Cutting the Organizing Umbilical Cord

As I write this blog post, my husband, Wayne and my son, Eli are in the thick of helping my daughter, Maddie move in and organize her suite for her sophomore year at WashU in St. Louis. And me? I’m a 1000 miles away in New York. Yes, you read that right. The organizer, the one who has the aisles of Bed Bath and the Container Store memorized got left behind. Now to be fair, we all discussed the travel plans deciding that since I had a few business obligations, I would stay behind for this trip and go by myself to visit for a fall weekend.

But still. Me not go to help her move in? We all have our roles in our house. I’m the anal, do it 5 days ahead of time, everything have a place, put it away immediately one. My husband? Not so much. The good news is we create a healthy balance for our kids.

So days before they were set to leave, I started “offering” organizing suggestions (new suite-new roommates). “Everyone should have their own basket clearly labeled in the hall closet for boots, etc.” “You can use the over the door hooks in the living room for totes and coats if you want a quick grab and go.” “Don’t forget to buy the stacking shelves for the bathroom. It will maximize the space.” And on it went. Each time I was met with a polite (and not so polite) “I know mom. I’m good!”

So with tons of Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons stuffed into my husband’s carryon and the number and delivery time for the trucking company on everyone’s phones, they were off.

When move in day arrived, I spoke to them early that morning before they headed over to campus. “Call me. Text me. Send photos. We can organize virtually!” What they didn’t know is that I had armed myself that day with my phone, IPad, laptop and multiple chargers so I could “work” whenever they needed me. It was literally “Ground control to Major Tom.”

So what happened? Actually nothing. I never heard from them. The entire day. Not once. Not a call, text or email. Until finally at around 7:00pm that night when my husband texted me a photo of her room. And the caption? “You taught her well.”


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