Clean your @#$% Room!


Simpler times

It all starts when the little guy wasn’t even born yet. At this point, we were calling him Baby X, as we still didn’t have a name picked out. But we were already filling his room with toys, and clothes, and baby things, from the proverbial baby shower. Little did we know what we had started.

The Early Years

Is this the kid’s chew toy, or the dog’s?

Then our bundle of joy arrived. As an infant, his toys were so safe and simple it looked like what he kept trying to stick in his mouth could have been one the dog’s chew toys.

Actually, I think he may have accidently done this once or twice.

Even worse, we felt just as sorry for our dog as we did for our son. You could see it on her face, she knew what was happening.

But this was a manageable time. Toys small enough I could toss them into his diaper bag, into his lap while swinging in his infant swing, or while he was sitting in one of those vibrating chairs.

He was a cool kid then

Then he got a little bigger and started crawling. The word of the day became containment. In addition to baby gates, we got one of those indoor baby yards- those flexible hexagon shaped looking fences. You set it up in whatever room you’re in, throw down a nice big blanket, and maybe 2-3 toys. Nothing is getting in, and nothing is getting out. Everything was secure, life was good.


Then he started walking. And climbing. Turn your back for an instant, and he’s pulling stuff out of the kitchen cabinets. Amazement turned from what skills he was picking up, to what things he could manage to find from the desk drawers.

Play yards no longer contained him, and even baby gates were starting to collapse under his will.

Toys R Us, or my son’s bedroom?

His toys were evolving too. He’s now playing with anything that moves, has lights or makes loud sounds. The louder the toy, the more he likes playing with it. And no matter where the dog went, she was never safe from him. The look of concern on her face evolved into one of pure fear.

It was getting harder to keep his room tidy too. With several birthdays and Christmas’s under his belt, it started to look like an aisle from Toys R Us. The takeover had begun.


Fast forward a couple years to now. He’s eight, and has quietly (not really) exerted his dominance over the entire house. At first it was just the random yo-yo on the dining room table, or a basketball on the living room couch. Now, imaginary battles break out with his toys in various rooms at any given time.

I have a feeling I will be stepping on these in my bare feet at some point today

The dog is long gone, and toys are everywhere. I can’t even set foot in his room because it has become a display from Lego land.

And they often spill out into other areas. We plead for help from our family, but everyone continues feeding into this frenzy. A new supply of Legos arrives without interruption regularly.

We’ve tried various approaches to better contain things. We got him a toy box. We put up shelves. We bought him a table just for his Legos. That lasted for a few days, but now it just collects whatever he throws on it.

We invested in a big, clear, storage bin for the Legos. He dumped all of them in there, filling it almost to the top. But in short order, he decided he didn’t like them all mixed in together. He got more organized for a day, and then they were back all over the floor.

Abandoned storage bins

We got him several smaller storage bins to replace the larger one. He decided to sort and organize all of his Legos by color. But then he became so overwhelmed by the task, after two days, he abandoned the bins completely.

I looked at Pinterest for organizing tips. I read blogs and articles on Facebook. I went to Ikea’s website to see if any of their stuff might be able to help me. Nothing worked.

And it’s not like we don’t have him clean up. Almost daily, we make him tidy up whatever area he blew up with his toys. The next day, you can’t even tell he ever cleaned.

And it’s not just the toys anymore.  Pull a shirt out from the dresser, decide not to wear it, throw it on the bed.   Wear a pair of pajamas, misplace them in your room, pull out a different pair the next night.  These are just some of the things that are going on

Every parent knows the pain of stepping on a Lego in bare feet. This is a daily experience for me. And I’m always tripping over whatever new item he’s dumped on his floor.

I’ve come to the conclusion he’s determined to break my neck.

But seriously, how hard is it to just clean your f!@#ing room?!

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