18 year old daughter says 'she cant' keep her stuff neat
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Post Mon, Nov 07 2022, 4:39 am
I used to have a room that looked very messy. For me it was absolutely logical and efficient. I liked having the stuff that I used out, rather than wasting time having to dig around in the closet for things I know I'll need. Clothes that I wore once and weren't clean enough to put away but weren't dirty enough to wash (e.g. a sweater that I wore for an hour) were just out, because I didn't know what to do with them and I didn't want to make unnecessary laundry. I had all kinds of things that I was working on out spread out on the desk and the floor- craft projects, school projects, books... No point in putting them away, I left them out so I could continue working whenever inspiration hit.
My parents would make fun of me now and then, but didn't really do much about it.

However, they absolutely insisted that I clean up after myself in the kitchen. It required reminding and insisting but they didn't relent, and in retrospect I'm very thankful.

As an adult with a family, I can't let everything hang out like I did in my childhood room, because there are other people in the house. I learned very quickly that "neat enough for me" doesn't work when there are multiple other humans in your house that can mess up your stuff.
I also learned organization principles, that help me keep things neat without absolutely hating the futility of it. I learned to keep the things that I use most frequently super easily accessible, and to put the less frequently stuff on higher shelves, to pack away in boxes, etc. I learned that an keeping an organized pantry helps you avoid owning 15 jars of marinara, half past date. I learned that drawers, shelves, and all storage receptacles should not be full to the bursting, making putting stuff away and finding stuff much easier. I bought myself a coat rack and put it next to my closet, for all the clothes that will get worn again, so they're easy to find and not thrown around the room.

I don't value cleanliness and neatness beyond the practicality of it. I don't think it's a virtue, just an investment that saves me more time and/or money later. So, for example, I have no problem leaving dishes in the sink overnight if I was too busy to wash them in the evening. It's just aesthetic, and I'd rather get a good night's sleep.

I don't know if this is comforting or not...
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Post Mon, Nov 07 2022, 6:12 am
Does she struggle in general with executive function? She may legitimately have a problem with this. I never figured out how to be neat and I'm married a long time now. I just rely on a lot of cleaning help.
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Post Mon, Nov 07 2022, 3:05 pm
amother OP wrote:
it's messy

She has a job and she cooks. I think she’s winning.
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