Parent Coach Confession: I Hired a Professional Organizer...For My Kids

10/26/2012

I am a parent coach.  I talk to a lot of parents about the importance of organizing.  More to the point, I often speak about helping your kids get organized and making those routines stick. 

So, I have a confession to make: I am not great at helping my kids stay organized when it comes to their bedrooms.

There, I said it.

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How good it feels to have a clean room

Homework?  We are rocking it.  Helping with dishes?  Check.  Putting shoes and coats away?  On it.  Keeping the bedroom neat and knick-knack free?  Ummmmm….weeeeeell….. 

You see, my nine-year-old and five-year-old girls share a bedroom, and like many little girls, they love stuff.  Pink stuff, sparkly stuff, fuzzy stuff, art stuff, craft stuff, doll stuff, soccer stuff, ballet stuff, and my golly -- little stuff.  So many little things!  And I know it isn’t any better with the boys…my friends talk about the Lego stuff, the Star Wars stuff, the Cars stuff, etc.  It is all the wonderful minutiae of a happy child that can start to take over your life and house.

As it happens, I know an organizer.  Her name is Rachel Strisik and she is like a magician.  Rachel actually loves going into other’s homes and creating new systems.  She asks a million (smart and good) questions and has helped me recreate my desk area, as well as put numerous closets right.  But kids?  Could she really take my kids on?  And that bedroom of stuff?  I had my doubts. 

And it was one thing for me to get help organizing…but my kids?  Shouldn’t I be doing this?  Isn’t it MY job?  (I am a PARENT COACH) My mommy guilt was rearing its ugly head, but Rachel just looked at me and said, “Let’s do this.”

So, on a bright and sunny morning, Rachel came over.  She and the girls immediately got to work. 

Rachel set out four zones:  Keep, Donate, Trash, Maybe/Basement

She held out impossibly tiny toys and objects, and the girls addressed each one, either finding a place for it or throwing it out. 

Rachel helped create zones for each child to keep their own “knick knacks” and helped them choose the placement of their books.

She helped them create labels for their drawers (they did all the writing), and truly listened to them.

Rachel helped them donate two huge bags of toys and books for donation, as well as appreciate what is actually in the room.

Three straight hours of work…and NO fights.  No yelling.  Only patience and hard work.

The room isn’t perfect, and perfect isn’t what anyone was going for.  Rachel helped the girls own their room and now they are taking better care of it.  And I didn’t have to fight tooth and nail over Barbie shoes.

So, in the pantheon of things I do for this family, I hired this one out to a total professional, and guess how much guilt I feel now when I look at the pride in my children’s eyes?

ZERO.

Where in your parenting life could you use some support?

For more information about Meghan Leahy, Parent Coach, come visit my website, follow my Twitter, and like my Facebook Page!

For more information about Rachel and Company, visit her website, follow her on Twitter, and like her on Facebook!


A mother of three young children and a parent coach, Meghan Leahy teaches parenting techniques to both individuals and groups in the Washington D.C. area, as well as all over the country. Meghan is a frequent contributor to The Washington Post parenting blog "On Parenting." To find out more, please visit Positively Parenting.
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