How many times do we say this in the time span of being a parent?
As the child, we once were, how many times did we hear it said?
How do you define a messy room?
Our child’s or children’s messy room is often the bone of contention and embarrassment. As they get older and into their teens, it can also be an unhygienic zone of half eaten food, cups and glasses of indescribable contents, not to mention a mix of unclean clothes, mildewed towels and crusty socks.
Curtains and windows never opened result in a dark smelly room, where the door remains shut and you would rather not enter. Masked and gloved you may go in search of the missing crockery and notice a few other items that didn’t find their way back to a rightful place.
You thought it was bad enough when they were small children, and the room was always a heap of toys and clothes spilling onto the floor, and piled onto the bed you neatly made earlier.
The same can be said for children, as with adults, in most cases they have too much stuff to fit into their room.
When friends come round to play and everything comes out, encourage them to share in returning the things, to leave the floor space and bed cleared of toys. Its part of the deal and always more fun to have a friend help you tidy up.
Can some of the toys, games and puzzles be put away for a period and rotated every so often, so as to reduce the amount in one room?
Involve children in decluttering from an early age. It gets them used to the cycle of things passing through their lives; they are receptive to learn about waste, and sharing their abundance of things to those who may have less. Make decluttering into a game – how many things do they own that are no longer used, are broken or don’t fit. Continually praise your childs efforts to keep things in order.
Do they have enough storage options for their toys and clothes, school books and hobbies? Everything needs to have a place.
If the bedroom is also the toy room and the study room, can it be separated into zones?
As the children grow into teenagers, they want more privacy and need to develop their own individual style; the decluttering continues with the addition of cleanliness, they need to know and understand the dangers of untidy becoming unhygienic with the threat of infestations (ants, mice, rats, dust mites) fungi and bacteria. The tidy up begins with clearing the dishes out, uneaten food, emptying bins and regularly changing the bed linen.
A set day for them to launder their clothes means the overstuffed laundry basket gets a regular empty.
The routine of these tasks are lessons to take with them, when they move out and get a place of their own.
We are never too young to learn the delights of living with less clutter.
Whilst it’s understandable that we want our children to grow up surrounded in abundance of the things we had less of, there comes a time when this has to be balanced against the waste and dissatisfaction that comes with having too much.