Kids' space

Kids' space

Messy rooms and peace of mind

Brandon, my 12 year old, is obsessed with Legos. Thankfully, he's also obsessed with organization. Walking into his room is a pleasure. His Legos are sorted neatly by color into bins on a book shelf. He has a second shelf with his books on it, all alphabetized by author.

His remaining items all have a place and he naturally feels the urge to put them back after each use. His one challenge is remembering to take hangers out of his closet, so sometimes when we have a hanger shortage I know I can look in there and find a handful. But otherwise, he is a naturally neat kid.

Aioden, my 7 year old, is the polar opposite. We can clear his room of everything but his bed, yet somehow within 30 minutes it looks like a cyclone blew through! He's an inventor, our own absent minded professor.

Things destined for the garbage end up in his room, future fodder for some new invention or science project. Toys, garbage, books and sheets of paper scribbled with plans sit ankle deep on the floors. He can clean it up, but it never lasts for long.

I'll admit, sometimes I let his room slide for weeks on end because I just don't want to deal with it. I shut the door and pretend there is nothing behind it. But eventually I have to wade through the mess, either in search of a missing object or in search of him. I feel my blood pressure rise and I bite my tongue to keep from yelling.

So, I'm tackling organization this weekend. His room is in flux right now – still harboring items from his younger years he is no longer interested in while also playing home to the millions of pieces he needs for “science.” I'm steeling myself, knowing there will be tears (his or mine is hard to say). I've practiced a speech of how scientists need to keep their labs clean. I've crawled Pinterest for organization ideas that may work for him without driving me broke.

Wish me luck. And if I'm not back by next week, tell my family I love them.