I am great at getting organized. I can create a system to keep everything where it is supposed to be and it would work great – if only I could keep up with it. My mind often gets so chaotic that even though I know where things are supposed to be, it seems daunting to put everything where it belongs.

I have decided to hire help, a professional organizer.

She isn’t someone who will come in and create a system for me that works. I don’t need help in that area because¬†I can do a great job on my own, not to mention I get irritated at the mess when other people touch my stuff. I need help on the mental side, and she knows exactly what I am talking about when I try to explain it to her. It’s almost weird how well she can relate to the chaos in my head.

It is almost like ADHD, but not. I know how things need to be and I know how I want everything. I do, however, have a house full of tyrants who like to misplace everything. When others start messing stuff up, I just kind of say “screw it” and throw my hands up, watching my hours upon hours of cleaning, organizing and straightening come undone in a day.

With all of that said, the main thing I took from my first meeting with my organizer was the most important: accountability. Every person big and little in my home needs to have a clearly defined level of personal accountability. If they don’t clearly know and understand what is expected, they cannot do what is expected.

What I have decided to do is a little bit extreme, but I am hoping it will help everyone (big and little) in my home to understand and appreciate how much unseen cleaning and organizing I do on a regular basis. I have decided that they will all start having to do what I do. For example, I had my seven year old clean the bedroom I spent 3 days cleaning and organizing.

When I told him that I expected him to do that, he looked at me like I had just lost my mind. He said “but that’s what you do!” And it hit me! Yes, it is what I do. I am held to an expectation that he can mess it up and I will come behind him and re-organize everything for him to mess it all up again.

I don’t mind doing it, but he needs to keep it up. So after he spent a few hours doing that, he became very aware of the messes that were being made and worked pretty hard to make sure it didn’t get in that condition again. Mission accomplished.

Now, if only I could get some cooperation with the laundry, dirty floors, backpacks and shoes – I think we could keep this house in order.

As for my husband, he is not so cooperative. I told him he was next to clean the medicine cabinet in our kitchen (which is where he likes to throw everything except the kitchen sink) and he told me that I was crazy. Really? If I organize it, and he messes it up, maybe he should organize it once.

It is not easy to always be the one who cleans up, straightens things and puts everything where it is supposed to be for everyone else to come behind me and move it all around. There is nothing more irritating! So, even though he has argued that he will not organize the cabinet, I have to figure out a way to get through to him that he cannot keep moving messes.  He needs to keep up with everything too.

For starters: when he pulls the ibuprofen out of the box, he could put it back into the box instead of beside the box on the shelf. Maybe that should be my first task!

Woman organizing a closet photo available from Shutterstock.