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HELP! me with my messy daughter...


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I am in need of some serious advice or suggestions on how to help my messy 6 year old daughter. :bigear: She is by far my messiest child. Help me understand this. Are some people just this way and can I help her gain the skills to change?

 

We are in the process of moving so I have spent all morning in her room trying to pack up her things. Oh.my.word. you would not even begin to understand all the junk she has "saved." :glare: In the span of about 30 seconds I found old holly berries from Christmas, torn up pieces of paper, a little sample spoon from the ice cream place, acorns, gum wrappers, leaves, etc etc. Why in the world does she keep some much junk?! I feel like she is auditioning for an appearance on the show Hoarders.

 

UGH! I am at such a loss. No one else in our family is such a pack rat. Help me teach her how to know what is of value to keep and then how to organize her belongings.

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A few things that have worked for us:

 

In our family, we do NOT put a big emphasis on 'things'. Stuff is not important to us as a general rule. So, our children don't have as big of a 'need' or 'attachement' to things as others might. I find that just by dh and I modeling this for our children, they have adopted the same outlook. Dh and I are sort of anti-packrat; we love to have minmal clutter, unused things, and knick-knacks. In fact, there are VERY few items that I even have a sentimental attachement to. (This does originate in our religious views.)

 

Dh and I keep one 'keepsake' box for each child. Other than that, the little boys (who are the only ones who want to keep odd things, like scraps of paper, etc) each have a small basket in their room for those things. I periodically go through their basket with them, and they toss what's no longer wanted.

 

Everything that we decide to keep in our home has a 'place'. Everything. The boys know where everything belongs. So if something new comes into the house, (say, a new set of building blocks) it gets assigned a 'place'. This helps in a few ways; the boys know how to clean up their room, and we really make a conscious decision on keeping/buying/otherwise accumulating 'things'.

 

HTH.

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Would you consider reducing the amount of stuff that is in her room?

 

My 6yo has only books, stuffed things and a few specific toy sets in there, as well as a basket for clutter and a according file for papers. As long as all the clutter is in the basket, I don't mind if it's worthless -- same with the papers in the file.

 

Also, she has a waste paper basket in her room -- before that she did used to keep truly trash items, just to save the trouble of finding a garbage to put them in.

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I would negotiate with her on reducing the stuff in her room. I have a little hoarder. She's 12 now. She's gotten much better and would not agree to removing stuff. She is very sentimental. It has gotten better. I have spent a ton of time training her and now she "organizes" her stuff herself. Her room still gets out of control at times but then we get it back under control.

 

My solution has been training, talking, training, and letting her be herself (she's very creative). At 6 she was a mess. This is a girl who cried when we removed old broken appliances. LOL

 

Anyway, for me, and you can take or leave this, I've had to find a balance between how clean and decluttered I like things to be, and what is important to her. It's just one of those things between us that I've had to choose my battle and choose relationship over my preference. :)

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Everything that we decide to keep in our home has a 'place'. Everything. The boys know where everything belongs. So if something new comes into the house, (say, a new set of building blocks) it gets assigned a 'place'. This helps in a few ways; the boys know how to clean up their room, and we really make a conscious decision on keeping/buying/otherwise accumulating 'things'.

 

HTH.

 

:iagree:

 

And if my kids want/are given a new thing they want to keep, we have to find it a place, generally by outsourcing an old thing that is unused!

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Yes I think some of it is just their nature on messiness. My 3 yo is very neat and his older brother is a mess. And trust me my house was cleaner when I only had older brother instead of 4 kids.

 

We can also teach and model behavior. My grandma was raised during the depression, and taught my mom to hoard. My dad hoards too...I have to unteach myself this and I am getting better. I really do like clean minimal spaces and have to remind myself that I don't really need a scrap of paper or old baby tooth.

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We're trying to reduce the messiness of our 7 yo dd too.

 

After yesterday's massive clean-out, we're trying a new approach. Dd loves her bedtime snack -- and the new rule is, room must be inspected AND PASS before snack time, otherwise no snack.

 

We're hoping daily checks will help curb the descent into chaos.

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This could totally be my son. He's 7 1/2. I found an ear of indian corn in the back seat of my minivan last week. Apparently he had saved it from a trip to the farm we made last October.

 

My husband actually went in his room last week with a trash bag and just threw a TON of papers away. He doesn't seem to be able to do it for himself.

 

I understand because I have hoarding tendencies.

 

But I'm going to be watching this thread for more ideas about how to help him (and me!) stay organized.

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I have a hoarder. He will keep ANYTHING. Not only does he keep truly trash items, if assigned to gather trash, he will trash-pick from other people's trash in the house. I had to ban non-organic items, period, because of health concerns (e.g., they rot and invite insects).

 

We have done a combination of giving him a "trash and treasure" box that when full must be weeded out, making him do periodic clean outs, periodically doing big bad clean outs ourselves, talking, training, talking, training, talking . . .

 

I dunno how successful we've been. He's a little better now that he's 13, but not much : (.

 

This is the child who was crying at bedtime SIX MONTHS after we moved cross-country because we had given his bed away (it was too heavy to move all that way and he got a brand-new one on arrival). This is also the child who was crying at bedtime ONE YEAR after I forced him to get rid of an outdated calendar.

 

So I don't have any easy answers or answers that he outgrew it. I pity his future wife. I have done my best, but . . .

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