You kids are no longer toddlers and you have made the commitment to get them organized this year. This means getting them to learn and adhere to processes that help them become more responsible. The first thing you should do is to label and tag all of their important belongings, so if they are lost or misplaced, you can identify them. Companies like LabelDaddy.com provide easy to spot and identify custom labels that you can attach to all of your kids clothing and all of their stuff. Now here are some great tips to get them to keep track of their things.
Only give your kids full responsibility for less important items. Your kids will have access to important and expensive items that you want to keep track all the time, and they will also have access to less important items that may cause some churning if you cannot locate, but will not cause a heart attack like the first group. Keep a tighter hold on the first group of items, and determine if, where and when you will allow your kids to have unsupervised access to them. Things like mobile phones, expensive sneakers, and electronic toys come to mind as things you want to always keep within your sight.
Create a specific place for kids to put their stuff. Kids get distracted easily and move from one topic to the next with reckless abandon, and without any connection to what they were doing only a minute ago. By creating paces for their things, you put an additional step in for them that becomes a habit. They know when the coat comes off, it goes in the closet, and then they can play video games. After a while this becomes hard wired and your blood pressure can go down.
Tell them that they are responsible for their stuff. You need to let them know that they bear the responsibility if something of theirs is missing or stolen. Most kids do not want to take responsibility and are fast to blame anyone but themselves. You have to let them know that no matter who they gave it to, or that they saw take it, it is their responsibility to make sure that their possessions come back with them and in the shape it left.
Make a scene when they lose something. Kids often do not realize that things cost money that you have to work for. This can add to their cavalier attitude about keeping track of their stuff. So if something is lost or stolen, do not let it pass lightly, tell them exactly how you feel about it and attach a consequence for them.
Do not replace lost or stolen things too quickly. If it is something important, make sure you let them live without it for some time or permanently. If they are on a sports team and lose their uniform, take them off the team and let them know that part of their being able to play is their learning to be responsible. They will get the message when they see their irresponsibility affect them personally.
Take a deep breath and institute these strategies. They will take some time but they will work