Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Organization Bug

This has been "the summer of getting organized" around here.  I go through this once or twice a year, where the need to change one thing cascades into a series of "clean it out, spruce it up, or toss it" projects.  I like it when others in the house get the bug too, because then we're all working together, instead of Mom having a bee in her britches about getting the house clean and organized.

This summer's reorganizing has been pretty extensive, even by my standards.  But it feels good to deep clean and sort out stuff.  All three bedrooms are finally excavated and tidy.  The dining room/office is clean.  I touched up the wall paint in several rooms, and repainted a number of downstairs baseboards and windowsills.  The basement is tidiER (a total tidy on that's still on the "to do" list for the fall). We had a garage sale, and donated a bunch of stuff.  Last week we cleaned the Princess' room, and moved the caged pets around so that Cookie (her guinea pig) is upstairs and Norbert (her bearded dragon lizard) is downstairs.

The big victory this week was helping Safety Guy get his room cleaned.  He's a pack rat, and doesn't like to part with anything.  Rather than fight with him constantly earlier this year when he was so stressed, I waited for him to initiate a total clean-out.  That took a looooong time, but finally last weekend he said he'd had enough of the clutter and dust and wanted to make his room a place he could have friends come to hang out.  

Hallelujah!  (And if there wasn't rejoicing in heaven, there was at least happiness and a "strike while the iron is hot" jump by this Mom.)

And I'm happy because HE initiated the process.  HE got tired of the mess, HE was embarrassed, and HE wanted to make a change.  That's HUGE.  But he needed me to help him push the process through. Cleaning is something he does in short bursts, and is easily distracted from.  (SQUIRREL!!)  Also, he has limited tolerance for other people being in his room and "messing with" his stuff.  So I had to approach this as a collaboration, push him just a little past his usual boundaries to finish discrete chunks of the project, and then push him to get back to it after each break.  (Otherwise he'd work for 15 minutes, and take a four hour break.)

Now he has more floor space.  (Heck, now he has a floor!)  We removed an old desk he didn't use, and he bought a cheap TV at the Salvation Army to put in his room just for his vintage video games.  (No cable, no video, just for the games.)  He is so happy to have his games upstairs, and to have space to spread out.  It's the little things like this that I hope help decrease his anxiety.  I hope this gives him more peace of mind when he's home, since I knew the disarray in his room was bugging him, but he didn't want to do anything about it.  I want to help him come up with a weekly cleaning checklist for his room to help him keep up on his own with his stuff.  Life skills, ADLs, self-help skills, whatever you call them - it's a process.

I'm sure the urge to purge stuff from the house will come around again.  For the moment, it feels good to have made some serious progress.  Now, about that pile of laundry. . . .

1 comment:

  1. It does feel good to haul out the rooms so people don't think Elton John is holed up in the dark corners of the house! :)

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