When your child wants to save everything…
As you can see from my prior blog postings, I love to organization. But I have child who does not. I recently told him that the sight of his room, literally, puts me into a panic attack. His response, “Mama, I think you are being a little dramatic and you’re still alive.” I think he confused panic attack with heart attack and I might be a little dramatic here. But I have good reason, his room is a mess and getting him to pick up, sort-out, put away, throw-away, give-away is a battle.
So, I warned him, that I was going to “gut” his room which means clean it, sort it, organize it, etc. My only promise to him was that I wouldn’t throw anything away (eye roll) which I did throw away ½ a plastic bag of paper trash.
He left for school and I stood in his room. I looked around at everything he had and I could see that I had made a mistake. He likes to collect stuff and we have 100s of books and very limited shelving or storage. He has one little bookcase to cram books and his collections on, the top of a narrow dresser and that is it. That was my fault, I should have taken note that he had no place to put his treasures/collections.
I sorted his toys and closet. He has 13 footballs, but I didn’t get rid of one but I really wanted too!! I did come across puzzles, super hero dress clothes, shoes, games, etc. that he had outgrown and I could garage sale which I did and made $80. I ran to a local antique store and looked at shelves and found a rusty, industrial metal shelf that needed a good paint job but would be great to show off his collections and provide much more space for books.
I also picked up a large wooden tool box which he could use to sort out collections and/or store books. I am also a sucker for wooden crates. Clean up and put some wheels on it and you have a great storage piece for blankets, toys, pillows, etc. He needed something to put all his blankets in. Everything cost me around $80 and I picked up some spray paint. I scrubbed, painted, and finished vacuuming and sorting his room and by 4:00 pm, I could put it all back together.
Walking into his room now, is much more enjoyable now. It looks 1000 times more updated, mature, organized, and completely decluttered. On top of that, I broke even in cost.
I learned a few lessons:
- Redoing/organizing can be cheap, if though-out.
- Know what you need to make the space work (don’t just go buy storage pieces if they don’t serve a purpose).
- Organize your child’s room when they are not home. (At some point, he and I will do it together, but I want him to be a little older).
- Understand what your child likes, values, or wants to “show off” in their room and spotlight that. I want my son to love his room, it’s his space and I want it to reflect him, not me.
- Magnet board or bulletin board is a must for most kids. I ordered a metal magnet board for his prized ribbons, artwork, homework, etc. He proudly wants to display those items.