Monday, January 9, 2012

The Great Kid Room Clean Up

About twice a year I go through and deep clean and organize the kids rooms. This year I am going to make them help me and I am dreading it a bit.

Cleaning their rooms is one thing, but the deep cleaning done twice a year is a through cleaning that doesn't really keep the attention of any child, but my two have started to hide things to avoid them getting donated or sharing them with a each other.  We methodically go through all toys, books, and clothes in each room to make sure things fit, books are in good condition and being used, and toys have all their parts and are of use to the room they are in. We have a playroom that holds mutual toys and books, but sometimes one kid will want to get back at another so will hide a mutual treasured object in their room.

There are a few key issues with room decluttering that are always a struggle. One that comes up a lot in these cleanings are clothes that are either too small or trashed no wanting to be let go of. We manage this through keeping those few super special items to add to a quilt. I have been keeping t shirts and clothes the kids love to make a quilt when they get older, this makes it easier to let go of those sacred clothes and then I at some point an going to have to learn to quilt.  Stuffed animals are another point of contention, Bean has so many I swear they will consume the room some day.  The deal we have is that she can only have enough stuffed animals to fill two bins and after that she has too many and we need to cull the pile. There is always a lot of crying and frustration about donating her 'stuffies' but we remind her that by donating her animals another child gets the chance to love on them, that helps a little.  Decluttering and deep cleaning require a lot of work and focus and while Bean is a great cleaner, the decluttering part is a struggle, the opposite is true for Chicken.

Deep cleaning can be a real chore when you don't really think your space is dirty to start. Bean somehow put french fries in her underwear drawer once, and as soon as she found them again she threw them out no problem, she is clean just very cluttered.  Chicken on the other hand doesn't keep tons of clutter, everything seems in it's place, he is just a dirty kid.  At one point he was wiping things on this wall, I don't want to think what, so during a deep cleaning spent his time cleaning that.  Another deep cleaning time Chicken spent almost the entire afternoon cleaning out under his bed, apparently he had decided it was a great place to keep everything that should be thrown out or didn't have a place in his room. It amazes me how much garbage and collection items can pile up in a matter of months, and who cares if something got wet on the playground it will dry out under his bed.

Do you declutter and deep clean your kids rooms or do they do it? So you make them get rid of items or let them keep things until they are ready to get rid of them? How do you manage french fries in an underwear drawer and goodness knows what wiped on the wall?

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