While this week’s home organization project was only cleaning off the refrigerator – and everything attached to the outside of it – it was more symbolic than the previous 11 weeks of home organization projects.
Are you wondering how cleaning off the refrigerator could be symbolic? Well, I’ve used the refrigerator as a “job and responsibility center” for my kids since they were old enough to put a sticker on a chart to signify the completion of something.
Off came every piece of paper, chart, and list that involved me reminding my kids to do something. Over the years, I have made every list or chart that parenting books suggested. And, because I love to make charts and lists, the collection was impressive.
- To-do lists
- Chore charts
- Family rules (that we had all signed)
- Daily reminders
- Homework reminders
- Vocabulary word builders
- Piano practice check-off sheets
- SAT and PSAT study time sheets
- blah, blah, blah – you get the picture –
My kids are both in high school (my son is a junior and 17-years-old and my daughter is freshman and 15-years-old – I’m forbidden from using their names) and it’s time for me to stop. Stop reminding. Stop micro-managing on the time management. Stop making their responsibilities my problem.
This stopping is hard. It’s what I’ve done since the beginning. My tongue? I’m biting it – big time!
If we (meaning all of us – the entire village) want our kids to be ready to leave for college or work or home when they graduate from high school, we have to begin the process of letting go so that when they do leave, they know what to do. We can’t micro-manage. That’s the hard part. The no more reminding. The suffering of consequences. The letting go.
So the refrigerator is cleared off and we donated all of the parenting books. Our kids are becoming adults and we want them to grow up. And go off to college. And leave home.
My refrigerator? It looks awesome! (Please – don’t say anything about the TV/VHS player combo – it still works!) That questionable report card that arrived in the mail? Not my problem. Bam.
What does your refrigerator look like?
Go Gingham related links:
Technology free Sundays and more family rules that work for our family
As part of our New Year’s resolution, we’re cleaning out a different area of our house every week this year. Find all of the “weekly home organization projects” – or click the image below.
4 thoughts on “Home Organization Project 12”
After our kitchen renovation, I took off the ridiculous amount of “stuff” on my fridge and have been resisting putting it back on. So.tired.of.clutter. My husband keeps trying to sneak stuff back on. Evil man must be foiled.
I think your instincts about your children learning to do for themselves are spot-on. 10 years later when your kids are responsible adults, you’ll be glad you let them stumble through getting to adulthood. Remind me I said this when my kids get to the stage yours are at now. 🙂
College visits = end of chore charts is probably a good plan! Hope it works. At keast the fridge looks good whether it works or not!
a good reminder. I started this project last weekend and didn’t finish..very timely post. Luckily I can blame my now 10 year old for the past 6 years of stickers he has piled on the front of the fridge, higher and higher as he grew.
I stopped cleaning when I needed to locate the GOO GONE 🙂
See I grew up (lately) in a house with a fridge that wasn’t magnetic – and no charts etc. Alas, now nothing is on my fridge, but random lists etc still clutter up benches/coffee tables… I need a better system…
Good on you for no longer micromanaging your kids – hope your tongue is ok!
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