Organizing, Redesign & Staging

Monday, February 18, 2008

To the Naysayers...

Here's a bit of venting and frustration I had to share. It relates to naysayers of organizing advice, the ones who dismiss ideas as impossible and look at me like I have 3 heads for suggesting. Or that I am a freak who is oddly into her own perfection. Or that it is ridiculous to strive for organization if you lived in their shoes.

Obviously not every solution is helpful or readily applicable depending on personality, lifestyle, house layout, etc., but the ideas and principles are presented and can still be considered. And, no, I don't have all the answers nor I am Queen of All That Is Right and Perfect. However...why, then, do some people scoff, laugh or quickly reject organizing ideas upon hearing them? How do they know with absolute certainty that they won't work? Have they tried?

A pet peeve I have is when people express predictions with certainty, such as "I know he is going to (fill in the blank)" or "I couldn't do that in my house. My kids would (fill in the behavior)". They say it with confidence as they are predictors of the future and things are set in stone. I just wish they could have an open mind to the possibility of changing the status quo.

I suspect that this is a defense position; if they admitted that the idea might work in the way I'm suggesting implementing, they would have to admit that they either have not been doing it right or they might be contributing to the problem area(s). You can see the defensiveness in their expression and in their tone. By rejecting my possiblity or idea, they are validating that they know best, their problem is unique, their family is unique and so on.

This definitely comes into play when it involves organizing's connection to parenting issues. Now there's a touchy subject! Often times I suggest organized routines or household systems that are doable but involve changing the way kids behave or what is expected of them.
  • If I suggest 6-yr old Johnny should have his clothes accessible for him to reach, it requires that the parent allows Johnny to dress himself and learn about laundry -- don't dress him everyday.

  • If I suggest toys are stored in open bins with labels so that kids know where things go and can put them away, it requires that the parent makes the kids clean up -- don't tell me that the children don't pick up when you have the control to make them.

  • If I suggest a shelving unit for the gazillion toys you have that you won't sort/purge, then you have to manage how 4-yr old Mary treats the contents on the shelves -- don't tell me that won't work because Mary will always be pulling everything off. You have to change that!

You can set up the organizers then teach your kids how to use them and what's expected. Remember, our job as parents is to ultimately develop self-sufficient adults with everyday life skills. Or else you'll be dressing, picking up, doing laundry, and everything else for your children when they are 18. Just my 2 cents...