|DodgertonSkillhause via Morguefile|
- Who? Who does the stuff belong to? Her stuff, her responsibility...but yelling and screaming and nagging won't get the job done. In fact, since my daughter is so much like me, it will probably lengthen the process and make everyone miserable as well -- not the end result I'm aiming for at Christmas. Pitching in a little at a time (removing things from where they don't belong and putting them in the space where they do belong) helps both of us feel less put upon.
- Where? Finding logical homes is key -- perhaps even more so since some things will stay here only until she packs up again early next month, some will need to be stored until fall semester and some will likely take up residence here until some (undisclosed) time after graduation. The "a little at a time" approach described above helps ensure that we don't simply move the piles without improving the situation.
- When? As soon as possible. Every trip between the places where things were dropped and the places where they'll be stored is an opportunity to improve the current state of affairs. My mom used to tell us to never go upstairs empty-handed, and this advice applies now more than ever. Our stairs are currently populated with a wide variety of items that need to go from one floor to the next. Every trip upstairs takes us closer to organization.
There are certainly other approaches that will work. Some of these include setting a deadline by which this must all be done (I have one in my head, but am keeping it to myself in the hopes of actually beating the clock); insisting it all be done now or simply setting aside time and doing it all at once. If these approaches work for you, there's no reason not to use them. Right now, though, my daughter and I are both in the sigh-of-relief mode that follows a busy semester and, if doing this in a relaxed, yet consistent manner gets the job done, I much prefer that to ultimatums. In addition, I'd like her to be able to walk in her bedroom (something that will be impossible if we simply move piles from one place to another). Perhaps more important, I have faith that, after a few days with some down time, this will bug her enough that she'll tackle it on her own.
Years ago, a principal I worked for used to ask if "this" -- whatever the issue before us was -- was a hill we were willing to die on.
|Pexels via Pixabay|
Overwhelming someone who's already overwhelmed is never a logical solution. Spending the all-too-brief time I have with my daughter under our roof arguing over dishes and clothes is not my idea of time well spent. So, we'll make slow, but steady progress, keeping the who/where/when questions in mind and enjoying one another's company along the way.
Organization is important, but it isn't everything.