Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Clean Sweep

The last few weeks have been a bit of a challenge.
First, the boys got bad colds
with a cough that lingered for a couple of weeks.
Then I came down with some mystery tummy problem.
Still trying to figure that one out,
but I'm getting closer.
We've been sticking pretty close to home,
only venturing out for the bare necessities.

With all that nesting time,
it seemed like a great opportunity to do some tweaking around the ole' homestead.
The beginning of the year always gets me fired up
to reorganize and rethink what's working or not.

C's room needed an overhaul.
I can't even tell you how disgusted I was with it.
I couldn't bring myself to post pictures on here,
because I just want to forget it ever looked so bad.
The boy did not inherit his momma's organizing gene.
Or maybe it's just a teenage thing
(although I know my room never looked like a war zone).
He just gets so involved in his projects, 
that he loses focus on what's piling up around him.
It's mighty tough on a neatnik like me.
I tolerated it for a good while,
thinking that if he just kept the door closed,
I wouldn't have to look at it.

Well, I've come to my senses.
Last week, we took everything out of his room except for his furniture.
We cleaned it from top to bottom,
dusting, mopping, vacuuming.
Then, bit by bit, we went through every single item he owns,
cleaning it as we went, and made the decision about what would stay.
Here's what his closet looks like now,
with room left for a few more items he will be sorting.

 I also emptied his drawers in the closet
and replaced the items he recently washed
(thankfully, he now does his own laundry).
His clothes have been poorly treated,
becoming wrinkled because he would just stuff them in there.
He is a minimalist when it comes to clothing,
he does take after me in that way.
This week, after he does his wash,
I plan to show him how to properly fold everything
so that it can fit into his drawers neatly.
I will most likely post pictures in the closet,
as visual cues often help kids with autism in learning new tasks.
Everyday things need to be broken down to make them manageable.

 His bookcase is looking better,
although he needs to go through and see what books he no longer reads
so that they can be donated.
He is an avid reader and spends some time each day
engaging in this pastime.
Yes, a few of us still like turning real, paper pages.

 His fire alarm panel takes up part of one wall.
You might notice in the first picture
that he has bins full of this equipment.
It's something he's been interested in for years,
and he uses his knowledge of electronics
to make it work however he wants.
I love that his interests are so unique and intriguing.

He has yet to go through a few bins to see
what else he doesn't want anymore.
He knows it can't all fit in there,
the hard part for him is letting go.
My job is to help him understand
that items in his limited space need a purpose.
Easier said than done.
I have to admit, he did purge quite a bit more than I thought he would. 
The shocker came when he told me (more than once)
that it was fun to do this activity!

While we worked on most of this project together,
he now has a few solo tasks to complete.
His desktop needs attention.
This is where he often works on his Lego creations.
The system is not working as well as we had hoped,
so we will probably come up with different storage underneath.
The desktop was actually a door we bought from a ReStore,
but it's no longer the best option.
We'll be looking for something with more height,
so that he can have more bins for brick sorting.

These black drawers work very well for Legos.
They are designed for nuts, bolts and screws in a garage application,
but they are ideal for housing all of his bricks
and he has even labeled the drawers. 
This shows me that the potential is there for organization
and maybe some of me rubbed off on him after all!

I've been helping sort these pieces so that he can put them where they belong.
I know it may sound crazy,
but I find sorting very relaxing.
Maybe because I know that eventually, 
things will end up in their proper place.

Our next task will be to come up with a plan
so that he can more easily keep things in order.
Feeling overwhelmed is not a pleasant state of mind,
and his room should be a place of rest and creativity.
Hopefully, he is now motivated to keep it up.
We'll see how it looks in six months!


  1. I am always amazed and impressed at the organization tactics you come up with. You truly are talented! So nice that the two of you could clean it up together - I bet that meant a lot to him. :)

  2. It was very rewarding to see him understand the importance of the task at hand.
    Thank you for your kind words.
    Hope you have some sunshine up there this weekend!


Thanks for taking the time to leave your thoughts!