Today I learned: “Step-Outside of the status quo to speed up results”
I am very organized. I know EXACTLY what is in my pile of dirty laundry. I know EXACTLY what is in my pile of clean laundry. I know that I can immediately walk to the laundry room and grab my pink sweater, which is buried, below my unfolded whites. I know that it is laying the long way, top to the left-hand side. I know I have a pair of jeans on my closet floor that I only wore for two hours that I could wear again, and I know there is nothing spilled on them.
My children did not teach my organizational strategy to me, rather it was taught to me by my mother. She referred to this systematic method of organization as “stack organization.” There are many benefits to this seemingly unorganized style of organization…All of which I seemed to have started to forget as I became much more diligent in my cleaning and organizing efforts at home.
While I still have placed value in “stack organization” in many areas (such as my laundry), there are some places that I have become almost anal retentive in more traditional forms of organization. My kitchen cupboards for example, are one area that I have become an organizational traditionalist. Everything goes in its place, exactly. That is to say that my Tupperware is all stacked in specific ways, my cups go in specific spots, and some spoons go in one spot while others go somewhere else. A certain set of bowls go on one side while another set goes on the other side. I like to consider this a sign that I am a grown up.
Until today. When I realized once again, I have so much to learn from my children about being a grown up.
Today I decided that my daughter is old enough to start helping out more. I had some errands to run and there was no reason why she could not put away the dishes from the dishwasher while I was out. She groaned at the idea of having to come inside from her playtime to do such a task. I left as she rolled her eyes at me.
When I returned, I found that “stack organization” runs in the family. Although, “stack organization” did not mean in the way she stacked the Tupperware. In this case, it was definitely in the manner of which my mother taught me. I found (and will continue to find, I am sure) things in the strangest spots. After seeing this, I am now sure she never opened a cupboard in our kitchen prior to this event. Then I saw her outside playing. It immediately dawned on me what had happened.
One of the greatest benefits to “stack organization” is that it speeds up the transaction to get to an outcome a lot faster. Her outcome was not a traditionally organized kitchen. Her outcome was to put things away so she could go outside and continue to play.
What I learned from this made me smile as plucked a bowl from the utensil drawer…sometimes getting lost in the details slows down the process in getting to what really matters. It is good to be organized, but it not a place to dwell. When there are more important things calling, it is ok to let go of the details and use some of my mom’s famous “stack organizational” tactics. Additionally, it also ok to step away from the status quo of what EVERYONE else is doing and come up with a system that works for me. (And not everything has to be practical…some of the most brilliant plans ever created had impractical beginnings)
Thank you Allie – You are so smart.