Friday, January 06, 2012

Keeping it all together...

MOOOOOMMMMM...Where are my sneakers???
(left hand side of your closet behind your slippers)...
Mo-om?? Where is my co-op homework?
(green folder in your bookbag- large zippered pocket)

Sound familiar??

My husband jokes that I know where everything is in our house, and he's probably right.

I think the fact that I've always had to know where everything is (3rd shelf in the pantry on the left hand side) is why scripture memorization is so difficult for me...(that's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

The problem with my mommy-driven system of imposed organization...

I was the ONLY one who knew where anything was.

and what was worse...

I was the ONLY one who cared.

I knew something needed to change, I just couldn't figure out what...

I am a list maker, and somewhat organized by nature. Clutter and chaos just drive me batty and I can't really relax if my home isn't neat and tidy.

But I also really wanted to turn in my "mommy...finder-of-all-lost-things" badge.

So I stopped putting things away. Strangely enough, the other people who live here began to pick up after themselves and stopped asking me where things were...

I simply stopped nagging (we all know that isn't effective anyway) and helped the kids figure out their own system for tidying up.

Each child is responsible for his/her own room. They can get out every toy, book and article of clothing to play with, but it must be put away by bedtime.

Precious girl seems to have inherited her mommy's affinity for neatness (she organizes my kitchen cabinets and such), but Little Man...I almost had fits every time I walked into his room. He needed my husband and I to help him tame the clutter. Once we helped the first few times, he's doing it by himself. And now he knows where his lego kits are. Little one has lots of kid-friendly storage that she uses to tame the toy tangle in her room.

Now my children know what they are responsible for, and they do their "jobs" well. That is a much better life lesson than, "I didn't put it away so I don't care where it is because Mom will find it."

Now that I've stopped playing the mommy-martyr role, I hear them say wonderful things like, "How can I help you Mommy" or "Would you like me to vacuum today?" or my absolute favorite, "Is there anything else you'd like me to do?"

And that is music to my ears.

Our home is neat (well, most of the time) and organized and we all seem more relaxed.

How do you keep it all together in your home?

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