All summer, by son heard that I wanted his room cleaned before school started. It didn’t happen. Last night he fell asleep before turning out his light, so I went in and did it. Walking in, I had to carefully put my foot under the pile of blankets on the floor and slide it forward to avoid stepping on anything. When I turned to leave, I stepped on a pile of stuff and almost lost my balance. That was the last straw. I’ve stubbed my toes, stepped on items, and had to shuffle to protect my feet in his room one too many times.
He’s been warned before that his dad or I could come in and box items up. Today I did it. I threw very little away, and those items are still in his trash can. The rest of the items are in bags and boxes in his sister’s room. (The one at college) The deal will be that he needs to go through these containers in the same room as his father or I, and he needs to deal with all of these items before his sister comes home (or we will). Before items go back in the room, he’s going to need to deal with the items on shelves so there will be a place to put things other than on the floor. I pulled a shocking amount of stuff out of the room.
This is not a new struggle. We’ve been battling the state of his room for years. While the kids were young, I would help them clean their rooms. I would help them to define a small space to work on, then stay with them to help them stay on track until that space, box, cupboard, shelf, etc. was cleaned. Two days ago I went to turn on my son’s overhead light and nothing happened. Rather than tell me his bulbs were burnt out, and thus allow me to come in, he’s been getting by with his 40 Watt bed side lamp.
I found ridiculous items such as the stickers from new clothing, bandaids, wadded kleenex, a candy wrapper – which isn’t supposed to be eaten upstairs, bits of tape, tags, etc. I don’t know how to make this important to him. I’ve not asked for more than is reasonable. I want to be able to walk safely in his room, especially between the door and his closet. I want to be able to vacuum now and then. Today filled the canister, and that was without moving furniture or getting into the closet. He’s seen how much dust/fluff comes out of his room. I wanted him to know what he’s breathing in each night.
We’ll see what happens. He’ll be home in half an hour. You may hear his sound of Ultimate Suffering.