I’m sure you did. We all did. I look at what used to happen when I told my kids to do this. Basically, they’d go up and play. Then I’d go up and remind them what they were supposed to be doing. Repeat. Until perhaps a little ‘raised voice’ approach occurred. Eventually you may get tidy rooms.
The tip of the iceberg
But what lurked beneath? What was shoved where? You may have baskets or drawers of some sort to keep toys in. Did they shove things randomly in those? Scrape things under the bed?
Like an iceberg the surface may be reasonable but underneath there is probably a whole other story going on.
One of my recent clients said “I was never taught how to tidy….The system is so easy for them to use and having a framework to teach my kids – it’s been fantastic”. In fact, her son was delighted to have something – a framework – that was easy to follow and do-able.
Assume makes an ass out of you and me. Ass-U-Me.
Someone once told me this saying at work. Imagine briefing your new staff member on a task “Go and do X” without any further instructions. Are you likely to get that piece of work back done to your standard? Of course not. Same with kids. They need to understand what that means. What actually needs to be done, what you expect, where they should put things and not put things. And it needs to be realistic – something a child can actually achieve.
The 80:20 Rule
You may have heard of it. The Parento Principle. It states that for many outcomes, roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of the causes. You get back most of the result from a smaller effort, but also the opposite – a big effort to get the last bit perfect.
Same applies to kids rooms. I’m not saying that my kids now perfectly tidy their rooms. Of course not! They are six and eight. But by providing them a more detailed structure and system (the Serenely Sorted System) than just ‘go tidy your rooms’ they are able to do a pretty decent job – to 80%. I don’t expect 100% – the effort to get them over that line would be a step too far, but to get to 80%, it’s remarkably straightforward.
And then when I go in to do the last 20%, it’s easy for me. And takes me one hour to do both rooms, rather than around four hours or more. Because it’s not ultimately 100% trashed as it used to be. In the most part, they are using and following the Serenely Sorted System on a daily and weekly basis which keeps it at the 80% level – absolutely fine for me!
Then every three months or so my one hour gets it back to 100%.
From ‘Mess Stress’ to Serenely Sorted
I used to not only completely dread tidying the kid’s rooms, I just didn’t have time to spend hours every week doing it. So they would be a nightmare of mess for a lot of the time. Something that caused me endless mess stress, always on my mind. And even when I did ‘go in’ I could never get to the end as I would always lose the will before I finished that last box of crap you just couldn’t find a home for.
But now, with the realistic, achievable and sustainable Serenely Sorted System in place, I’m sorted. I don’t worry about that 20% that’s left, because the 80% they can do on a day-to-day basis brings me the joy I need, and keeps that nagging voice in my head at bay.
I created this system using my corporate skills in systems and process improvement, I fine tuned it through trial and error, and now I work with families to help them install the system into their lives and homes. Get in touch to book a discovery call to see if this is the right system for you and your home life.
A recent graduate of my ‘Six Steps to Sorted’ 1-2-1 programme said to me last week “It took me 22 minutes yesterday to tidy up three kids rooms and all upstairs! The kids tidied up so nicely on Sunday – I found everything in the right boxes!”.
Now that’s what it’s all about.
Get in touch here to book a discovery call today to find out if the Serenely Sorted System is right for you and your home life.