Sunday, July 20, 2008

To purge or not to purge?

I am a purger. As you know, Eldest daughter is at sleep-away camp. This provides me the perfect opportunity to purge her room.

Many parents have a problem with this. They argue that it's a violation of a child's privacy to clean out the clutter. (I'm not snooping -- she's 10. She has nothing to hide yet.) They argue that it's better to teach a child to clean their own room. My friend Wendy hated when her mom did this to her so she won't do it to her daughter. (What will you do with all that free time while your daughter is at camp, Wendy?!) I understand their point of view but I will do it my way anyway.

My kids do have clean rooms. Neusa and Romana see to that once a week. They also inherited the non-packrat-gene from both me and Dave. Freecycle is our best friend. Every now and then I send them to their rooms and say, "please throw five things in the trash." They know that means random pieces of paper they've scribbled on, tissues that didn't make it to the trash can, markers that have lost their lids, etc.

But once every three months or so I go in there and do a thorough purge. Never once has a child said to me, "Mom, I can't find my Doodlebops drum set with nine sets of sparkle drumsticks. Have you seen it?" They never even notice. Usually I fill one paper grocery bag. In this case I'll be on the lookout for 4th grade spelling tests, Easter candy wrappers and old, garish nail polish. I predict success.

Where do you stand on this issue?

1 comment:

our so called life said...

ahh...but why wouldn't we want all those little scraps of paper with jotted down words or pictures on them? I imagine I fall somewhere in between. Can't say I routinely just purge their stuff on my own. But I don't have any misgivings with tossing things out that I know in the long run just don't matter. I like the idea of having them clean out 5 things every once in awhile. My youngest might even then come across some of her clothes that somehow make their way underneath her bed and seemingly lost.