I hear many Sensory Organizing questions in my day-to-day life. I get questions through the presentations I do, my business Facebook page, direct email contact, on the playground with other moms, and everything in-between. Wanted to share one of the most common questions I get from parents of sensory children (and it’s not about how to organize your sensory child). It goes something like this …..“I can’t get organized. I have tried lists, establishing routines, they work for a few days and then I implode. My chaos is making things harder for my sensory child, and for me too. I have ADD and some sensory issues but I really want to do better for him. Any suggestions?”

The first thing I do is put my arm around the person (or give them a virtual hug with words of encouragement) because this is a painful belief to have – that you can’t get organized and are making it harder for your child. Put a big “X” through that thought right now. Here are a few thoughts I have to help you move towards a new perspective:

Sometimes, showing our sensory kids that organizing is hard for us, not intuitive, and takes a bit of specialized planning is the best gift you can give them. So when they see it is hard for them also, they know that they are not alone and have you for company on the journey to learning a new way.

Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, is organized in one small area of their life. You sit down for a moment and write out the small things that you keep organized in your life today. I don’t care if its Q-tips in a container in the bathroom, coupons in a file box, or a small area of organized craft or art supplies – write it down. The next time you have the thought “I can’t get organized”, you’ll re-read your little list of organized and the “I can’t” will go away.

Unplug from the common visual we all have of what organized looks like. It’s not a spotless room with 2 neat baskets in it – let that image go. Sensory Organizing for you right now might mean finding your car keys regularly or paying your bills on time. So your visual of organized is not a neatly binned closet but a set of keys hanging on a dedicated key hook or a stack of bills in a bill basket waiting to be paid on time.

Do one small thing at the start of each day to re-set your old patterned thought “I can’t get organized”. For example – make your bed every morning or do the dishes in the sink. Starting the day with one small organizing routine is how you re-set your beliefs and build new habits. With a bed that is made or a sink that it is clean, you are also lessening the times in your day when you will feel overwhelmed. Feeling less overwhelmed = better productivity.

When you begin to believe that you can get organized in your way – as slowly and as specialized as that needs to be for you – things will begin to change. You also will begin to understand that organizing in a loving, understanding way for yourself means you can do it it a loving, understanding way for your sensory child. And that is a journey worth taking together ~