I always tell my clients that one of the most powerful reasons to get and stay organized is to have more time to better enjoy life with family or friends. Ironically, their number one reason for not getting organized is the belief that they just don’t have the time!
Teenagers have the same desires and ironies. They want to be with their friends, with their sports, their computer games or their Facebook buddies. Organizing is the last thing they want to spend time doing, despite the reality that having an organized room, closet, study area, study materials, locker, and backpack will give them more free time.
Getting organized reduces stress dramatically – both for parents and children. Rooms that don’t need picking up. Less whining when a desired blouse or t-shirt cannot be found. Open bedroom doors with no visible clutter. A fresher smell!
What kids don’t realize is that it takes 4x longer to
clean a disorganized room than an organized room.
I don’t think that I have visited a single home in the last five years where a kid’s room has been picked up. But I do not think it’s because they want their rooms to look that way. Kids actually enjoy order when they experience it.
What kids don’t realize is that it takes 4x longer to clean a disorganized room than an organized room. And since it only takes 2-3 hours to totally organize a teen’s room, one afternoon – less time than it takes to go to the movie theater and back. There’ll be no more searching for misplaced clothes, no unneeded washing of clean clothes that somehow ended up in the hamper and less conflict with parents about it!
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Kids need to be inspired that getting organized is not punishment, but a way to free up time for themselves. And not only will they be happier, but so will the parents.
Parenting our kids is no easy task.
In the introduction to the one of the best books on training kids, Cleaning House – A Mom’s 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement by Kay Wills Wyma, she is quoted saying,
‘“I came to realize that not one of my five children knew how to do their own laundry. Not one could clean a bathroom…Not one could cook, serve, clean up after a full dinner.” And how parents are “doing for” their kids instead of training them to “do for themselves.”’
Parenting our kids is no easy task. Sometimes it’s just so much easier to jump in and get that task done. When we jump in, there’s no complaining, no arguments, but there is also no learning and no growth.
School is a natural focus for all families. I suggest that life skills – like learning how to organize yourself and your stuff – should be focused on, as well.