Whether you’re a business owner, parent, manager, teacher, or instructor, believe it or not, people watch what you do and how you do it. They look to you to set the example. When it comes to organization, it is important to model organization if you expect others around or below you to value and implement it as well. People often call on behalf of their disorganized spouse, teenager, sister, or employee. They have valid concerns and desires to see people around them get organized. It’s often helpful if they set the example by organizing their stuff before asking their loved one to get organized.
Time and time again after organizing, family members will often sit up and take notice. It never fails that when I arrive at the next appointment, they are asking for help with their own space. I haven’t met anyone that doesn’t like or appreciate clean surfaces and useful systems. Tempt those around you by your stellar organizing and you’ll have people jumping on board the organization train.
Now I agree- this may not work with teenagers and college age students. Their rooms usually look like a bomb went off. Having organized with several students, I haven’t met one that didn’t appreciate a cleaned up room. If they’re willing to work a professional organizer, try it. It will likely help.
Parents have the hardest job of all. Not only are they expected to model organization, they’re expected to teach it too. Kids don’t need perfection and a pristine home. What they do need, is to see parents care, try, and value organization. The home I grew up in was not hyper organized at all. To this day, we (my sisters and I) tease my mom about her “piles” and the sister I shared a room with for eighteen years was not even close to being organized. Her side of the room and closet was a complete mess. What did matter and what made a difference to me, was that I knew my mom cared and set limits for us. My sister didn’t get away with being a complete slob and my mom tried her best when it came to organizing. She relayed to all of us that picking up, cleaning up, and organization mattered. Today all three of us are married with homes and I can honestly say, their homes are neat and tidy. I give my mom all the credit.
Employers, managers, and business owners would benefit from instituting an “organizing” day once a year at work. Turning off computers, phones, and any other distraction for one day would do wonders for staff to clean out their desks and files. It would also communicate how important organization is in that company. If you’re in a management position, consider that option.
Teachers have the biggest opportunity to model organization in the classroom each and every day. Doing little things, like cleaning out desks or backpacks once a week, will go a long way. Putting items back where they found them in the classroom will also teach organization. Consider rewarding the kids if they keep things tidy.