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Sorting It All Out...

Sort out your mess before you start organizing. Marilyn Labendz can help

When I see a messy pile of papers on the dining room table, a drawer haphazardly filled with cutlery, kitchen tools, pens and more, photos all over the place, I hear the screech of fingernails on a chalk board.

For those of you who don’t remember chalkboards, just know that it sends shivers up your spine. My only recourse is to start creating order. Organizing makes a mess, but a short lived one and well worth the effort.

Organizing can offer lots of opportunities, even playing with your kids. When my kids were between 2 ½ and 5, pre-school, I used to engage their help, mostly individually, in small jobs. Naturally, I removed any potentially dangerous item, such as a knife, screw driver, etc. (Little buggers thought it was a neat game with mom). “Can you put all the spoons in a pile? What a good helper! You’re such a good sorter!”

The truth of the matter was that we were playing together, I got help, but they got an early understanding that there is a place for everything.

Proof? One day my daughter, my middle child, in 2nd grade ran down the driveway from the school bus and went over to the kitchen desk, proudly announcing: “ This pile is my before dinner homework, and this pile is my after dinner homework!” I was so thrilled. (Her daughter at age 4 was told to straighten up all the books…”This is the tall book pile and this is the square book pile!” Yay for genetics!!!!

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