My reactions upon seeing my daughter’s bedroom quickly went from shock, to anger, to dismay with a twinge of fear. How could an eight-year-old’s room be so cluttered?
Had we not organized it just one month ago? Did I not purge then and make sure there was a place for everything, and everything was in it’s place? Did I not lecture and make sure that she knew how things were going to be from now on?
I asked myself these questions as I lay full-length under her bed, fishing out used tissues, hair bands, and a stray stuffed animal-all covered in dust. “Are you stuck?” asked my Dad, watching. “I can pull you out by your feet.” “No, I’m not stuck”, I sighed, “There is just too much junk under here!”
There is something I tell my students when I tutor, “Attitude is everything”. It’s true for most things in life, including dirty bedrooms. At the end of the day when you are tired from all the things you’ve been doing, or at the beginning of the day, when you have all the things you must do on your mind, and you walk into that bedroom to retrieve one thing (such as a sleeping child), and you are accosted by unhealthy clutter, just remember that “attitude is everything”.
Don’t fear the mess. Don’t let it defeat you. Tell yourself, invisible or play sword in hand, “I will take this challenge, and I will clean!!”
Then make a doable plan. Sketch out your ideal room, write down what you want to see happen, and break things down into bite-sized pieces. If this is a child’s room, have them help you clean it or at least certain parts, to teach them responsibility, clean habits, and organization skills. I may have fished out old tissues, but my daughter redid her clothes.
And if you feel like you need a trusty sidekick, email me. I’ll bring my cape.