I have discovered over many years that perfection is overrated.
Having said that, there are some areas of life where my control freak just has to run wild. Folding towels and linen for example. They must be folded just right! And it makes me very happy to see them tidily folded in neat piles every time I open the door to my tiny linen cupboard. Or my clients linen cupboards.
The trick is to choose where you let your control freak loose, when to save your precious energy.
I’ve had a couple of new clients recently who have been trying really hard to keep their kids LEGO sorted by colour or type. They love the way it looks in the storage boxes and bins. They reckon it helps their child to be creative, especially if they have kit sets.
Ah kit sets… You’ve cracked out the ziplock bags, found the instruction manual, sometimes even the box. It took hours to locate all the right pieces. Tidy in their separate little bags they look so neat and organised. And then, they get more kit sets. Every birthday. Every Christmas. Each child gets more than one. Every. Year.
Are you going to keep organising them? All those specialised little bits!
The problem? Time.
Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have a LEGO butler? Someone to sort it all. Hovering on the side ready to make everything perfectly organised. All the time in the world. Nothing else to worry about.
But your time is limited. Your schedule is packed. Your energy so, so precious.
Kids don’t put LEGO back in the “right” place. They’re playing, racing from one fun thing to another. Or they’re hungry or tired or have to go to soccer. So the LEGO is left on the floor or scooped up higgledy-piggledy.
Then mum or dad, if it bothers them, have to find the time to start all over again and separate all the different pieces. Over and over again. Or the kids feel bad for messing up the kits. Kind of defeats the purpose of toys and playing doesn’t it?
I have heard of LEGO fans who are keen enough and tidy minded enough to keep their equipment beautifully ordered in their playroom or bedroom. But this is not common or it lasts about a week. Kids usually don’t fuss if their toys aren’t organised. They dump out LEGO and just get stuck in building.
What is important to you? Having fun? Getting the essentials done? Organising toys? Prioritising your time is so important.
We all know about prioritising tasks, we do it naturally every day when we choose what we do from moment to moment. Make the bed or check your phone? Turn on the TV or do the dishes?
Folding clothes for example. Perfection or not? I only have a small wardrobe and automatically hang everything, even my T-shirts. I don’t have a lot of time and I have a small apartment so I have to fit what I have to the small amount of storage I have. The only items of clothing that I fold? My knickers, because I have one small drawer they all have to fit into.
If you are racing to get your kids to after school activities, your mum’s place or to bed and you’re longing for the couch and that glass of wine, or de-stressing with a good book, or just getting the laundry done, why force yourself to organise something that is easily tidied away in a box, bag or basket until the next playtime?
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Unless of course, you absolutely love organising! If LEGO sorting is your Zen, lining up toy cars in rainbow colours puts you in your happy place, folding socks and underpants blisses you out…
Then go for it! You’ve made a decision to prioritise your time.
But please don’t beat yourself up if you can’t.
A friend’s colour coded book case might be their heaven, and may be impossible for you if your little person likes to use them to build ramps for their Transformers.
The perfectly tidy home you saw and longed for? Just think – how much time did that person invest in tidying and organising their home? How much time do they prioritise to spend maintaining it?
Fun, relaxation, having time to do the really important things…
Prioritising your time is about YOU deciding what’s worth doing. What’s worth taking up your precious time and energy.