Yeah, yeah, yeah, this isn't a learning tip. I promise I'll finish that series up soon. You'll have to forgive me for being absent as of late, but our household has been on lock down due to a very nasty virus that literally put me out of commission for three days. While my body is recovering, my brain has not yet cleared from the Nyquil induced haze.
Of course, the kids were sick as well. While flitting from one room to the next administering the appropriate cocktail of Children's Motrin, motherly love and necessary fluids, I nearly broke my neck tripping over a guitar on the floor in my son's room. That's what started it, i.e., the need for order. While his room appeared orderly on the surface, upon closer inspection I made an horrific discovery -- my son is a hoarder (insert blood curdling scream here)!
Before I go on, let me add that we just invested a large amount of money at IKEA purchasing bookshelves, a desk and a multitude of storage bins and containers. The bins that were once organized by category were now filled with God knows what. So, the organizational system was set up, but there was some serious lack of follow through on the boy's part. His solution to cleaning his room? Secretly keep every box that is up for grabs in the house and jam them in every nook and cranny of his room.
Needless to say, we dumped every box, bin, and drawer into the middle of the room and started pitching. I cannot believe the stuff he was keeping, e.g., pieces of paper with one little scribble on it, cut out bookmarks from cereal boxes, toys that hadn't worked in months. The finally tally when the process was all said and done:
- Three bags of trash
- Removal of nine boxes of varying sizes
- At least four reams of paper
- A kid who can actually see the top of his desk
I'm not sure I have a point here. Maybe I feel compelled to write about this because I fear that my son is going to grow up to be a future cast member of Clean Sweep. Maybe it is because of my years of going into cluttered homes as a CPS worker and seeing how overwhelmed those folks were. Maybe it is that sometimes the best way to teach our kids about organization is to work along side them during the process. For know, I think I'll continue to focus my efforts on collaboration in this process rather than expecting him to just do it the way I think he should know how to do it...er, you know what I mean. At this point, however, I think we will just start with a temporary ban on boxes for one young lad in our household.
How do you keep your kids rooms clutter free? Do they do it on their own or do you work in collaboration? Help! I need YOUR tips!