Yesterday I shared the first of three Area of the Month posts for February – all focusing on our upstairs bedrooms. We have already covered Will’ superhero bedroom, so today let’s talk about Max’s Lego bedroom.
Max’s room started out as a frog themed bedroom, but with some pre-planning, we were able to design it to change a few times while he is in elementary and middle school (I learned the hard way with the first two kids). We swapped out some of the frog stuff for photo of our favorite Lego dudes and the rest of the room is just colorful and fun.
That Nerf gun situation slays me. I cannot even take the mess that is Nerf guns right now. Steve and Max have a clever Nerf wall storage plan, but time and a very messy garage have hindered any progress. In the meantime, I need to store them somewhat out of the way.
As usual, I start with the closet. I do this for two reasons – first, it is usually the worst spot of the room, so I feel better getting the hardest project done right away. Second, as I clear it out, I make room for other stuff to fit into the closet, which helps my progress in the rest of the room.
Another vital room cleaning tip is to make a Special Box for each member of your family. These boxes are for things that are special to the person, but you may not want out in the room all the time. Examples would be a special baby outfit, greeting cards, baby blanket, art projects from our kids when they were younger, awards and trophies from years past.
Just like everywhere else in the house, we need to have some things around us that are meaningful and personal, but we need to balance that with making room for new meaningful and personal memories. Kids in particular have so many things going on every year. It is nice to save the mementos, but also clear room for new interests and celebrations as they grow. The Special Boxes help us do just that, and they keep those special items protected and accessible.
Once the closet was cleared out, I was able to move on to the desk area and clean that up. As you can see, Pokémon is popular with both boys right now.
We have the same bin table/storage unit in Max’s room that we have in Will’s room, but with colors that coordinate with Max’s room better. Again, I will go through these bins with Max to see what he wants to keep and what he is ready to part with. Just like with Will, I will guide and keep him on task (and challenge him with thoughtful questions), but the decisions will be his.
Over the years, I really see my kids learning that they just cannot keep everything if they want to make room for new things. Having gone through this process year after year, they show that they appreciate the cleaner space once we are done and that it does feel good to clear the clutter. They notice that they can find the things they WANT to play with and have more fun in their spaces when they are organized.
Sometimes they even organize with out me. Gasp!
They (like their father ) tend to want to hang on to everything, and I am so proud of them for going outside of their comfort zone and learning how to purge and sort. I never force them to get rid of anything because I have learned the hard way that they will not trust me if I do. That tendency to hoard gets stronger when they feel like I may take it behind their backs.
So, in our house we have an understanding that I will challenge them to let go when it is reasonable, but if something is really special to them (even if I don’t understand why), then we will make room for it in our house for them. Life has been going much smoother since we landed on this agreement, and I really think everyone is happy with the compromise.
I know that my kids are now much more willing to part with things that they truly no longer use. And, it gives me a chance to teach them that if something is truly important to them, then it should be on display and used, or packed away in a special place (like the Special Box). Tossing things in a pile in your closet is not a way to treat something worth keeping.
Are the rooms magazine worthy? No – rarely, if ever. But, we LIVE here, so this needs to feel like home for the kids and in order for that to happen, they need to have more than just a pretty lamp and a ceramic figure in their room. They need things that are fun for them, even if they are not beautiful to me.
When my kids love and enjoy their spaces, then I know I have done my best.
I hope with all of my heart that I am passing along valuable skills in keeping a home that is true to the people living there.