Some people cannot function in a messy space. I have always prided myself on being able to handle a high level of chaos. Interruptions, for the most part, don't bother me. I think they make the day exciting. When I was a teacher I was always given the "special" children who needed an understanding teacher. I had the boy with fetal alchohol syndrome. I had the girl with epilepsy. I had the ones who couldn't sit still. I visited rooms where all the children sat in their desks in complete silence and did their work. They teacher sat calmly at her desk grading papers. That was never my room! Our principal knew that getting a teacher with those expectations would be a death sentence to some kids. So, they ended up in my room. My class was an exciting bunch of craziness. Nothing was out of control--but it was "busy" in our room. :)
Not everyone was made to be able to handle a bit of organized chaos. But, I wouldn't want to be the kind of person who is just paralyed by a bit of mess. Hear me right: I wish I were more organized. Of COURSE it's more pleasant to work in an organized space than a messy one! Have you ever seen someone volunteer to take a job and before they can even begin they have to "make the space like they like it?" It could be in a kitchen, at a desk, wherever. Others just push aside what's in their way and start working-adapting to the circumstances as they go. Truly we are all different!
But organized and cleaned up is always so nice. So this morning before we began school (which has it's own brand of messiness with it!) we had a job fair. Aren't I clever with that name? :) I made a list of jobs and the price I would pay for them (in quarters). I let Sweetheart pick the jobs she wanted to do and set the timer for 1 hour. I worked along beside her on my own jobs and at the end of an hour she had racked up a few dollars for her piggy bank and we had a much nicer looking home! She got some energy out and was ready to start school. Since I wasn't worried and distracted about all the housekeeping that needed to be done we had a much more pleasant morning in school. We worked for almost 2 hours on school before we took a break for recess.
I know school is important. Reading to your kids is important. Talking with your husband in the evening is important. Lots of things are important. But sometimes it's easier to get those important things done when you concentrate on the housework first!
Anyway, I'm thinking the next time we are all snippy at each other and there is whining about schoolwork--we may just take a job fair break. It gets out some energy, the results put everyone in a better mood, and then we can concentrate. Just a thought.
*By the way, I did not pay for cleaning her room as this is an expected chore. These were extra jobs she doesn't normally do and very worth the quarters I lost! And did I mention all the benefits of practicing counting that money? And how Little Bit was learning not to call everything a nickel? (I gave her some pennies when she did a little helping. She has a cold today and didn't feel like doing big jobs.)