Saturday, 19 July 2008

Mr Busy's Odessy

We have issues in our house. Big issues. More specifically the children have issues. They relate to the collection of clutter and general bedroom mess. We have cured one I think. With the reward of pierced ears dangled before her, Miss Mischief spent three months keeping her room "Mummy Clean". I figured three months was long enough for her to have learned a new habit. And it seems to have stuck. Two months on she's pretty good. Not perfect, but way better. Her room is no longer a danger to enter.

So yesterday I chucked a little mental and told Mr Busy to go and clean up his room. "Oh Mum, you have to help me I can't do it". What? Why ever not? Why is it MY responsibility to clean up YOUR mess? A mess I had nothing to do with creating. And why is it that everything gets pulled out and NOTHING gets put away even when that's what has been asked? Does anyone expect you to clean up THEIR bedrooms? I tell you, I had more questions for that boy that he had the fortitude to answer. He knows better. This mean mum is not one to be crossed when she's on a roll of this nature. It's better to just keep quiet than to try and justify what's being questioned. Especially when there is no justification in the first place! I happened to have my hands in dishwater at the time of instruction so I couldn't go and help him immediately anyway. I told him to go and tidy up the shelf he keeps his books on and then look at the wardrobe where his toys are supposed to be stored. Oh woe is him. What an impossible overwhelming idea....nevertheless, twenty minutes later that is exactly where I found him ~ tidying up that corner of his room!

Just so you know I'm not completely off my rocker, here is the before photo! This, my friends is the tip that Mr Busy seemed to think was OK to have as a bedroom.

Once I got in there with him, he worked beautifully. He was happy and motivated. Not at all the sooky chooky he was when I sent him in there in the first place. All I did was gather the rubbish and put it in a bag. Now there is method in that madness. It means that things that are truly rubbish get chucked. Otherwise we'd have a bedroom full of things that are meaningless and hold no real value to anyone, except the mess monsters. We worked together ~ I threw things in his direction and he put everything away. Right where it should go. He organised his boxes and containers so that they were easy to get to. He really is surprisingly good at this despite the look of the room that would suggest otherwise. Once we had finished we vacuumed. Then I spent 10 minutes unblocking a clog in the pipe of the vacuum....that's another story.

This..... Tah the end result!

Now there is a new rule in this house. Mr Busy, you can get one thing out at a time...or two, if you block city you built requires cars. But before anything else comes out to be played with, those toys must be packed up first. Make little messes and clean up little messes and then they won't become big messes.


Tracy said...

What a happy,cheery bedroom. Mr Busy (and Mum) did a great job.

marjorie said...

What a transformation. Well done you two.

April said...

I have found the same thing with my daughter. She would have a wreck of a room and we would tell her to go clean it up, and you would not believe the crying that would ensue. And she would continue crying through the entire task, and would still not get it done. But, if I went in the room with her, she would do a fantastic job. I could clean, but so would she. AND, she would ask me where I wanted each and EVERY thing! She is 5, and it's getting better. She doesn't break down into tears when asked to clean up, but then again it doesn't get as bad anymore!

My 8 y/o son, though, is another story. He is very neat and his room just doesn't get messy. "Messy" for him is a pair of shoes in the floor, maybe he forgot to carry his dirty clothes to the basket, and possibly a toy lying by his bed. He just keeps a clean room. He got that from his dad's side. LOL!

You really did a fantastic job on Mr. Busy's room!
Have a great weekend (sorry for the long comment)!
April :0)

Tina said...

Great job! Our kids were so messy and so unwilling to clean up when they were younger, but thankfully they have improved with age. (big sigh of relief!)

Love, Tina :)

Ashley said...

We recently instituted the same rule of putting one thing away before getting out another with our girls. It was going great for a couple of weeks, then my husband had a 10 day vacation and everything fell apart.
So we're starting over...but it's totally worth the effort. I always try to emphasize how much more time we have for fun things when we don't have giant disasters to clean up.

Left-Handed Housewife said...

What an amazing transformation! I have the same thing with my younger son, Will. His room often looks like the first picture, and the only way he will pick up beyond the bare minimum is if I help. But when I help, he really gets into and does a great job. I'm often reminded if I make the extra effort with my boys, the payoffs are enormous.

Tracy said...

He's been bemoaning the loss of his mess for two days. Strange creature. He really is from Boy Planet!

It's nice to know that my children are normal!!!!

The Tin House said...

..perhaps it's time I did my 'nana & got some of that ugly boy bedroom full of total rubbish thing done! My big cringe is the sheer bulk of the recycling container that ends up cut up into smaller pieces of rubbish on his bedroom floor, masquerading as "craft". Not to mention the wadded up stickytape, the lego, the hot wheels collection, the jigsaw puzzles out of their boxes, the clean clothes he couldn't be bothered putting away now stuffed nicely out of view UNDER the beanbag. I can feel a snit coming on! Lisa x

Tracy said...

Lisa, Mr Busy's preschool teachers took pity on me and restricted his creations from recyclable materials, that year. I swear and entire suburb's worth would end up in his room! He's not too bad with that stuff's all the bloomin' paper aeroplanes he'd made!!!!!!!