Enhanced – video response
Dear Durenda typography with an image of a hand writing
How do I manage my
children’s beautiful mess?
I have a child or two who likes to hold onto everything. Their rooms get so cluttered that the surfaces are full of stuff and fills the corners of their rooms. How do we balance keeping certain things, giving stuff away, or trashing it? I can get so overwhelmed with their cluttered and messy rooms. How do we balance that? (My kids are nine, twelve, and fourteen.) I know kids are messy and creative…and we want them to be kids…it seems we clean out when I’ve hit the “I can’t take it anymore” stage! I would love to find a better way to manage all of the “beautiful mess.” Thanks!
-Homeschool Mom signature
I love the phrase beautiful mess!
It’s evidence that a home is lived in!
However, as a mom, I know that clutter is something I can’t seem to handle too much of. I honestly think that’s true for most moms and there are many reasons for that, but let’s stick with the ones that apply in this particular situation.

Often our frustrations are an opportunity to teach our kids important life skills.

We want our kids to learn to prioritize through organization because it’s a necessary skill for life. Teaching them these lessons within their own space allows them to really own this because they “have skin in the game,” so to speak.

It starts by setting boundaries.
I remember at one point there seemed to be LEGO creations on surfaces all over our house. I loved the creativity but couldn’t live with the mess. So, my husband built a large wooden box that slid under one of the kids’ beds. This way their creations could stay intact along with my sanity.

It’s really helpful to decide the perimeters that the creativity needs to stay within—whether that’s a desktop, a corner of the room, or a space in the closet. Whatever works for the space you and your children (within reason) decide.

This will automatically lead to eliminating what is unnecessary. For example, you might say, “Okay, you have room for three LEGO creations. Decide which three you want to keep.”

Lastly, I knew that our kids’ rooms would quickly spiral out of control, so I had them make their beds and tidy their rooms each day. You can’t expect what you are not willing to inspect, so daily room inspections from me were a crucial part of this maintenance. Kids aren’t typically motivated toward that kind of discipline unless we insist on it, but it’s a fertile training ground for sure.

It’s these situations where we are living daily life alongside our kids that helps grow them into responsible, capable adults!
dear durenda signature