Saturday, January 19, 2013

OCD Organizing and Cleaning

We’ll see how long I can actually stick with keeping updated here. Some of it may not be too exciting, but there is something nice about being able to look at posts and reflect.

Thane is pretty cute. How many 9-year-old boys would get jump up-and-down, flap-happy about having their closet organized? “You organized my closet! And added labels! And teddy bears!” I have to say it is making life so easy to have this closet so organized.

My OCD reared its head when I realized I didn’t have enough blue and green fabric drawers. I had to head out to target the same day to get more, and then it took me about a week to get back to the closet. I am posting a first-round organization picture, but now it is perfectly green-blue checkerboard, all blue cubes have black-rimmed labels and green cubes have white rimmed.

Then we moved to the play side of the room. Thane’s room is long, with a staircase just off center. Under 4 skylights is his futon, bean bag, TV, and two sets of nine cubes. Today Dave and I did some sorting and labeling of the drawers over there. We also started organizing the “toy closet” (his room has two closets and he certainly doesn’t need two for his clothing), and then the nightmare task of DVDs. I am surprised at how often he puts DVDs in the wrong case or doesn’t put them away at all.

Every once in awhile I hear a little tidbit on the news or a talk show that makes me think “Aha! That’ll work for us.” For years we have discussed having trouble knowing where to start. Sending Braeden up to clean his room and having him instantly ask for help because he doesn’t know what to do with his stuff. There was someone on CNN showing a family how to organize her children’s bedroom. Not only did she do some of the stuff we had already started with the labeling, but she said to make a specific plan. For example:

1. Pick up books and put away
2. Pick up toys and put away
3. Pick up laundry and put in hamper

I think I am going to do something just like that for Thane. We will help him clean up his room, but I will also make a visual schedule and put things in order. I may even divide it into daily tasks and weekly tasks because I have noticed that if everything is in order, he is much more likely to throw out his trash, put away his books, etc. In other words, there will be less to clean up on a daily or weekly basis because more of it will be done as on-going maintenance.

In Thane’s case, I think nightly he would need to make sure his dirty clothes go in the hamper, throw out any trash, and take any cups down to the kitchen.
Weekly all the DVDs would need to be put away, books put away, toys put away. everything tidied up and vacuumed. He will also need to take anything that has fluttered down to the living room back up to his bedroom.

It’s worth a try. And then perhaps we can set a similar cycle with Braeden so that we don’t find a whole trash bag full of Diet Coke bottles in his room.

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