There was an episode of Hoarders that I watched the other night, where they had an 8 year old boy who was a "hoarder". Now, I put that in quotes because I really think all kids can/are hoarders if you let them be. Most aren't naturally tidy. Most like to collect and keep the weirdest stuff. If you take a toy that they rarely play with and offer to toss it, it suddenly becomes more interesting to them. So, if I want to get rid of my kids stuff, I sometimes enlist their help, but often I just trash what they won't miss behind their backs.
So this kid on the show-- they start really trying to get him to part with stuff and he is... struggling. Screaming, crying, refusing to get rid of anything. Does that make him a hoarder? Well his mom was a hoarder and I just sort of think she didn't make him get rid of anything, hence his behavior came from conditioning. (If I cry, Mom empathizes and doesn't make me do it...) Anyway. I was watching thinking, seriously? Clean it out while he's gone and he will deal! Guess what they did? Guess how it worked? He left, they cleaned, he returned and was FINE.
This is really a long introduction for me to say that I don't typically clean my kids' rooms. I usually leave it up to my husband to help my kids, because I get frustrated with their lack of co-operation. My mom used to come in and clean my room a lot, which was nice, but didn't really help me learn to do it myself and I want my children to be able to independently take care of their own things.
However, I knew there was some de-hoarding to be done in my son's room and so I tackled the task on my own, while he was away at school.
The closet has a lot of baby stuff in it, and also other people's stuff, so it was kind of critical for me to deal with and not my seven year old. I will say that I planned to go through two bins in there full of baby stuff, but couldn't get through it. I was tired and since I don't know if our baby-to-be is a boy or girl, I just left it be.
This to me was just funny. He had tons of school work papers stacked up on his desk, and underneath I found an arsenal of plastic guns. Apparently they could not shoot through the clutter. I did not throw these away, but I put them in a jar.
Not an amazing closet, but better than before...
Books on the bookshelf!
He came home after school while the bins of garbage and giveaway were still in his room and in spite of that says, "I really love what you did with my room mom." He doesn't have a clue about the stuff I tossed.