Yesterday I was having a conversation with my client Amanda who is the mother of a 10 year old daughter and a 12 year old son.
Last Spring we did some work in the home that included working with her daughter on closet organizing and setting up systems in her room.
Like adults children struggle with keeping it all in order. It’s always easy to take things out, use them and then decide that
- I don’t want to put it away
- I’m too tired or
- I have to be somewhere else
Amanda told me was that her daughter Emma came home from school on Monday and asked her if she could organize her closet. She said “go for it.” She was pleased that it would get done as she had been putting it off for some time now – like many people making work, business and children a higher priority. And all are a priority.
Amanda was thrilled and couldn’t wait to tell me. Emma took the skills she learned while setting up systems in her room and transferred those when working in mom’s space. Emma sorted, organized and colour coordinated her entire wardrobe. Everything fit and had a place.
Amanda asked her daughter why she couldn’t do that with the stuff in her room. She said, “Mom it’s easier to deal with your stuff than it is with mine.”
I hear this lot. And it is true. It is always easier to deal with someone else’s things because we are not emotionally attached to them in any way.
Here are three tips to help you with your closet organizing:
1. Engage the kids. Have the children organize an area that does not belong to them. i.e. closet organizing for their sibling, dad’s tools (or Mom’s if you are the handy person). Make it a habit of switching routines that you seem to be nagging them about.
2. Ask your spouse. I make deals with my husband to get him to help me. I know what he likes to do around the house and some of it is cleaning – he dusts and vacuums while I deal with the disorganized bathroom and closets. He doesn’t like to organize but he will purge his clothes twice a year and sends those he no longer needs, wears or loves off to a local church.
What might be on that list that you don’t like to do or would appreciate a bit of help with?
- Garbage -I love to organize so I get everything ready in the garage but don’t like to take them to the curb-guess who does it? He will even climb the snow bank to get the lid the garbage man tossed or will pick up the blue bins when they’ve blown over to the neighbours. And, always without complaint. I find these things such a chore.
- Bringing in the groceries
- Unpacking the groceries
- Emptying the dishwasher
- Clearing the dinner table
- Loading/Unloading the washer and dryer
- Tidying up CD’s/DVD’s
- Making beds
3. Focus on strengths. If your child or spouse has strength in a particular area it’s likely because they enjoy doing that activity. Match the tasks with their “likes.”
Really it doesn’t matter whether it’s traditional male or female work. It really doesn’t matter who does the job. As a result of your innovation and creativity the job gets done!
And if you haven’t noticed we no longer live in a world where it’s the “norm” where Dad works and mom stays home and takes care only of the home.
Try it out and leave me a comment below about your progress.
If you have questions please ask. If you’d like me to write on a particular organizing, downsizing, moving or home staging topic, let me know.
I’d love to hear from you and to write some helpful tips in response.