Navigating the jungle
I used to borrow my teenage son’s Wii for my workout each morning. My ten-minute warm up consisted of clearing an area of the floor big enough for the balance board to fit, and I was constantly doing push ups while staring at potato chip crumbs. Sound familiar?
Identify what starts the clutter and fix it
In an article about clutter, I showed how I figured out that the cabinet in my son’s room was the culprit in spurring the clutter disaster in his room.
Since I solved this problem, his room has remained immaculate…almost to the point of obsession. It took a while for me to identify him as the same child who used to live in a room where you couldn’t see the floor.
His console games are in alphabetical order! I’m beaming with pride.
Once the initial clutter problem was under control, the room stayed clean. Everything has its place now, and he takes great pride in his new, organized room. It has lasted for over four months, so I believe this is permanent.
What is this pile?
The other week I was surprised to find a small pile of miscellaneous stuff sitting outside his door. I curiously asked, “Is this trash?” He replied that he was cleaning through his room again, and the pile was stuff he thought I might want.
I combed through the pile with interest. There were old baseball team pennants, notebooks, some pencils, and…what is this? A crumpled up school hall pass! I faked wild excitement at the fact that he saved the hall pass for me. “I’ve been searching all over the house for this important document! Thanks for keeping it for me!” After my jumping up and down and running around the hall waving the pass in the air in triumphant joy, he just looked at me with a cute grin and rolled his eyes. Sorry, you are stuck with me as your mom.
There is hope
If you have a child that is battling clutter, read my article on Clutter and the Avalanche Effect and take the time to find the the spot that starts the clutter in the room. You will be pleasantly surprised at the results.
It is such an advantage to help kids learn to be organized, at least to some point, while they are young. This skill will be an important asset as they become young adults, on their own for the first time, trying to balance studies, work, and fun.