The curse of the kids’ rooms

Every so often I ask a perfectly legitimate question that I’m sure plagues many parents regularly:

Where does all this stuff come from?

If you have kids, you know exactly what I mean. And it’s not just the toys…

I tend to stick to areas of the house that are communal. I control those so we can all enjoy them. Pick up your socks, books, clutter and get it off the couch so we can all sit there, kind of thing.

But this is easier said than done. Most people here don’t even see the clutter…

I like empty wall space, a few plants or framed pictures instead of posters plastered on every available surface. I enjoy clean counters void of dishes. I like the look of the oak wood of my dining table rather than see it covered in piles of construction paper, containers of markers or homework.

“Just put it away before you walk away”, I say every day in vain.

I like order and cleanliness. My clothes go in the hamper, not on the floor, when I’m done wearing them.

But I am a mom of two tweens. What can I say? Staying out of the kids rooms for the next ten years may seem wise but it’s completely impractical. Where I see mess they see ‘my stuff’. Even if said stuff is candy wrappers, dollar store toys from birthday parties, clothes that don’t fit, or paper…


For months I have been unable to tuck in my daughter at night in her minuscule little bedroom. Each time I set foot into her room to say goodnight, to collect dirty laundry, to put clean laundry away, or simply to check the status of her room in general, I would suffer inexplicably heart palpitations, increased anxiety and a nervous breakdown.

Little girls have so much stuff!

Clearly, her room is hazardous to my health. 🙂

Well the other day I simple couldn’t take it anymore. For one thing, she had a baseball game that night and she had no idea where she left her uniform, or whether it was clean or needed washing.

I waited for her to leave for school and then I started the purge.

“Now is as good a time as any”, I convinced myself and started picking up stuff.

In actual fact her uniform was clean, once I found it among her piles of debris, clothes, toys, stuffies, knickknacks and who the heck knows what else.

Several times I had to leave her room to go find a box, a bin or a bag. Unbelievable the amount of crap that accumulates in a kid’s life today.

30 min later I had two boxes full of books and outgrown toys, a bag of clothes for donation, another for garbage, and a final box of trophies, medals and other sports memorabilia. THAT stuff I’ll probably photograph first before storing or getting rid of it altogether.

And that was just the beginning.

Purging her room ended up taking the better part of my day and included a change of bed sheets and several loads of laundry before I could even attempt to vacuum.

But now, her room is tidy and clean. Her bed is free of stuffies save for the five or six she sleeps with, and her Beanie Boos are lined up nicely on a wall shelf at the foot of the bed. Before, I don’t even know where she slept, given the amount of stuffed animals she has lined up along the entire perimeter of her bed…

She’s turning 10 in a few weeks and it dawns on me that my days of invading her sanctuary may be numbered…

While I’m on a roll, I think I’ll tackle the other kid’s room next. He’s away on a school trip for three days, prefect time to get in there and get his room ready for the cooler months ahead. For him, I will need my phone or a notepad to make lists of clothes items he will need replacing. And his collection of sports magazines sitting in a corner collecting dust? I haven’t decided whether I will chuck them, or store them for him.

But something’s gotta give.

Purge On. 🙂

2 thoughts on “The curse of the kids’ rooms

  1. I used to do this to the kids’ rooms – go in while they were at school, once a year, for a big purge. I’d get rid of broken toys and old artwork, clothes they had outgrown. What remained got sorted into like types and then stacked in boxes or bins. It always felt great, and I have to say, not one ever noticed a single thing missing.

    This year I just was too busy with work and stuff to do it, so I had them do it over the summer, with my supervision. Each kid had to do a deep dive into their room. It was a struggle to get them to get rid of stuff and organize their stuff – each one took a whole day. But I hope they valued it – I sure did! I think I’ll do it again with them over the Christmas break. You’re right though, the day is coming when we won’t have this kind of access – I fear it.


  2. Gah! This gives me anxiety! But no worries it’s cause I live it at home 😂 Im tired of telling her to bring dishes down. As Im sweeping crumbs off her sheets Im hearing preachers in my head “…then don’t let her eat in her room!”….Yeah, sometimes my night is easier and she can relax if she takes a sandwich up to watch shows. I straighten her shelves and holler you have too much stuff! And I hear my mom yelling down “stop buying all of it!” But most likely I’ll continue to spoil her cause she’s a good kid and she’s grateful…and LOVES her priceless treasures! Unfortunately a big chunk of her healthy habit forming time took place during the few years things were an absolute emotional mess in our house and I took up for her cause I felt guilty! So…Im not sure she sees a problem with balancing a cup of juice on her mattress or applesauce twist tops or wet towels all over the floor. But shes still little and her sister is a neat freak like me so there’s always hope!

    Liked by 1 person

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