I don’t know if you listen to Simon Mayo on Radio two but he has a great feature on messy teenagers – the Facebook photos are unbelievable!
Anyway, I have two children and although they haven’t yet reached the teenage stage, I find myself constantly either tidying up after them or reminding them to tidy their belongings up.
Apart from making sure the important stuff like school letters, party invites etc go into the relevant pocket on our calendar instead of being dumped on the floor or down the back of the sofa, I have come up with one other strategy – a secret drawer! Each of my children have one of these – it’s a drawer that no one else is allowed to tidy but it is crammed with all the little bits of toys and small things like hair clips, little Barbie clothes, jewellery, toy cars and dinosaurs, single jigsaw pieces etc etc. Great if you need to find that single lost bit of a jigsaw and really great that you can close it and the mess disappears for a while!!
My daughter's secret drawer.
Eventually, a time will come when you can’t get it shut anymore and you have to face the inevitable clear out. Even though it just starts filling up again, it’s much more efficient to do a big clearout than lots of little ones so I leave it as long as I can. I think the kids like it because they can rummage around in it and find bits and bobs they thought they’d lost, a bit like a treasure chest to them!
I’ve also been asking people on Facebook to see what they do and this is my favourite which I will try to implement because I like the “team spirit” approach:
“We have 'tidy up time' every night. The whole family (2 adults, 4 kids) go from room to room & clear it completely”
However, some things just can’t be tidied because there is nowhere to put them. Like the drawings and paintings my little boy brings home from preschool or the certificates my daughter gets from school. That’s why we’ve developed Childhood Memories: a keepsake storage file. Designed to store eight years of memories, each section has prompts to fill in birthday memories, friends, favourite activities and more but also has an A4 pocket to store artwork and certificates without folding them. It’s on sale soon so keep checking our website, Facebook and Twitter for more details.By