What Essential Stress Relieving Life Skills Did You Learn in Kindergarten?…


Sorting and classification are critical to living an organized life. Often, we tend to think of these two tasks as menial, however, given our fast-paced, overwrought with information world we need to be able to quickly discern what is important, what requires urgent attention, what needs saving, and what we can delete. More than ever pressure is upon us to access our resources easily. In a nutshell, sorting and classifying allow us to competently stay on the top of our game. In addition, our home life organization is vital to stress-free balanced living.

Today, in our consumer-driven culture, most of us have accumulated an abundance of ‘stuff’. This is magnified for families with children. Many of us have so much stuff we don’t even know what we have, or, we have a difficult time maintaining some semblance of organization because we are so tired when returning home, that sorting and classifying procrastination becomes the norm. This begets home chaos which then leads to overwhelmed feelings of anxiety and depression. Our thoughts become muddled. Often, we end up adding to the mess with more shopping therapy rather than deal with sorting and classifying, and ultimately organizing our homes. Home relationships become tense as family members complain or stress that they can’t find the resources they need or want. I know I’ve been there. A friend of mine who was going through a divorce and heaps of stress said to me, “Look in my purse, it’s a mess. That’s what my head and life are like right now.” You don’t want to raise a family in a ‘messy purse’.

In our family, my sons and husband used to cringe when I would remind (ok, yes, it was nagging at times lol) everyone that everything has a place and there is a place for everything. The dirty clothes were to go in the laundry hampers, clothes needed to be sorted and put away in their proper drawers or bins, coats were hung up in the closet, backpacks had a spot, dishes needed to get washed after dinner and put away in order that the sink and counters were clean before bed and upon waking. At times I sounded and felt like the drill sergeant but as I have said to people, I am essentially lazy and I know I can procrastinate with the best. Furthermore, I hugely dislike cleaning big messes instead I prefer smaller clean-ups. Staying on top of the sorting and classifying was my way of trying to minimize our family household stress.

Now in retirement, I breathe a sigh of relief when we come home as everything has a place and we diligently stay on top of it. Both Mark and I defer to tidy over hyper mopping, washing, dusting, and polishing. If things are not chaotic our minds can relax and when we need to jump to action, we know the location of what we need. It’s nice to have the excitement and mess of company but boy it is nice to return to kindergarten sorting and classifying order.

Quick Take Away Links

The luxury of CoVid has allowed us to meander and find new home improvement series. This is a fabulous one. It’s interesting how many families are struggling with the management of household stuff. Ironic too because many parents are holding very complex jobs that require high levels of organizational skills yet once they get home things are messy.  Cassandra Aarssen offers a survey to help people determine their organizational style and then follows through with concrete examples and support for creating the home organization and flow.

Great ideas from Jessica Fisher:


Wow, the ideas keep flowing!:

Putting things back where they belong:

Quite enjoyed this reflection:

Wisdom from the great Stevie Wonder: