Clutter. It follows my child as a trail of crayons, stuffed animals, papers, and play foods. It seems to know no boundaries. We have a new home with a huge playroom, but the clutter seems to ooze out of every space. It is on my kitchen table, in my office, on the floor, on the stairs. I think, perhaps, it is plotting some kind of evil revenge on me.
I cannot stand clutter. I have an almost abnormal aversion to it. I want to see the floor and the countertops. I want everything in bins or on the shelves. Obviously, this isn't always a reality with children in the home. But how much is too much?
Amelia is extremely precocious and creative. Usually, she plays with toys and games in a completely unique way. All the board games and puzzles? Were used to build walls for her "museum" last week. This museum, of course, needed exhibits. So out came every item in the playroom. She was so proud of her creation, but one step into that room nearly gave me a panic attack. Because, come clean up time? She gets a deer-in-the-headlights look and has no clue where to begin. It really is overwhelming when every little thing you own is out of place and on the floor!
I am trying to decide what the balance should be here. I admit that I am a clutter-phobe to the extreme, and sometimes I need to just look the other way and let her be a kid. But we chose a home with a playroom space - and closeable double doors - for a reason. When I look around and see almost every other room cluttered with her stuff, I get angry. Did I do this as a kid? Do all kids do this? Should I be nurturing her creativity and out-of-the box (literally!) playtime ideas? Or is she old enough to put stuff away as she goes, and not cry for help when the mess grows too big?
I am trying to decide if I will survive the summer.