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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son's room is a absolute disaster and it drives me up the wall. I feel sick just looking in there. I have tried organizing his toys into bins that I keep put up and he askes to have them brought down and then he puts them away before a new bin is brought down. This usually works for about a month before all the toys are down and are all over his room.

He is 5.5yrs so I don't expect too much in the way of him organizing things. *I* have a problem with it. Also, he absolutely won't play in there for any length of time. Again, I don't expect that he isolate himself and only play in his room. It would be nice if he could play in there for a little while sometimes. Even if he wanted to he would be sitting in the midst of clean and dirty colthes, blankets from his bed, art projects from pre-school, and toys all mixed together. I can't see but bits and pieces of the floor or his couch.

Maybe I just need to vent because I don't really know what could be done to remedy the situation short of cleaning it myself everyday. I have done this at times, but now I have a 9 week old baby so...it's not gonna happen. I help him clean it sometimes, but that gets tiresome. I will give him step by step instructions so that he can handle the job.

Should I just stop worrying about it and let his room stay a disaster? There isn't anything unsanitary in there. He *never* eats in there (only a water bottle for at night).

Thanks for "listening"
 

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clean rooms
So I will use some of the more gentler things my friends my use.

Can you get a timer and play race against the timer and give him some set things to do like pick up all the paper/put away the blocks?
I know you have the new baby and are wiped out but could you maybe do 5 of those minutes with him

Maybe put some toys away for now since it seems to be too many for him?
The art projects from preschool could be put in a three ring binder...
 

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It's his room. I would let him be. Some people just aren't as hung up on "tidiness" as others, and I think you need to respect that as part of his person.

I'm way less "neat" than my mother. But my house is not unsanitary. I just have a high threshold for untidiness. Frankly, I prioritize my time, and there are way more things in life that I'd rather be doing than cleaning.

I can totally understand having rules for the rest of the house, but I think you should let him keep his room the way he likes it. Respect that he is not you, and may have different comfort levels than you for untidiness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Piglet68
Respect that he is not you, and may have different comfort levels than you for untidiness.
Well said Piglet. What is funny is that I *am* the same way, lol. My house is a mess and through the years I have forced myself to be better about picking up after myself. I guess after 27 years I have gotten a bit tidier, but as a child my room looked just like his.

Part of me was feeling bad for him that he lives (well sleeps) in such a mess. If it doesn't bother him I guess it shouldn't bother me. I may have to have him keep a trail clear so we can tuck him in at night. It is dangerous to walk in there!

I may see if he wants to put some of the toys he doesn't use anymore in storage or donate them.

Thanks for the advice ladies
 

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My Mom used to remind us that if the house ever caught on fire, our room needed to be clean enough the firefighters could find us without injuring themselves or getting lost in our mess. But she didn't keep it white glove clean like the rest of the house. Although there were a couple of times I remember her getting frustrated with my noncompliance with her requests to pick it up a little, and she'd clean it while I was at school. She'd put everything in a garbage bag and I'd have to work to get my things back. (I'm not actually suggesting that though, the mess often returned before I was done getting stuff back, and it just made me mad at Mom)
 

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I'm a neatnik, & the entire rest of my family (DH + 2 kids) is..... messy, would be the polite way to put it. If you can live with the mess, then
..... If you can live with half the mess, then maybe it's time to put some toys away. My MIL used to cycle thru toys in boxes- she said her kids (DH & SIL) would play more with the toys then. When they get bored with them, it's time to put it away for a while. I personally have never managed to get this organised.... but I do believe it would work as I see my kids favouring one toy for a week or so, then onto another toy, etc...

Does your DS have any toys that he might be finished with & is ready to give to charity? Some kids like to hang on to everything, & others don't seem to mind giving things away, so this one kinda depends on how your boy feels about it.....

I'm pretty happy if the house gets cleaned & tidied once a week. Other days, we clear paths to the beds. Stepping on a Lego at 3 am is no fun. Matchbox cars are even worse..... Wheeeee!!!
 

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My theory on my kids rooms is that it's their room and if they want to live in a disaster, that's entirely up to them. But I tell them if they can't find something, not to come whining to me about it because I won't help them look for it. I don't require them to clean their rooms at all but they do. DD didn't before but after constantly being unable to find stuff she now keeps it picked up. DB not only keeps his picked up, he vacuums and dusts every week.
 

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I agree with Sabrina....my kids rooms are THEIR rooms, so it's entirely up to them on how to keep them. Both my boys (7 and 5...almost 8 and 6) have EXTREMELY messy rooms (I don't know if there is still a floor under there), but that is how they like it, and that's OK by me. My parents' policy toward my room and my siblings' rooms was that our rooms were 'sacred' to us and off-limits to them without OUR permission. Therefore, we were NEVER required to clean our rooms unless we wanted to (which we rarely did). Now we have the exact same policy with our boys, and as far as I'm concerned, that's the ONLY way to be! So I say to all parents, leave your kids totally alone about their messy rooms...if they want to clean it, it will get cleaned; if not, the world won't end due to a messy room. Chances are, the kids' rooms
WON'T get cleaned, but that's OK !
 

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It is "his room." But OTOH -- young children may not be capable of keeping it as neat or clean as they would like to. It can be overwhelming to them. Not only that, but living in a messy room will help to shape their temperment towards such things. Living in a neat room *might* contribute to raising a neat person. Living in a messy room *might* contribute to raising a messy person. I want my kids to have plenty of opportunity to learn to be neat if that is what they ultimately prefer.

I am a stickler on dirty clothes going into the laundry. We have ONE laundry hamper outside the bathroom door. They take a bath every night and dirty clothes never even make it into their room. They put them directly in the laundry hamper.

I make their beds every day. This cuts down on a lot of mess/clutter because otherwise, toys and game peices get lost in the bed clothes. And I vacuum twice a week.

I limit the toys available in their rooms. Most of the toys are organized in the family room. Bedrooms are for sleeping, reading, and quiet activities.

All of that being said -- their rooms do tend to get cluttered with art projects and random junky toys they pick up places. We do a big "organizing" day together a couple times a year. But there is always at least a clear bath to the bed, and never any dirty clothes or linens in there.
 

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I used to think that I would be one of the mamas that let their kids keep their room however they wanted. I've shifted my view, though. I find it maddening to see expensive clothes and toys on the floor, being walked on and ruined. Allowing this sends the wrong message, IMO, that possessions do not need to be cared for and can be replaced as wanted. I want my children to understand that our belongings are to be trested with respect for the time, money and resources that went into them, and hopefully passed on to someone else when we no longer need them.

I just don't know how to accomplish this. I would write more, but baby crying!
 

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i just did a big cleanout of dd's room and what i found was that when the floor could be seen, she liked to play in there

and also, by my cleaning it it gave her a visual of what it should look like

since we have to go in there all the time, i really dont want to break my leg from the stuff onthe floor and it was getting so that was going to happen
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by CerridwenLorelei
don't you worry about having a clear pathway from the bedroom doors to the next door in event of a fire?????
No because she never let it get quite that messy. If she had let it go to the point where it became a hazard I would point that out to her and ask her to remedy the situation. And she has always taken very good care of her things so that was never a problem either. I just want her to feel that her room is her private space to be kept as she feels comfortable with.
 

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Quote:
I have tried organizing his toys into bins that I keep put up and he askes to have them brought down and then he puts them away before a new bin is brought down. This usually works for about a month before all the toys are down and are all over his room.
Now, wait a minute--how does this happen? If the rule is that he has to put the toys away before he can have a different bin, then how does he wind up with all of them down??
Am I misunderstanding, or do you need tighter enforcement of this rule?

I think it's reasonable to enforce a standard of neatness. However, you may have to compromise on where you set that standard. Try having a meeting with your son (make it Very Official, writing all the ideas in a notebook) to discuss your concerns and his feelings about his room. What things about it does he like and dislike? Why does he prefer not to play in his room? Maybe you'll have ideas about a different furniture arrangement or different kind of storage that would help. Establish an agreement about when and how he will clean up which things. Then hold him to it and make sure to demonstrate how pleased you are with the increased tidiness
even if it still isn't perfect.

Another strategy that might be effective is having his father, or a visiting relative or family friend that your son really likes, help him clean up and rearrange his room. They can make a day of it, with a special treat at the end to reward their hard work.
The perspective of a different adult may be helpful, and a kid with a new sibling always appreciates some personal attention, and spending a whole day focusing on improving his room may motivate him to keep it in its newly nice state!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:
Now, wait a minute--how does this happen? If the rule is that he has to put the toys away before he can have a different bin, then how does he wind up with all of them down?? Am I misunderstanding, or do you need tighter enforcement of this rule?
Yes, its an enforcement problem. It happens so gradually I don't even notice until its a disaster. You gave me some great ideas - Thank-you!
 

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I just reread your original post, and realized you have a 9 week old. My boys' bedroom looks like a disaster too. I don't think it has anything to do with my 'system' or how consistent I am with rules. It looks like that because I have an 8 week old baby!! and I have been focusing on healing from birth and taking care of everyone's immediate physical and emotional needs.

So what I want to say is, relax, clean what you can, and enjoy your baby and your little boy. If you can pull it back together again so he can more effectively play and clean up in there, great! He is old enough to pick up while you sit on the couch and feed the baby. We like to do the letters of the alphabet - pick up all the toys that start with "B", for example. But my kids can do this only if the room is pretty cleaned up in the first place.

But I don't see this as a question of whether you should require him to have a clean room, but rather whether you should worry about whether his room is clean. I say no, not right now. Maybe in a month or two.
 

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We have a small home and DD shares our room so our main living room doubles as her play land, I like things to be organized so this is what I do and it's working (with my help ) DD is 20 months First I feel a responsible degree out neatness is necessary because I want my children to respect there clothes, toys and property if they don't there own I don't see how I could hope they would a strangers

1) I rotate toys she has about 10 things to choose from and every few weeks I change some of them out. (she has her favorites and I l leave those b but change the others.
2) I keep everything on an open shelf that DD can easily access, I think this helps in her independence but allows me to teach responsibility.
3) I bought some rubermaid storage containers for each toy I took a picture of what goes in each container and they are also color coded. DD does quite well matching toy with its box and as she gets older she will be able to do it more consistly
4) We have the put it up before you get another rule (with in reason) I think having to one big clean up is hard on kids
5) Bulk toys just go in a simple large toy box no fuss no mess
6) understand kids will be kids, there are "clean day" and shall we say " creative expression" days


Deanna
 

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Some good points here.

My mother is a neat freak, and made our beds, cleaned our rooms, etc. when we were young, though we were made to put our toys away. Despite never having the sort of clutter that we speak of here (my mother is the sort to stay up till the wee hours of morning just to get her cleaning done)...I just am not a "neat freak". Never have been, never will. I really beleive this sort of thing is largely a personality issue, and I don't think whether your room is neat or messy as a youngster is going to change that.

I do think, however, that Mamaduck makes an excellent point about maybe the child doesn't want to live in clutter but lacks the ability to take care of it on his/her own. I would absolutely help my child if they showed a preference for tidiness.

I also love EnviroBecca's suggestion of involving children in the discussion, seeing what their wants and needs are, and incorporating that into the solution.
 

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I guess the bottom line remains for me that the most important thing is that the kids feel that their rooms are totally THEIRS and non-invadable. My BF (my boys' bio dad) and I have NEVER (yes, I mean never) asked/demanded/suggested that either boy clean their rooms, and we never will. We maintain total "sovereignty" for our boys for their rooms. We have a FIRM rule that we never enter their rooms (except in a case of emergency, of course) without their permission. We also require that they adhere to the same rule for our bedroom (of course, there are...ahem...other reasons we have that rule for our bedroom too. LOL), so we don't feel right about asking them to clean their rooms. They pick up and put away what they themselves want to put away, and whatever else just remains where they want to leave it. To be honest, their rooms are messy TO THE MAX, but they are the way the boys want them to be, so we don't worry about it.

BTW, boyfriend and I are expecting our 3rd child (just found out!) in Feb. ! YAY ! And, yes, we want another boy !
 
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