Works for Me Wednesday: The solution to messy kids’ rooms.

wfmwbanner1.jpgI’m relying on the wisdom of my mother again for this Works for Me Wednesday tip. She had four kids in five years, and our beds were made rugs straight and books on the shelves and toys in the toybox for years. She sewed my next youngest sister and me the most exquisite bedroom linens in a blue willow pattern, complete with fancy birds, pretty girls on swings, little men on ornate bridges. She made coverlets, bed skirts, shams with ruffles, even elaborate draperies in several tiers with fancy tie-backs. What little girls in their right minds wouldn’t want to keep that room company-ready??

Fast forward to today. The cute Laura Ashley Owl and the Pussycat border exists only in Graydon’s closet, because after stripping the room, there was no energy left for the closet. The pale green wallpaper with fluffy white lambs holding star-topped magic wands is long gone from Tessa’s room.

So, I find myself following my mother’s lead. When we became teenagers, my mother closed the doors to our rooms. As long as she couldn’t see it, she refused to let it bother her.

I salute my mother, and follow in her footsteps. I shut the doors. I remind the big kids I can’t launder what’s not in the laundry room, and I tell them that ants and earwigs and centipedes will grow from their dirty glasses and plates.

And I just don’t look. It Works for Me! It’s likely lengthening my life. I recommend the practice to all parents.

Click here to check out other WFMW tips.

Jump down to the comment box and

ANSWER THIS QUESTION/CHALLENGE OF THE DAY: Are you woman enough, or just tough enough, to close those doors? Am I a lousy mum for being able to? Do you have any spare time to come over and attack those rooms? Do you have someone clean for you at minimum wage plus tips? I’m very serious about that question!
Or, continue down to:

WFMW: Do it yourself haircuts PART 2

First, click back to read the responses last week. They were great!

Remember I asked for photos? Well, was inundated pretty busy with pictures, Some of which I will post here. Some were for my own enjoyment only, and I respect that, so you won’t see them here. These are the ones I can show you. Here is a before and after shot of HoHoHo’s job on her son while in Paris on Christmas vacation, using only the kitchen scissors in their rented flat:


Jennifer takes it one step further when she gets her boys to cut each other’s hair!



And that’s because she’s busy cutting her own hair! Excellent job! Maybe you should think on a career change, Jennifer!

Jennifer's new hair, by Jennifer!

Talk to y’all tomorrow!


5 Responses

  1. As far as shutting the door goes, I say you have to pick your battles. There are definitely more important battles to win than this one, and teenagers tend to appreciate that you give them their own space.

    Also, to save money I’ve cut my own hair for the last six years, and I often got complements on it! This year, for my birthday, I finally took myself out to get my hair cut professionally. It was nice to be pampered, but I say trims are too easy to do yourself than to pay someone to.

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I like the closing the door idea…I’m thinking of owning a house with a basement when my three girls get older and just letting them live down there and containing all the “stuff” and mess:)

  3. Ditto, but it kills me, too.

    Thanks for visiting me at Training Tons of Sons.

  4. Okay, count me in as one of the lousy moms. I make my kids clean their rooms. If not, the ants and earwigs migrate…as does the smell. As my son has allergies, he has to learn to take some responsibility for his own cleanliness. Do I get some lip about it…sure I do. Do they clean their rooms…you bet. Why? Because I started the idea of them cleaning it before they were teens. No clean room, no money for movies, etc. No clean room, then I stop doing other things for them. They must clean their room sometime over the weekend…they are given that flexibility in terms of their personal schedule. And it can get as messy as they want through the week…then, I shut the door.

    I think it is my job as a parent to teach them how to keep things clean. And it is their jobs as teens to complain about it and do it grudgingly. But I know that when they are out on their own, they will have the skills they need to know how to clean. I have adult friends that never were taught that.

  5. Closing the door works for most days,I guess. When you absolutely want that room cleaned though, you could try what I used to do when my boys were little. I gave them one hour, and anything left on the floor after that hour went to goodwill. Only once did I have to make the trip there.

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