Barbies in the Horse Bin

“How To Raise an Organized Child?

newspaper_reviewThe single biggest mistake that parents make when teaching their children organizational skills is this: It is EASIER to do things yourself! You know this, I know this yet we cannot seem to stop doing it. As the adult, you do things faster, more efficiently, better and with less mess. Additionally, if you do it yourself, you do not have to listen to complaining, back talk, sighing, be the recipient of an overly dramatic eye roll or put up with a tantrum. There are a multitude of reasons for doing things yourself, too many to mention, yet there is just one reason to stop: you are doing more harm than good.

Living better with organized children is possible and the organizational skills you teach your children will affect their success in school and in life. This non-traditional organizing book examines organization at its fundamental level and breaks down the concept of organization into 15 teachable skills you can use every day with children of all ages.

This book is NOT a “how to” organize your child’s room, toys, backpack or locker. There are no before and after pictures, no lists of “shoulds” and “should nots”. If that is the book you are looking for, go ahead and put this one down, I don’t want you to be disappointed.

We speak in sound bites, read Facebook posts and use 140 characters in a twitter message. Life is good, fast, technological, and sometimes out of control. Parenting is full of quick thinking, on your toes, problem solving. Our children and our lives bombard us every day with questions, problems, messes and more. In those moments you will recall a phrase, a mantra or a quote that will guide your next move.

This book tells the stories and experiences of thousands of children and families; stories that will resonate with you and help you with your family. “Organization is not about being perfect. It is about living better and the only mistake is not to begin…”


organize_childPraise for Barbies in the Horse Bin:

“A well written, down-to-earth and user friendly book. Filled with germane stories and disarming humor, Barbies in the Horse Bin will help parents give their kids logistical skills the children can use for the rest of their lives. Very practical!”

Thomas W. Phelan, PhD (Best-Selling Author of 1-2-3 Magic Parenting Series)


“Finally, a book written about organization for the average person! Written with self effacing humor that instantly makes the reader comfortable – as if they were confiding in a good friend who passes no judgement. I love how the author uses her background with children and teens to see organization from their perspective. The story that prompted the title made me chuckle out loud (sorry, you will have to read to page 108 to find out!) Realistic, practical, full of humor and an easy read – the perfect guide to teaching our families how to be partners in organization in the home nd in their own lives.” 

Julie, Mother, PTA President


“Told with humor from personal experience this book provides a common sense approach to teaching children organizational skills that translate into responsibility. As a former Middle School teacher I can appreciate that a student who comes prepared knowing how to take care of books and belongings has already made a major step to the next level in education. Beginning organization at an early age makes the transition virtually seamless when it is time for school. The approach Ms. Bates takes is interesting because, as she states, it is not about perfection but about making it easier. She does not have the attitude of a Tiger Mom, she allows children their foibles while instilling responsibility and respect sadly lacking in many today. Children can develop a sense of pride and accomplishment through many simple and helpful hints. ” 

Paula, Admissions Director, Teacher



Barbies in the Horse Bin Book Trailer


An excerpt from the introduction of:

 Barbies in the Horse Bin

 Living Better with Organized Children,

by Lisa Bates

             “Being organized is not about being perfect.  It is about living better.  The only mistake is not to begin.”


(Wait, don’t skip this, it’s important… I even debated calling it Chapter One for all you “intro skippers”)

The book was practically done when I started over.  How do I change the book when it is almost done, hundreds of pages, tens of thousands of words?  I think you have to start over when you realize that you are writing what you think you “should” be writing to fill a good book, rather than writing what you know would make an excellent book.

The original title of my book was “How To Raise an Organized Child”, straight to the point and matter of fact.  I wrote a “how to” book, but I didn’t want to read it.  And, if I didn’t want to read it, they why would you?  So, as hard as it was, I started over, I wrote a better book, this book, one that I like, one that is real, one that I know will have you living better.  This book is full of stories, mantras, quotes and more that help you live better with organized children.  I wanted to write a book about living better because that’s what I believe in, what I strive for every day, in all facets of my life.

This book is as serious as it is humorous.  Since I was a professional speaker long before I tried writing, the book reads like a conversation between parents over a cup of coffee.  Here’s what I found works, here is where I messed up, and plenty of ideas and suggestions that will work for you.  You will find that while I take the subject matter very seriously, I don’t actually take myself too seriously, because that’s just no fun.  If you aren’t laughing while raising your children, then you are really missing a great ride.

So, let’s get the hard part out-of-the-way, raising an organized child takes work!  There is no magic wand to wave or ultimate tip or trick that is going to create an organized human being.  Like most things that are worthy of learning in life, it takes persistence, patience and I believe a sense of humor.

Also, like most things our children need to learn, it starts with the parents and there are going to be some bumps along the way.  As long as we are all on the same page however, I can promise you that implementing even one of the strategies, concepts, mantras or ideas outlined in the following chapters, will reap tremendous benefits and you will be living better, but more importantly, so will your children.

organize_back_coverThis book is not a “how to” organize your child’s room or backpack or locker, those books already exist as do simple google or Pinterest searches. Barbies in the Horse Bin is a book about living better with an organized child – for you, for your child and for your family.  Stories, strategies, mantras, quotes and more that will help you develop in your child this incredibly important and lifelong skill of living an organized life.  

Knowing how to get organized is just one piece of the puzzle.  The majority of the pieces lie in how to maintain the organization and understanding why things constantly become disorganized. A book filled with time-tested strategies developed by teachers, professional organizers and most importantly mothers. Fifteen organizing skills that you can begin teaching your child as young as one year old. Why raise an organized child – perhaps the questions below will get you thinking?

What if I told you that teaching your children organizational skills was one of the best gifts you could ever give to them?   What if I told you that they would do better in school, they would experience less stress in life and they would be happier, more successful and satisfied? 

What if I told you that focusing on organizational skills with your toddlers would reap tremendous benefits in the teenage years?  What if I told you that it’s never too late to begin?

What if I told you that living with organized children allowed for more down time to actually enjoy them on a day-to-day basis?  What if I told you that life would be less hurried, calmer, more peaceful and less stressful?

What if I told you that organization is your ticket to a more exciting and anticipatory lifestyle, rather than one that is over-scheduled and out of control? 

What if I told you that your child would thank you…

To hire Lisa as a presenter for your event or an educational workshop, please contact her directly.  Read more about Lisa and her educational and motivational speaking.

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