We have an ongoing struggle in our house—it involves getting our seven-year-old daughter to tidy up her room. My son has always been on the tidy side. Perhaps it’s a first child thing. He doesn’t actually like to tidy up, but he also doesn’t make much of a mess. My daughter, on the other hand, seems to think messy is best.
I have tried patience and kindness, and then angry outbursts, but usually I end up cleaning her room myself. I read this good piece of advice from organizer Julie Morgenstern recently:
The goal is to get your child to buy into the organizing process—not to steamroll Mary or Frank into cleaning up the room because you can’t stand it anymore. This requires the ultimate in diplomacy and tact. In working with your child, you become the Organizing Consultant. You have to ask questions to find out what is going to work for your “client.” Remember and respect how overwhelming the project can be. Your job is to guide, motivate, and stay supportive—not be critical.
It’s definitely something to work towards. In the meantime, I decided to take 10 minutes today to rectify a problem that I created in her bedroom all on my own.H&M has a coupon right now for 20% off of children’s clothing. So, I decided to take my kids to get a few new things this past weekend. As we were about to leave, my brother-in-law stopped by with a big bag of hand-me-down clothes for my daughter. I joked that we didn’t need to go to H&M anymore, but my daughter didn’t find that funny.
We found a few items for her at H&M, including this coat, which was on sale and $16 after the coupon. It has been cold the last couple days, so she is still able to wear it. (My son didn’t want anything. He just kept talking about video games.)
She also picked out this dress, sweater and leggings combo on her own.
She got this flowered top, which she paired up with a jean skirt she got from her cousin.
Of course, mommy couldn’t resist a sale. I bought myself a couple of sweaters, including this black and white striped one.
The day after our shopping trip, I fit the new clothes and her hand-me-down lovelies into her drawers and closet. Unfortunately, I have developed a bad habit—when I purge items from her closet, I just throw them up onto the top shelf “temporarily.”
So, my “10-minute tidy” for today involved sorting those discarded pieces and boxing them into sizes 5 and 6. Along with the sizes 3 and 4 in the basement, I plan to sell the good items in lots online. More work for a later day.
I think my daughter will be happy that she can now actually see her collectible dolls.
A funny side story: My dog, Jolene, follows me around the house, and was relaxing on my daughter’s bed while I sorted the clothes. When I went back downstairs, I heard Jolene upstairs crying. I went to investigate and found this:
(Yep, that’s me in the portrait rockin’ my eighties hairdo. I was a Marilyn Monroe fan.)
How’s your spring cleaning going?