I recently had the wonderful opportunity to work with a few young people. Our organizing sessions were so successful!!! I know that I left them with some valuable organizing lessons that they can build on through high school, college and careers.
One young teen was so excited to receive a Make My Life Simplified Gift Certificate for Christmas that she jumped for joy realizing, at a moment when she was frustrated with her own organizing efforts, that she had some "Debbie Time" coming to her.
What led to this excitement about getting some outside help with organizing?
Watching her mother ask for assistance in organizing and how she step by step has evaluated what stuff she needs in her life. She observed her mom being willing to let go. All of the moms started with their own spaces. This had a huge influence on all of their daughters readiness to follow suit.
So, the first thing is... start with you.
When you take care of you and your child sees the results, they naturally want to mirror you. This does not always happen over night. However, if you are patient, you will see a gradual willingness for them to simplify their spaces.
As I worked with both of these young girls, I noticed that they felt so relieved that I never told them what they should or should not keep. The second tip is...
begin with the obvious.
Start with what they are totally ready to release.
I absolutely loved finding out about what they held dear and cherished.
The third tip is...learn about what they love now.
Those items deserved a place of honor. You may need to hang a new shelf up to display their most precious things. I explained to them that removing the unwanted clutter makes room to honor those things that they are into now.
All of the girls, from elementary through college age, knew how to make decisions. They knew what they wanted and did not want. Honoring the healthy decisions that your child makes, encourages them to make more mindful decisions. My fourth tip is to...
start today with giving your child opportunities to make some decisions...
and be in control. They may make some they regret, but they have to start that process to find the balance.
The fifth tip goes along with this. Your young person may decide that the shirt you got them for their birthday last month is not something they feel comfortable wearing, or the heirloom trinket box that was your great grandmothers is not matching the style they want their room to reflect.
Accept that what you value, may be different from what your child values.
You can always include them in future clothing purchase decisions and find a place for what you hold dear in your space.
This is such a great way to get to know your young person and as the summers zoom by you can take this time to find out who they are and what they love. So, my sixth tip is to...
Enjoy them while they are young.
If you feel that organizing with your child is not the way that you want to spend time with them, or that things might get too tense, you may consider my final tip...
hire a professional organizer...
that enjoys working with young people. You can be in the next room, working on your own stuff, and you can step in when they need your feedback. It takes a village and sometimes our children shut out our (sometimes nagging) voices. However, they will open up their ears to someone that is present just to give them undivided attention and direction in creating a room that will be easy to keep clean. A professional organizer will help them find the best place to keep the things they love and use now. Someone that is not their parent and does not have the emotional attachments and memories of their childhood associated with the things in their room.
When the unwanted clutter is removed it takes less time to dust and vacuum.
Wishing you a summer of easy to clean rooms!
Peace and Progress,