Growing Up and Growing Out of Disorder - Me In Order

Are you organized but going crazy with your children’s disorder? Don’t worry, there is hope!

When I was a teenager, like many other teenagers, my room looked like a bomb of clothes had exploded. When my mother handed me my folded laundry to put away it just ended up as mountains on the floor. I can barely remember the color of my carpet because there were only small paths to get through.

It wasn’t until moving to college and sharing a 10’ x 10’ dorm room with a stranger that I got my act together. It may have been the fact that my new roommate was somewhat organized or the fact that I had a new space to start from scratch but something switched. I only brought what I “needed” and everything I brought had a new home.

It suddenly became fun for me to put things where they belonged and I was unable to let things be out of place.

From freshman year on, when I returned home, I was helping my mom organize. Each summer we had a project, from bookshelves to closets to organizing our family photos into albums.

While in college I started working at a chain clothing store, it was there that I learned to fold perfectly and now I fold everything (even my underwear).

Never would I have guessed that I would one day be helping others become organized but I am excited for the journey.

Here are some tips I would like to tell my teenage self to help keep me in order:

  1. Quality vs. Quantity– half the reason I kept my clothes on the floor was because they were the clothes I wore most often. The clothes that actually hung in my closet never moved. If I would have gotten rid of the clothes I never wore, there would have been room to put away the clothes on the floor.
  2. Order saves time- The time I spent cleaning my room (when my mom wouldn’t let me do anything until it was clean), or looking for something in my clutter, I could have been spending with my friends… or doing homework. I also could have slept in 5 to 10 minutes longer every morning and everyone knows, sleep is valuable, especially as a teenager.
  3. Order saves money- There were many times when I couldn’t find basic items (tanks tops, leggings, toothpaste, etc.) and would buy replacements only to find the missing items shortly after. Also, the clothes I didn’t wear, some that even still had tags on, just sat in the closet. If I didn’t buy things I didn’t need I would have had more money in my pocket to go do things with my friends.
  4. Mom likes order- “Clean your room”…“Put that away”… have you heard or said those words? I heard them weekly and it made me not want to clean even more. Now looking back I realize I was creating the disorder and conflict that was making both my mom and me crazy!

As Oscar Wilde said, “With age comes wisdom” and I couldn’t agree more. Though I will never be able to go back and reorganize my teenage life, I will take my experiences with disorder to help others learn how to create order.


By Meredith Sopko

Meredith is a marketing professional and Expert Organizer with expertise in social media and e-communications. When she’s not organizing or on social media, she is at the beach or watching reality TV and drinking wine.