My six year old god daughter is a huge part of my world. After much thought, her mom and I decided to do a full room clean-out.
We had talked about this with her before, and we were met with MUCH resistance. The thing is, when you’re six, the thought of someone getting rid of your toys is a thought worse than death.
Know what else is a thought worse than death? Cleaning this up:
Yes, that picture that I use ALL the time is her actual room!
The thought of having your child mad at you is terrifying. Even for me, not being the parent, the thought of having one of my favorite kids upset with me made me nervous. However, the thought of her finally being able to have some peace in her bedroom helped me to move forward.
I should know better, too, right? I have worked with so many parents, and I have not once had a child upset when they come home to a fresh, new, and easy to clean up room.
Of course we were worried. But we did it anyway. We moved a shelf into the closet, so she could put her clothes easier, as well as to reduce the amount of visual stimulation in the room:
We flipped one shelf over so that she could have a surface to play on.
We put her tent up–which she’s never had enough space for:
(Bonus–the bike isn’t clutter their living room anymore!)
We even moved the bed so that the room seemed even fresher and different.
Yes, we were scared. Do you see the first picture I posed, with her and Dumbo and I? That was in January, in Disneyland, where we had started the room cleaning discussion. It had been a long and scary process, but we did it.
She came home and saw it the next day. Her reaction. A quick “I love it!” before proceeding to play.
I was able to talk to her on the phone the following day as well–she told me how much she liked it and invited me over to play with her!
If you’ve made it this far, here is my tip of the week for you: put something away. Start small, but put something away.
A few weeks before the actual organization session happened, I got this text message from my god daughter’s mom:
“I got 7 grocery bags from her room last night. She didn’t even notice the stuff was gone.”
Yes, getting a child’s room organized is a daunting process. But the longest journey starts with one step. One little step.
That step might be discarding the big (broken) remote control dinosaur.
It might be getting rid of the grimiest My Little Ponies.
It might be getting rid of one game, or one playset.
Try it. See what happens. You might just like the results.