I posted a pic yesterday of my youngest boy Flynn's bedroom after it had been through a major de-clutter (the equivalent of a household colonic irrigation) over the weekend, and someone on Twitter suggested I keep the photo as a reminder of what the tidy room once looked like - you know, for when the mess inevitably reappears.
That innocent tweet planted a seed in my little OCD, anal retentive, order loving heart. I decided you guys were soooo on to something here with this photo taking business and I have a totally genius (if I do say so myself) plan in mind.
You see anyone who lives with little people know that a tidy kids bedroom is almost impossible to maintain right? I mean 5 year old's and tidy generally don't gel - heck under 18s and tidy pretty much just don't get each other at all.
Now I would love to be sitting here all smug and virtuous like and tell you that my kids happily do their jobs just cause they love to help us around the house ......*gag puke choke*. I can't even write those words without choking on the inaccuracy of them. The truth is bribery and corruption runs rife in this household and my kids are seriously motivated by pocket money. I happen to be seriously motivated to cough up the moula by neat and tidy bedrooms.
Pocket money kicks in at age 5 around here and the kids have the opportunity to earn a buck for every year of age they are. But we are tight asses and money does not get handed out for sitting around on your backside and doing nothing.
There are animals to be fed, laundry to be done and poop to be picked up (at this point I should clarify that by poop to be picked up I mean the type of poop that comes from the dogs). There is rubbish to be taken out, a dishwasher to be unpacked, and teeth to be cleaned. OK yes I pay my kids to ensure their teeth are done - please don't judge me, I am more scared of the dentist than I am of you! There are heaps of other things to that need to be done but at the top of the list there are bedrooms that need to be kept in a semi habitable order.
Now if I ask my 5 year old to go and tidy his bedroom the scene pretty much plays out like this.
Me: "Flynn can you please tidy your bedroom."
Him: "It is tidy!"
Me: "Its not tidy - there is mess everywhere."
Him: "That's not mess. That's my stuff!"
Me: "Well I can't even see your bed under all that stuff."
Him: "That's OK Mummy, you don't need to see it - I know where it is."
The conversation will go around and around the mulberry bush with him unable to see his room through my eyes and me unable to see his bedroom floor. I cannot fathom that any uterus of mine could possibly give birth to clutter blind children.
Well my friends, I have a solution, at least I am holding my breath and praying to the Spirits of Tidy bedrooms that I do. I am going to stick up these photos of his tidy bedroom in his wardrobe and pay him an extra buck a week to make sure his room stays looking like it does in the photos.
I have no idea if this will work or not, but I am pinning the last shreds of my sanity on the hope that it does. And if it works for a 5 year old then surely it must be foolproof enough to bribe a 7 year old and an 11 year old too right? Here's hoping!
I also had a few questions about where we got some of the various bits and bobs in his room, so I have tried to answer some of those for you as well as other random details. If I have missed anything feel free to ask in the comments and I'll nicely ask my tired old mind to try and recall the info for you.
These teddies are courtesy of one too many trips to Accident and Emergency with a totally accident prone kid and his wounded body parts.
The wall art is just a cheap canvas from the bargain shop that I covered in some material from Spotlight. The bed was from Sleep City.
Yeah like butter wouldn't melt in that sweet little mouth.....
HOARDER! JUNK BREEDER! BEDROOM TRASHER!
HOARDER! JUNK BREEDER! BEDROOM TRASHER!
Ikea frame and artwork by Picasso.... just joking but I am sure he can be convinced to sell it to you at a Picasso price. How many Skylanders can a kid buy for a billion bucks???
Quilt cover set (Pillowcase not shown) was from Target about 18 months to 2 years ago.
I am so sorry Hannah but I cannot remember for the life of me what the paint colour was called. I tried to find the tin in the garage.... but that's a whole other story. I can totally make a paint name up for you if you want though..... yeah not much help right?
The chest of drawers we actually found in a council clean up. It was ugly with a capitol P (for puke). After a good old scrub and sanding, followed by a waxing it came up beautifully.
The paper-mache sun was from Spotlight and painted by moi when I had too much time on my hands.
Have you got any other tips for keeping a kids room tidy?
Do you use the Bribery and Corruption parenting technique in your household too?