Know where your piles are
Who knew getting through the day would be such a chore?!
So, you got some good food in your kids' bellies, and now comes the next challenge, getting them out the door. I can remember as a kid I would love going places, as long as they were places I wanted to go to. As a parent, how are you supposed to get out the door in a timely fashion, especially when most of the time, you are the only one that's going to be motivated to execute the mission.
Ted begins the chapter by talking about the first step, knowing where your piles are. There needs to be a mindset shift as a parent in many facets of your life when you are taking care of a child. Ted introduces one mindset change here by saying that its not so much as going to run errands, or Grandma's house, or running to the grocery store. What you are really are doing with your toddler is taking a trip.
Ted goes on to say that when packing for a future trip, the first step is being able to locate all of your belongings that you will need for the trip. This may have been an easy task before kids and when you were single, but now it has become infinitely more complicated. Before you had everything sorted, filed away, stacked in neat columns. Now, you are lucky if you can find just one shoe. Not your son's shoes..ONE shoe. Over the course of your baby growing into a toddler, you went from working with "files" to working with "piles".
Don't be alarmed though. According to Ted, piles are a good organizational tool as long as they are managed properly. The key is making sure the piles are of similar things of the household. So books are all in one "pile" on the bookshelf, toys are in a "pile" in the blue bin, jackets are in the "pile" in the closet.
Is this an organizational freak's dream set up? Probably not...but that's ok. You are a parent, you have kids, this shouldn't be perfect. As long as you know where your piles are located, you can cut down on the time it takes searching for things last second when you need to be out the door in five minutes. Having your house in piles will also make it easier for your kids to be a part of the process. Will a toddler be able to have their favorite books in alphabetical order standing straight up on the bookshelf? Possibly. Would it take less effort for all books to have a dedicated "pile" and not worry about it being 100% neat and tidy? I think so. Something to remember that we have talked about in our other videos on Ted's book, kids have a different sense of the world than adults. If we can keep things simple, they will be able to help out way more efficiently when its crunch time and you can't miss the doctor's appointment.
Piles are the first step for kids learning organizational skills. Over time, they will get better at keeping the house tidy, while simultaneously having the messiest room known to mankind. It all starts from somewhere, so first, know where your piles are.