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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Messy, Messy Kids' Rooms

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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Location: United States

After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Messy, Messy Kids' Rooms

What is wrong with this picture? Other than the young man playing with his action figures. A lot apparently, if he were to leave it that way. Does it remind you of your room when you were younger? Remember your mom shouting for you to clean up your room? Is this now your son's or daughter's room? There is a way to break the cycle.

Follow these steps below:

  • You and your child must declutter the room before any more "clean your room" episodes, There is a right way to do this. Check How to Declutter a Room.
  • You must have ample storage space for all their stuff. Storage cubbies and bins work best. Toyboxes...not so good. Everything gets too junked up in there.
  • Straightening up must be part of a nightly ritual. I do mine throughout the house before I go to bed. It only takes 15 minutes. The kids can take 5 minutes to put away the things in their room too.
  • If there are items still strewn about tomorrow morning, they magically disappear. When the kids wake up in the morning with key toys, Gameboys, favorite pairs of pants or shirt…missing. Well, let's say it'll leave an impression on them. Yes, I have actually taken things to Goodwill. It only takes one or two times to let your kids know you are serious and that if things aren’t put away. they will be donated to a child who does care. If you are not that militant...hide the garbage bag full of their stuff, and get it out at a much later date.
  • Having too many things laying around is a sign YOUR CHILD HAS TOO MUCH STUFF. Get away from the consumerism…buy less, or if you’ve already bought, rotate the stuff or donate the excess. As long as you have ample storage space for your child, there is no excuse for a mess.
  • For younger ones, don’t say “clean up your room”…break it up into sections and have them clean each subsequent’s easier on the mind and psyche!
  • Remind yourself, by having an orderly room, you will be setting your youngster up for success. Let's face it, messy adults are looked down upon as disorderly, dirty and not smart. That is obviously not so in many cases, but why set your child up with the chips stacked against him? Do the right thing as a parent and show the kiddos NOW, while it's still easy, how to keep their stuff organized. If we were to actually add up the minutes we look for things on a daily basis, it would amount to something like 10 years of our life or something to that effect!

    What do you do to teach your kids organization and responsibility?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good point on breaking it down for the wee ones. thank-you.

November 10, 2007 at 6:09 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

I'm a big fan of "if it isn't picked up, it gets bagged and given away". I freecycled a large bag of my daughter's toys and things when she refused to clean up, and had a long, drawn-out temper tantrum to accompany it all....I WAS a decent mom and took her favorite fairies out of the mess, but everything else went. Sadly, she does not remember this event. Guess I'm going to have to do it again soon!

November 12, 2007 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger said...

You've got some great advice here! I'm going to incorporate it into a page I've put together that is a collection of advice on how to deal with this topic.

I really agree with your point that too much stuff lying around means your kid has too much stuff. It gets very difficult to control this, especially when lots of family members give too many gifts (and get upset if you donate their gifts).

My collection of advice and photos is at if you'd like to have a look.

August 16, 2009 at 12:31 AM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

All...I personally put the link back to the photo (to all photos I borrow) to give that person credit for their photo and that it is not mine. Most of the photo websites give permission for this (read their fine print) is not illegal. On the other hand, if anyone asks me to remove their photo, I always do:-)) Just wanted to point that out.

October 14, 2010 at 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Rick in SC said...

Can you blame your child for not having the patience to put away 10 or 20 toys at a time? But they would be glad to put away 1 toy. Especially if it helped them get another toy.

Check out to see a video of how this could work.

Rick in SC

April 22, 2011 at 12:56 AM  

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