Lyda here. Remember being a teenager? Remember how your mom was always nagging you to clean your room, to do your chores, to help out? Remember how any time you looked like you were relaxing or enjoying yourself, Mom found work for you? Remember how very annoying that was?
I have become that mom. “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”
I have been nagging suggesting to my son to clear out his closet. For months. As a powerful Sith Master, he resisted me for a long time. But in the end, he was unequal to my awesome Mom Power.
Today after school, I bent him to my will at last. Bwahahaha!
Attack of the Cleaning Obsession! Still working on my RICH plan (ReOrganize and Insanely Clean my Home) that Laurie inspired . Last August. Sigh. The hall closet, the kitchen, and the garage still need decluttering. But we’re getting there.
Yeah, I’ve been bugging RSM about cleaning out his closet since August. I’m nothing if not persistent. Maybe annoying. Potato, potahtoe.
His closet was filled to overflowing with toys and games. He has a metal shelving unit in his closet which I had bolted to the wall when we moved in, of course. Safety first. The shelves take up most of the space, leaving about a foot of hanging space. This is enough. He has six things on hangers – I counted. He wouldn’t have 5 of the 6 if he didn’t need to dress up for band performances. And he does have plenty of clothes – in his dresser.
We used the closet-cleaning plan I’ve mentioned before. We took everything out of the closet, sorting it into sections: keep, toss, maybe. Because it was his stuff, he made the decisions.
I firmly believe that a kid’s stuff belongs to the kid. Imagine how it would feel to have a roommate or spouse get rid of your stuff. Or remember how it felt to have your parent get rid of your treasures. I think it’s a violation of trust. I have never done that. I have hidden certain items at times – a toy that he was too young for (because it was too frustrating for him), or a toy that was annoyingly noisy (because I needed a break from it). And I removed toys that were not being played with safely. But he always got everything back. Even the obnoxiously noisy “space gun” that someone gave him.
But I digress rantingly…
Once everything was out of the closet, we wiped down the shelves and got rid of the cobwebs. Then we put the keepers on the shelves, and he made decisions on the stuff in his small “maybe” pile.
Then we tackled the cabinet above his closet. It’s big, but too high to access easily. Everything came down; he decided to keep or toss each item.
All the keepers easily fit in the closet, now that so much was gone. There was even room for his trumpet case, his music, and his music stand. So I won’t trip over them anymore when I go in his room to say good night. Did I mention that I’m incredibly clumsy? Yeah. That music stand is vicious, I tell you. Probably one of the Dread Cat Tommy’s evil minions. But I digress…
And since the cabinet above his closet was empty, we moved the suitcases and sleeping bags into it. Now I have a cabinet above my closet available for other things. All according to my plan. Can you say “fiber storage”? I knew you could.
All this took about two hours. Really. And cleaning his closet next time will take half an hour. Or less.
Then we stared at the massive “toss” pile. Ya’ll, it was threatening to take over the room. There are preschools with fewer toys. Did I mention that my son has very generous aunts and uncles? And that he hadn’t cleaned out his closet for years… at least five.
Would you believe ten?
But I digress…
This massive pile was also according to my plan. Bwhahaha again. We’re having a garage sale on Saturday, and these items will be priced to move. Whatever doesn’t sell will be donated. That same day.
We had some great times with those games and toys. Now other kids can enjoy them. And we can enjoy the money. Heh.
And in ten years, their moms will be nagging them to clean out their closets.
Anyone wanna buy a space gun?