Don’t you feel like a weight is lifted off your shoulders when everything is tidy and neatly organized and you can actually find what you are looking for within seconds?
Imagine coming home after a long day at work only to find your kitchen counter filled with dirty glasses and dishes, pens, keys, change, the kids’ homework, the daily mail, half-eaten snacks…you name it! Arggggg…CHAOS… you just want to pull out your hair because you don’t know where to start or where to look!
I strongly believe kids can have the same overwhelming feeling walking into a cluttered room, be it their own space or another room in the home. I say this very humbly; I have no extensive training working with children. This post is purely based on my own experience as a mom of two young children and the comments I often hear from friends and clients.
Some parents will say that children have enough structure and order at school or daycare that the only thing they need is to come back home to a perfectly tidy and depersonalized environment. Or another comment I often hear is “why put everything away today when you have to start all over tomorrow”. I feel the opposite way; I believe we, adults like children, become more fulfilled beings when our minds are at ease in an organized space. Organized doesn’t mean depersonalized or unwelcoming, it just means that everything has a home so that it becomes easier for us to make choices.
A little experiment…
I suggest you put your own children to the test and do this little experiment.
Day 1: Have several of your kids’ toys scattered in the playroom just like after they play for an hour or so. Let them walk into the room and you will notice they will hesitate for a moment, not knowing what toy to play with or what to look at first. They might even look at you with a brief moment of confusion, waiting for some sort of instruction. You might even reply: “go on, go play with your things” and then they will start playing with the first thing they will stumble on.
Day 2: Do the opposite, have everything in it’s place, like items together. Again, let them walk into the room and you will notice your kids will make their own choices of what they want to play with. They will look through their bins, baskets, and they might even rediscover their toys again. This is a good example of child development as they will learn to make their own choices and know that they are in control of their choices.
I know some of you might think this is a bit far fetched, I don’t mean to be all philosophical…
I simply think that an organized space is more peaceful and invites us, especially children, to explore and engage.
Now I am a firm believer that everyone in the household has to do their part to organize and put things back where they belong, even children as young as 7-8 months. It makes everything so much easier, but that’s a whole other issue!
Let me know how the experiment goes for you!