Keep your room neat

It seems that hand-in-hand with picking up after yourself is keeping your room neat. Why is this task so difficult for some and so easy for others? Maybe it is related to priorities – which implies that it is not as important for some as it is for others. I can completely understand this. For me, neatness is not as important as cleanliness. I can usually tell you what pile to find something, even though it looks like a mess. The messiness may not matter to some, but to others it matters a great deal. When this messiness affects someone else than you have a problem, a relational problem.
I have a very neat daughter, and two daughters that are not quite as neat. They do try to be neat, but other things get in the way. What we must do is prioritize. Again, picking up after yourself applies to keeping your room neat. When you take off your shoes, put them in the closet. After reading a book or doing schoolwork, put the book back in its proper place. Put your dirty clothes in the basket, put your clean clothes away, or hang up clothes that need hung up. Seems easy enough to follow these simple directives, but the practice is so much more difficult.
The quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson seems to apply somewhat here, “Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an action and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.” When you learn good habits young they are “thoughtless” actions as you age. As ice skaters, two of my daughters have learned various patterns that progress with difficulty the greater their ability. The problem is that the patterns are specific that they must do in order to pass tests to move on to the next level. If they learn the wrong pattern and practice it wrong, then they must relearn the right pattern. It is a lot easier to learn the pattern the right way and practice it the right way than to relearn it.
So picking up after yourself and having a neat room are important life skills that are easier learned and then done “thoughtlessly” later in life, than to relearn because your roommate is always frustrated with your mess. Lay down a good pattern now, and you will reap rewards later that you never even realized.

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