So, the summer is over. Kids are finally gone to school. All of them. And honestly, this is the firsrt time I’m actully not missing the summer. With all of my sensitivity to the cold season with all that dirt and greyness behind the window that always (ALWAYS) makes me depressed, I think I felt worse this summer. And I feel such a relieve knowing that it’s over and I’ll finally get my time just for me back.
The main struggle for me this summer was the chaos my kids were creating simply ignoring any system I tried to implement to organize them. Here is the thing. I love being organized and I can’t stress enough how much I hate the feeling of being distracted with lots of random things around me. When I’m organized, I find myself in harmony. I have a better mood and have much more energy for anything. And I can literally feel how the mess around me drains my energy.
And my kids, well… are just being kids. All together they have three times more arms and legs than I do, and their voices are three times louder than mine. Moreover, it seems that each of them also has much more energy than I do. And somehow they are not interested in putting this energy into organizing their spaces at all.
I have tried quite a few strategies to help my kids being organized. One of those was making a reward system (here is my blog post about it). They would get a sticker after completing a chore. They could choose a known prize after collecting a set of 20 stickers. They also had a list of their chores and a list of prizes they could get. Veronica managed to get three prizes. Anastasia didn’t make it even to the first prize. Well, I wouldn’t say the system didn’t work at all with us, but it certainly could give better results.
I’ve also tried teaching them sorting and organizing their stuff.
Then it hit me that I should really focus on myself and leave their room for them. At first, I thought that it was a good idea. I spend so much energy to make them clean their room, and all I get are spoiled relationships with my kids in the end. So I decided not to tell a word about their room and even not to touch anything there, and I did it for the whole summer. The result of it was that I started loosing my sanity by the end of the summer break.
The problem with this method was that my kids still weren’t interested in organizing despite seeing me cleaning all other rooms of the house all the time. And all the mess distracted them from every task and made them irritated and raised their anxiety. Being surrounded with enormous amount of stuff, they couldn’t think of any normal activity and got crazy every time I was leaving their room.
So by the end of August I decided to change this. One day the sisters left to their father’s (we’re a blended family, as you might remember) and I just went and decluttered their room all by myself. And it felt good. It was good for me, finally feeling the energy flow. It was good for them, because seeing the HUGE difference makes them listen to me when I ask to put their clothes back in the closet by the end of the day. Because they see that the room actually stays clean after this easy action.
Right when I started doing this, a great book on organizing found me: The Mindset of Organization: Take Back Your House One Phase at a Time by Lisa Woodruff. It inspired me and gave me the courage to reorganize girls’ closet and tables. It showed me that I’m on the right way with my organizing, and actually my organization skills are pretty good, so as it gave me a hope that my kids are teachable too. It also gave me some new perspective on my life. So I really suggest this book to anyone who wants some order (or some more order) in his life, but doesn’t know where to start.
What about you? How organized is your house with kids? Do your kids help you?