Did you know that our organizational needs change as our life stage changes? The common misconception is that being organized is a “perfect system"-once I’m organized I’ll stay organized, right?! Nope, your organizational needs will continue to change. Here’s what I mean…
Adult 101-We’ve Only Just Begun (the gathering of stuff stage)
The first stage is when you start your “adult” life. This has nothing to do with acting like an adult. It’s when you have more stuff than will fit in your car. You have a career, buy a car and a house, and start a family. You start accumulating things. This is the time you are most likely to have a lot of “keep it for future use” stuff (think of baby cribs, high chairs, holiday décor, trikes, etc…) Think of them as roommates taking up precious space in your home. You need to have a system to store and manage these items until they are needed again.
Adult 102-Looks Like I Have It All Together Facade
The second stage is when you are in your 40’s (generally). Your life is hectic-you are just trying to get through each day alive. Bottom line is: WHAT YOU DO NOT HAVE IS TIME! Between work, school conferences, kids school projects, homework, carpooling to three different activities, getting dinner on the table and clothes clean, coordinating everyone’s schedule, sport equipment management, and OMG…date night? Down time? Oh, did I forget to mention your aging parents that have an entirely different set of needs from you? Oh, did I forget to mention drivers training instruction for your 15 ½ year old - this is especially fun for parents…..gray hair anyone? The challenge at this stage is to just keep up, not fall apart, and be organized enough so you don’t lose the car keys and aren’t late for soccer practice, work, piano lessons, doctor's appointments…and the list goes on.
Adult 103-Calm After the Storm
The third stage is when your kids have left the nest. We are generally sorting and purging all the crap we have thrown and stuffed into the closet, garage, under beds and the attic to accommodate the “looks like I have it all together” stage. We are re-entering the workforce, downsizing, and determining what to keep for our children and our own legacy.
Each stage has its own unique challenges and organizing needs. What organizing stage are you living?