. . . And For Those With Small Children
Readers, I am on fire. I found this book at the library.
My theory is that having little kids is the functional equivalent of having ADD. And if you’re like me and already had a somewhat short attention span even before having kids . . . well. You know.
The basic gist of the book is to work around a short attention span, instead of trying to change it. If a family member always drops his coat on the floor by the door, don’t make yourself miserable trying to get him to walk down the hall, open the coat closet, and hang his coat on a hanger. It’s never going to happen. Just hang a hook on the wall next to the door. And if he doesn’t use the hook, stick a basket on the floor. Then when he drops the coat at least it will land in the basket.
The author of this book recommends lots of ways to use shelves, hooks, and clear, open bins. It makes sense. If you’re waiting to, say, cover cereal boxes with wrapping paper before you get organized:
It’s never going to happen. At least not for me. And not for most people I know who have little kids.
But if you can live with this:
I recommend this book.
And in the spirit of shelves, bins, and hooks for the attention-impaired, here are a few little things I’ve implemented in our house:
Before, the corkscrew was in one drawer sometimes, the other utensil drawer other times. Now, it has its own 3M hook, right next to the wine glasses. It’s the little things, folks.
Our linen closet:
Are you impressed by all that open space? Mainly, it’s because lots of towels were in the wash. But, you see this little shelf on the door?
In all the five years we’ve owned it, our poor heating pad never has had a home. Sometimes it was in one of our bedside table drawers, sometimes in the other. Mostly it was on the floor somewhere collecting dust bunnies. Now it has a place to call home.
Before, when I needed a screwdriver or tape measure, I had to unstack my little tool kit from where it was wedged in with some other bins in the linen closet. I think I procrastinated on projects, subconsciously, because getting tools out was such a hassle.
Now, my tools are easily accessible in an open lidded bin. I amaze myself sometimes, really I do.
And for my daughter with an extremely limited attention span, who is in a big artistic phase at the moment: an open-topped bin for crayons and markers.
It wasn’t until after I read Jen’s post, Amelia’s post, and this book that this occurred to me. Before, we used one of those little pencil cases with attached, snap-on lids for her crayons and markers.
Getting her to clean up her art supplies was like pulling teeth.
Now, she just drops her markers in a bin. We still have to coax and remind her, but clean-up is much easier now.
Finally, I bought bins for Girl 1’s ballet and soccer stuff (top shelf) and shoes (bottom shelf). Little Sister probably still will pull everything off the shelf, but at least now everything has a home where Girl 1 easily can put them away. Also, I put a hamper in her room. The main hamper is only three steps from her bedroom door, but those three steps were enough to distract her from getting dressed.
I am really, inordinately excited about all of this. I’ll stop now before I embarrass myself.