Keeping with last weeks post where I told you about the exciting launch of my new business More to Organising- help your child to be more independent and making your life easier by organising with your child in mind!
Pull out all of your books onto the floor.
This helps you see the amount you really have. It can look overwhelming at first. Now I don’t agree with Marie Kondo when she says we should only have 30 books, but perhaps you don’t need all 300 in your child’s space?
Start with your older siblings books first. Any that are too young for them now, put in a pile to move to the younger siblings in the house. (This might be in the same bookshelf, as it might be in the living room or play room)
Any books that are still too old for them, perhaps the content is too old for them just yet but they might read it in a couple of years, pop them in a labelled box and keep for later years, just don’t forget about them)
Any books that are too young for all your children, either donate, give to friends or family with younger children or bin if they are too broken.
When you have chosen the books to keep, and you are keeping them in one room, put the books where your children can reach them! It sounds obvious but to make them more independent, they need to be able to access them themselves.
Put the youngest child’s right on the bottom shelf, and the eldest on the highest shelf. A middle child can usually access younger and older books. It’s also nice when they read to each other.
Now, choose books related to the season that you’re not in, and put away in a labelled box and rotate them. You can keep their most favourite books down, but Halloween books can go away now and be switched out for winter and Christmas related book.
If things are always available, children get bored with them. But also, too many books can be overwhelming!
The one’s that are salvageable, get the sellotape out to fix rips or put flaps back on. I used to be DT coordinator when I was a teacher so rejuvenating well loved, pop-up books is my forté.
This bit can be done with the children. Put the books in piles of the colours. Which ones do you have the most of? Which do you have the least of? If you want to make it into a learning opportunity make tally chart and then a bar chart or pictograms, recording their maths and then ask questions about the information you’ve gathered!
I usually put black, grey then white together. From white I move into yellow, orange then red. Pink follows from red, to purples, blues and then greens. It flows nicely and looks so calming. But also, your child knows what colour their favourite book is. This means they can be more independent without pulling all the books out. It also means they know exactly where to put a book back, meaning they can help you to tidy up making your life easier.
Once you’ve chosen what colour to start with, but the tallest book to the side of the book shelf and go down in size from largest to smallest in that colour, when you switch to the other colour go from shortest to tallest. And keep going, to make that easier, put in the books and then pull the smallest out and put to the front until you’ve got it, that way you can use the books to measure against in the shelf. It just makes the process a little quicker.
When you do this, wipe down the shelves and any books. To be honest, if they are really dusty, maybe evaluate whether you actually need to keep that book?
Oh and I don’t know who needs to hear this today, but go and check under the bookshelf too!
I think it is so important to support our local libraries. The excitement of getting a new book is fun and it costs nothing. Most libraries do story time and singing time for free as well. It’s a wonderful time for them.
I keep library books separate from their actual books because I’ve been there! The day they were supposed to be returned, sorting through their book shelf (this was before colour coordination days) to find said books. Luckily, I could remember what they looked like. But also by keeping them separated, they are more special and you can keep them in good condition.
Make a space for them to read. Cushions, blankets, a den. Make it fun and inviting, snuggle up with them and make Reading a pleasurable activity. Reading is a pre-requisite to most, if not all subjects. Reading even helps in maths when you have those pesky word problems.
Have a time in your week where you read your own book and they read theirs. Children copy what you do. Why should they read if they never see you read?
Also, even when they are competent readers, read to each other. Listening to you pronounce words correctly helps. I thought Hermione was Her-me-own until I went to the cinema. But also, have fun with intonation and different voices!
Show me your newly organised bookshelves!
Follow me on Instagram @more_to_organising for more tips on how to organise with your child in mind.
If you don’t want to do it yourself, contact me about coming to do it for you!