Messy bedrooms happen often in any sized family (even the parents rooms can get into a state of clutter and chaos); yet there is always one particular person in every family that can not get organised.
No amount of encouragement, advice or help does any good, they never seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel or the colour of the carpet under that pile of clothes.
Their idea of tidying, is moving one heap to another while shoving it aside, putting it under a bed, in a box or bucket covered by pillows or into a wardrobe – “out of sight, out of mind”.
Clearly, they must be distracted, blind or vague. What we see as mess is just an over-site or perhaps we are just over reacting? Surely having a messy room is no big deal right?
Of course I am referring to one of the No Excuses children – the 16yr old daughter!
It’s not the end of the world… “there are more important things to worry about, like my school work and passing exams” as my daughter put it …..right? WRONG answer.
All the No Excuses children are wonderful helpers, they all pitch with the chores, cleaning and keeping the home in order. They have to keep their own bedrooms neat and clean (including the little boys), which includes making the bed, tidying up and being able to see the floor. They must vacuum it regularly and keep it dust and clutter free and “Pick it up, put it away, a home in order is the only way” a simple motto that can be taught in every home!
However this daughter’s bedroom is the ONLY room in the house that can not stay clean (minus the 6 and 8 yr old boys – as they are not quite old enough yet to keep it in total order, plus theirs is the play room too). I refuse to go in there and sort it out (unless of course it REALLY gets to me), for she is old enough to maintain it herself. She also has a slight problem of leaving her ‘stuff’ all over the house too; a bag, camera, school books, shoes, phone etc.
Living in chaos inspires chaos. And while she takes care of her outward appearances, and personal hygiene etc; living in a dirty and cluttered room is just not good enough. I have told her that it’s hard to sleep well in a dirty room, bacteria can breed and multiply faster in a chaotic cluttered environment and bugs, mites and even spiders can start nesting.
This daughter would also have to be the most phobic in the house when it comes to creepy crawlies too!
Finally I am not sure whether it is laziness or just the fact she can not get herself organised (which I find very annoying as she SHOULD take after her mother) 😉
So perhaps you are wondering how to combat this problem. You may even have a similar child in your own home. All I can tell you is that I am still working on the problem and have been now for a couple of years.
What seems to work in order to have her tidy it thoroughly is the following:
- trash the bedroom even more, by throwing things around the room – she has to tidy it to get into the door.
- bribe or ground her from doing certain things – no friends over or sleep overs etc
- take away her driving privileges (which I don’t mind doing as I hate being her driving instructor) 😉
- take things off her; eg technology
As for help with organisation in this problem area, storage is not a problem. Only recently my 14 year old daughter (who is a clean freak and folds all her clothes including underwear) and I literally went through EVERYTHING, including her wardrobe. We chucked out clothes, re hung them, changed her hanging space areas and made her clothes storage more tidy.
She also has a desk, (which we organised) we cleaned out under her bed and found 3 bagfuls of garbage as well as moved her room around. When she got home, she indeed was NOT HAPPY. The room on the other hand was spotless, organised and easy to keep clean (so we thought), yet it took a total of two days to start looking its usual self again 🙁
Therefore my next option is to put signs around her room such as:
And if this fails (with the help of hubby), we are thinking of removing EVERYTHING from her room and just leave her bed and empty desk in there. She also works now; so we may have to take this next step and start charging her rent or making her buy her clothes and stuff back.
Too harsh or mean? What would you do?