I am sitting in McDonald’s, drinking copious amounts of soda and using their free wifi. I’m trying to be appreciative of this quiet time away from kids and chores, but the truth is, I hate sitting at a plastic table, staring out a plate glass window at a line of cars idling in the drive-through lane. The one saving grace: I brought a little baggie of hard pretzels to go with my sugary fizz.
We’ve reached the final stages of cleaning for this weekend’s reunion. It feels like we’ve been cleaning forever, yet every time I turn around, I see five more things that need attention. It’s weird (and depressing) how that happens. And throughout it all, there is the undercurrent of my daughter’s room.
My daughter’s room is the tragedy of our upstairs. It’s uncleanable. It’s incorrigible. It’s so bad that whenever I go in there my chest seizes up. My husband tried to work in there the other night. When he emerged, he was so frustrated that he was visibly trembling.
“You know what the definition of insanity is?” he barked at me. “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results! We have got to do something different!”
To give us a little credit, we have tried. We’ve created cozy corners. We’ve supplied lidded boxes that can be stashed under the bed. We’re rearranged furniture. We’ve forbidden her from messy habits such as sleeping on the floor. We’ve tried to institute daily pick-ups. We’ve confiscated the junk and sold it back to her. We’ve bribed and assisted and lectured. Nothing helps.
This week my husband threw all the junk into one corner of her room (and that’s when he started twitching). Ever since then, the child of the non-immaculate room has been hauling down wash basket loads of stuff. I go through it when she’s not around. Giant stainless steel bowls get filled with trash (I’m dangerously liberal in my definition of the word “trash”) and dumped into garbage bags when she’s not looking. We are filling an enormous black bag full of all sorts of toys that aren’t quite trash but should be. The bag will get stuffed it a dark corner of the barn for a waiting period (i.e. toy purgatory)—if she misses something and can not be distracted, we will at least be able to appease her.
Our anti-insanity plan is to move her into a closet-sized room—her sister’s. Both girls are excited about the switcheroo. The older girl will lose some privacy (she’ll have to share with her little brother), but we’ll fix up a whole corner of the room for her “studio.” The younger girl will have less space in which to wreak havoc and much less stuff to wreak it with. I’m mildly hopeful.
How do you minimize the bedroom clutter? Because if this doesn’t get better soon, we will go batty-twitchy-crazy. Seriously.