You may ask why this is such a big issue (and that would tell me that you probably have similar items slinging around your place), and here’s why: it’s a clear outward sign that a good part of the household does not run properly. And that is likely due to a lack of systems to deal with certain step-by-step activities. Let me explain using the dishes as an example:
If you leave dishes sitting around everywhere, you’ll likely not have dishes to use when you need them in the kitchen. At that point you’ll have to do the dishes, but what usually happens is that only enough dishes are done to be used right now. And the problem recurs. Ideally, dishes are being returned to the kitchen and taken care of soon afterwards, then dried and returned to the cupboard where they are available when needed. No fuss.
Where is the difference? Big difference: for one thing, you’ll have one less thing to clean up all around the house, the dirty dishes won’t be in the way all the time, you’ll have dishes available when and where you need them AND most importantly, you’ll have a slightly more organised home. That means easier cleaning and being able more quickly to find what you are looking for. And best of all: while it feels like you have added the cleaning step to your eating time, ultimately you’ll spend less time on doing dishes because you don’t have to find them first any longer!
Just imagine what would happen if the same strategy were applied to many more things: paperwork goes to one specific place (and is dealt with regularly, too!), shoes are lined up in the hallway or coat cupboard, clothes are folded after washing and put away, toys can be found in a particular place when needed, etc.
All those things may feel like additional steps, but they are not. Not really. It just means doing things in a different order, with the side effect of having a more presentable space and being able to find everything swiftly. What’s not to like? What has all of this got to do with “teaching your kids”? Easy answer: if you are not organised yourself, how will they ever learn?
In many of the households where I see this issue, I get the distinct feeling that the inhabitants of that home have never learned that simple strategy of home maintenance. Growing up in an environment where things are not being taken care of will make them less able to deal with their own homes in the future, but it ensure that things in their homes will potentially slip even more because they never experienced a home where life was easy.
Simple household tasks, when done at the right time and regularly, contribute hugely to an organised home, with all the benefits that brings. There will be less clutter, less chance of items sitting in the wrong place, less time lost on locating things over and over again, and more space in general.
I believe this is a lesson that is important enough to teach your children, and if it makes your own life that little bit more organised, all the better!
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Hi, my name is Tilo Flache. My current mission: help my clients declutter mind and space.
This blog contains pointers for your journey towards a happier living experience.