As professional organizers and lovers of all things ordered, we deeply desire to have controlled households of our own -- but having three children each makes this an nearly impossible task.
When our preschoolers wake up in the morning, we don't know whether they'll be superheroes or pirates; paleontologists or soccer players... but we can set up their playrooms so that there are capes on hooks, swords in a basket, dinosaurs collected neatly in a box and soccer balls in a sports bin. And we're fulfilled by the confidence that they can explore anything their hearts desire.
When our school-aged children open their closets, we can't predict whether they'll require the comfort of their softest pants, desire the confidence that they feel wearing their fanciest dress -- or if they won't want to get dressed at all... but we can organize their closets so that all of the choices are clear and abundant, and so that their favorite items are right where they expect them to be. And we can be waiting to embrace their warm, pajama-clad bodies when they melt right down into our arms, overwhelmed with the possibilities and not really ready to make a decision at all. And we can do that with the reassurance that once they do know what they need, we'll be able to find it quickly so that we can continue on with the rush of the morning -- but not before they are ready to leave our arms.
When we walk into our toddlers' bedrooms, we simply smile. They collect blocks in the diaper pail, hoard books underneath their cribs and often deposit unmatched socks into the kitchen trash can. And so, we let their rooms go a bit. We'll organize them later. It's good to have aspirations of future projects, anyway.