I opened up our bathroom closet and I could feel my blood pressure rise. Towels were everywhere - squished together, falling off the shelf and onto the floor. My first instinct was to yell for the kids to come and look at the mess they had created and make sure they knew that this kind of thing caused extra work for me. However, rationality set in and I (thankfully) decided to take a different approach.
I had been meaning to reorganize the bathroom closet anyway. I decided to take this opportune moment and rearrange our towels and toiletries. After I placed everything back in the closet, I called for the kids. It had occurred to me that I had taught the kids how to fold clothes, but not the proper procedure on how to actually place them in the closet and take them out.
Rearranging the closet made it easier to introduce the "lessons." It created a natural reason for introducing a procedure. I explained that I had fixed our closet so we could now have a neater, more organized closet which gave us more space - and hopefully our towels would no longer fall on the floor. I demonstrated where to lay the towels on the sink (after checking for wet/dirty spots) and then place them in the closet a few at a time. I also demonstrated on how to remove a towel and washcloth by sliding one hand under a cloth/towel and placing the other hand on top of the towel. We all practiced this procedure until we all mastered it.
The change in the bathroom closet has been remarkable. I am going to try very hard from now on not to lose my cool when I see a challenge around the house - to see it more as an opportunity for a new lesson.
Now, my next challenge to conquer --- the toothpaste tube!!!!