This post “Anxiety: When A Messy House is the Cause” has received a massive amount of hits. Clutter, piles, and messes stir up anxiety for moms. For myself it is little pieces of toys, paper, and crayons littered all over the house. It has sent me into a “mommy anger session.”
Did you ever read The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room when you were a kid? Mama Bear gets so frustrated with all the clutter she starts throwing all the toys in a giant box in a maddening rage? Yeah I have been there.
It is difficult if not impossible to keep up with the cleaning and clutter. Especially with a two and a half year old in the house.
Take for instance MY two and a half year old. Now I love that girl to pieces and I treasure her personality. This child has sometimes been referred to as “Hoarding–Buried Alive.” She LOVES to gather little contents from all over the house (puzzle pieces, Barbie shoes, Happy meal toys, game pieces etc.) and stuff them in bags. Or shove it all under her bed. I cleaned under her bed yesterday and this was all pushed under it.
I have to put diapers, wipes, socks, and underwear all out of her reach. She has emptied a whole thing of wipes and shoved them in her hamper. She has decorated her whole room with diapers. I have found twenty pair of socks all shoved behind her dresser.
That is why all this stuff is put way out of reach in her closet. I never had to do this with my older two. Even when we were staying at my parent’s house, she hid packs of Lifesavers in her bed that she gathered from the pantry.
This kind of cleaning frustrates me greatly. I would much rather clean toilets or scrub the kitchen floor than separate little pieces of toys or join pairs of socks back together.
But attitude is everything. This is how toddlers learn. From touching things, messing with gadgets, putting toys into bags, and opening boxes. This is her way of “playing” and “discovering.” Of course it will not be like this forever.
On a more practical side, we significantly reduced the amount of toys and books her in room. Some went in the attic. Kids do not need a whole pile of toys everywhere. It is overwhelming for them not to mention maddening for moms when it comes to picking them up. We also try and ”neaten” her room everyday after she gets up from her nap. Just a 5-10 minute ”declutter” rather than spending an hour every few weeks. Slowly she is learning to clean up her own messes though that will take some time.