I was in kindergarten. I had too much energy to rest during nap time and never received a “Best Rester” award. My teacher finally put me to work during nap time- and I loved it. Instead of wasting time napping, I got to fix up her desk! I remember my teacher asking where the paperclips were and I proudly opened the drawer and showed her their new location. I didn’t learn this at home. That was just the way I was- and I was 5. When it was my turn to clean up the living room as an 8th grader, I made a labeled box for each family member, dumped each person’s belongings in their box and put their box on their bed. As a senior in high school I created a great system to manage all the college brochures that were flooding our mail box. I never thought much about my organizing tendencies. It was just the way I was. I think I was just born organized.
Now I have two daughters and it is interesting to see if the organizing gene is nurture or nature. My first daughter broke my water at 12:15am on her due date. Only 5% of babies are born on their due dates. My daughter was punctual from birth! When she was in daycare at 20 months, her teacher, who did not know what I did for a living, told me that she was “so organized.” I beamed with pride. She never broke a toy or threw her crayons all over the floor. She meticulously lined up her stickers in notebooks and grouped similar stickers together. She only drew on paper and tried to keep in the lines. Three years later, my second daughter was born. She decided to come 10 days early when I wasn’t quite ready. She never met a toy she didn’t want to throw across the room or a bunch of craft supplies that should stay in a container. Walls and rugs can be written on and dirty hands are meant to touch everything. Total opposite of her sister. But, she does know that everything has a home and she knows where to find them.
Organizing skills can be nurture, nature, or just not possible. We aren’t all good at the same things. If we were, the world would be a boring place! What comes easy to me doesn’t to someone else and vice-versa. No matter who explains it to me, I’ll never truly understand the stock market. I just glaze over. I can’t draw- anything. And I couldn’t learn to drive a stick shift. We all have our strengths whether we are born with them or we learn them. And we all can get help with areas we aren’t so good at.
My two kids have different organizing strengths, but I like to think I can teach them what they don’t naturally do. Organizing skills can make such a difference your entire life and if you start early, it becomes ingrained. It will be very interesting to see how this develops as my children grow up. Maybe I will come to a different conclusion. Maybe my daughters will one day work with me or they will rebel and never put anything away just to drive me crazy! Stay tuned…. =)