Mom tries to keep up with organized helpers

June 06, 2013|Lisa Prejean

The kids have decided to organize our house.

Each day when I come home from work, another drawer or cupboard has a fresh, new look.

I never know what to expect, and I never know what they are going to throw away.
For a pack rat like me, the process is scary, and somewhat painful.

However, I vow not to interfere because some of the stuff is theirs anyway. If they want to pitch it, sell it, donate it, who am I to stand in the way?

I’ve also tried to avoid asking questions about the items that have been eliminated.
I figure if I go for something that isn’t there, I’ll either do without or improvise with something else.

Yes, they are helping me turn over a new leaf.

They are making some incredible finds, too. They found the protractor and the TI-30 calculator I used in high school.

I jokingly asked my son if he’d like to take them to engineering school in the fall. He said he’d pass.

“That calculator is an inch thick,” he said, almost scolding me for keeping it.

Actually, I didn’t know it was still in the desk. Over the past several years, I haven’t had a chance to organize drawers and cupboards and closets.

I used to be much neater than I am now. Then I had kids. They went to school. They had homework. They took music lessons. They played sports.

In the process of all that, my house was placed on a back burner as I played taxicab driver, private tutor and head cheerleader. The situation was compounded by the fact that I am an English teacher and often grade papers until late in the evening and on weekends. In the summer, I work on planning for the next year’s classes so I reach my goal: Don’t get behind at home.

Obviously, I have not been able to reach that goal.

Otherwise, my kids would not be spending their time turning our house upside down.
My friends who have moved several times over the last couple of years really can’t relate to our situation. The elimination process is required with each move, but because we’ve lived in the same house for 20 years, the accumulation process is in full effect.

My kids have had enough and are doing their part to help out. I think I could hire them out, but I need them too much to share them with other families. By the end of the summer, we should be totally organized.

That’s their plan. As their mother, I’m just going to try to keep up.

Come to think of it, that’s what I’ve been trying to do for the last 18 years. Why stop now?

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail’s Family page. Send e-mail to her at

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