment or dorm room, instead of playing that age-old game of “Where are my keys and how long can I spend looking for them?”
- Meal plans. Is your not-so-adult child cooking for him or herself, or at least attempting to? Suggest that they create a weekly meal plan. If they are not sure how to do this, you can show them (if you have the patience for it), or you might direct them to one of their intimate confidantes—the internet. Having a meal plan will keep them from spending money on eating out or foraging for junk food, and will keep their grocery bill on budget. At least, that’s the plan.
- To-Do List. Having a to-do list of household chores will keep them on track and keep their roommates or spouses happy.
- Group your clothing. Grouping clothing according to item type (blouses, shirts, skirts, slacks) and then according to color makes finding matching items just a little easier, even if it is a bit O.C.D. It will also help your not-so-organized offspring to better organize their closet space. If your adult child happens to be color blind, you may have to help them with the initial set up, placing tags with the names of each color or garment grouping on them.
- Prepare the night before. The excuse for not preparing lunch, skipping breakfast or taking an extra hour to find an outfit is that there just isn’t enough time in the morning. We agree. Prepare everything the night before. That way there are no more reasons to make excuses.
Prepare Your Adult Child for a Healthier Future
Studies have found that organized people are healthier. It may be because they plan for possible upsets. Additionally, organization is a stress reliever which in turn creates a higher level of productivity. By steering your almost-adult child toward improving their organizational skills, you’ll be making the world a better place, one good habit at a time. Call California Concierge today to assist you with this process. We have been the Businesswoman’s Wife® since 1999.
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