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I like a tidy house. Always have. I like things put away and organized. Out of sight, out of mind. It makes my mind feel calmer, clearer, more in control. And I was raised in a generation where friends, family and neighbors unexpectedly drop in.

JoJo feels the same way about neatness. She keeps her room pretty tidy; she hates when she has garbage or food in there. And actually, hates to play in her room because she does not like the mess. Brayden, on the other hand, feels more comfortable living in a mess, a pig pen, as I loving (or not so lovingly) refer to it. The above picture is his room in the morning after we had just cleaned and organized.  Yes, he is using a snow shovel to scoop up toys to put them into his toy bins.  Every square inch of his carpet was covered with plastic toys, dirty clothes, half eaten food, food packaging garbage, and I am embarrassed to say even an old dog poop or two.  I can’t clean it up if nobody tells me it exists, right?

Some parents are good at coping with messes. I feel like I am okay with a bit of a mess, but Brayden takes that to a whole other level. They have a high comfort level with a mess, and a perfect Zen-no-mind about crunchy kitchen floors and hand-printed hallways. But moderately neat freaks like myself suffer in silence as one more cup of juice slams into the carpet. I try to look cool about it, but I’m not. Is it too much to ask to have kids and a few nice things? It would be nice to not have a million Legos to step on.

So here is our plan. Wish me luck:

  1. Purge

Get rid of excess toys and kids’ clothes you don’t need. Do some serious sorting and Goodwill drop offs.

  1. Storage

We already have storage systems but need to make a better habit of using them.

  1. When all else fails, close the door

A kid’s room should be their sanctuary, so it makes sense to give older children some responsibility for maintaining their bedroom. So not spotless, but also not a stage 4 Hurricane either.

Brayden has entirely too much stuff! And who’s to blame for all the stuff? Me. I bought him too much, and I allowed other people to buy him too much stuff. In my own closet, when I buy something new, I get rid of something; but I do not do that with his things. Though maybe I should.

Yes, I live in the suburbs in house with more space then we may need, including many more items then we need; and yes, I am a mom.  But I do not have live in a “pigpen” anymore.  This Suburban Goddess Mom is taking back control and her power and this house, especially Brayden’s room which will go from a stage 4 hurricane to (let’s be honest) maybe a stage 2, but that’s something.

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