Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Hoarder in My House

The theme this week is "purge and sort." While I have been doing my own usual post-holiday closet cleaning, I've also decided the time has come to put my foot down with Drama Girl. The piles of clutter in her room are holding her back from comfort and creativity. It was getting really bad. Time for drastic measures.

We purchased a half dozen storage tubs and started filling them. "Don't sort yet!" I said. "Just get everything into these tubs so we can move them into the hall and really clean this room. Then we'll sort carefully what you really want to put back in."

It's been really hard for her. She wants to fondle and review every little scrap before it goes into the tubs. The whole clearing process has been incredibly slow. Meanwhile I am itching to get into that room and get every last speck of dust out of every corner. If it were up to her, the project would stop where it is, tubs part filled and room part clean. And mom tearing her hair out.

But I figured out a compromise. She had filled several tubs but had lost interest in the whole project. I decided to let her get going with the sorting side even though the room isn't all clear yet. So I sat down in the hall with a tub and started sorting through it myself. "What's this? A note to a friend? Were you passing notes in class? And why on earth did you keep it? Is this from two years ago? Good grief!"

My monologue brought her running in terror. "Don't touch that mom! I'll go through it! AAAGGHHH! Don't look at my stuff!!"

Bingo. She sat down right away and got through the first bin. 90% went into the trash and I tried to play it cool but I was cheering inside. "Sure you don't want me to help you with that dear?" "NO mom!! I'm doing it! Look! I'm sorting it all out!" Meanwhile, I took the empty tub and with her permission went to refill it with more glorious "stuff" from her room.

I'm so thankful. This room will get clean. Probably faster than I thought. She's a great kid, just has a hard time throwing things out. But she's learning.

8 people stopped folding laundry to write:

Treasia Stepp said...

We mothers can be so smart about how to get those girls to sort and trash. Good for you. I have to say Princess is not one to keep things around for long. In fact we usually end up with me begging her to keep some things around.

deb g said...

It's just a stage. My daughters kept others people trash. sheeze. They now have very neat, clean homes. Sometimes moms do have to give them jump starts. Mine always said they didn't know where to start.

Edith said...

Good for Drama Girl. I have to confess to being a hoarder also...am slowly getting better at not being one but it's a challenge.

Enjoy your writings as always.

Becca said...

I am always amazed at the creative ways moms get their kids to do things!

Alisa said...

My daughter, since Preschool, has kept all the tags from her new clothes, so she can "remember what size she was when she wore that"

I hear your struggle. There is always the back to school throw out. I have told her if she doesn't keep her room up, when she goes to school, I get to go in her room and decide what is trash and what isn't.
Amazing difference. :)

Dena said...

This is SOOOO my mom & I when I was 14-16ish! LOL! She actually has pictures of my room when it was so bad you literally could not see a speck of carpet except for where the door swung open & closed!
Now if I could just get my husband to grow out of it...

The Mother said...

Like Dena, my hoarder is my husband. He just doesn't understand why I DON'T.

Cheryl Lage said...

I never WANT to hoard, but sometimes sentiment gets the best of me! ;) Proud of Drama, and of your creative way to get it addressed!

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