Sunday, 18 March 2012

Tread lightly ... there are toys underfoot

I need help Mum. I can't do this by myself. This will take forever.

Oh, the arguments my daughter and I have had about cleaning her room! And she's only 8!
I know, I know .... there are many more to come.

I seriously feel we come from two different planets.  Or maybe I'm speaking a language that she can not understand.  Either way we are not on the same wave-length.
image source

I am not a neat freak by any means. I like my home to look lived in. I like it when friends come over and they automatically feel comfortable tucking their socked feet under them on our lounge. When you walk into our house, there are not always clean, empty benches and tables. We are a busy family ... and we live here. That is how I like it.

I do like things to have a home. Toys need a toy-box, books need a bookcase, clothes need a wardrobe. You put things away as you finish with them.  Do you get my drift? Admittedly, we have a small home, and there is never enough storage, ever. I have worked with my daughter in finding solutions for this, when it comes to her room.  I also like to be able to walk into her room, or around her bed without treading on things. I don't think that is too much to ask.

I have stripped her room bare a few times, pulling everything into the hallway, spare the bed, and bedside drawers. The wardrobe is a good sized built-in, with lots of shelving and hanging space. I see these 3 items as essentials for the room, everything else is optional.
We then go through her possessions. We slowly, and painfully add things back to the room in order of importance, and find homes for things as we go. I don't see it as rocket science.

I also set up a reward system for my daughter, where she is paid to clean her room once a week. If it is not done, then she has to pay me the same amount to do it for her. She liked this idea. It works to a certain degree. Not without the whinging and moaning, every single time.

Finally, this weekend, after the dreaded job was completed for the week my daughter came up with a great solution to her problem.

"Mum, if I don't mess up my room, then it won't take so long to clean".

She stood in front of me, I could see the glow from the light-bulb hovering above her head.

In my head, the crickets sounded really loud.  Why didn't I think of that!