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When Household Organization Goes Too Far

When Household Organization Goes Too Far

Organized child's closetI have an odd situation going on at my house. My daughter (age 9) is on a spring (well, more like summer) cleaning spree. You heard me right, my 9-year-old daughter WANTS to spend time cleaning and organizing her room. Over the past two weeks there has been more than one occasion when she turned down an offer to do something else in favor of cleaning.

Want to craft? No, I want to work on my closet.

Want to come outside with me and do something? No, I’d like to organize my American Girl doll clothes.

The only thing I can figure out is that she wants a bigger room and she has realized that the less stuff she has in her room the larger it feels. Great, right? It would be, except that she wants to get rid of everything. She threw a lot of things away (like the crazy cardboard car she made for her dolls that only worked 20% of the time – great project in the moment, huge dust collector after the fact), and has moved on to wanting to give away a lot of other things. I’m all for passing things along rather than contributing to our landfills. But she’s looking to give away her Barbie dolls. And her picture books. And, gulp, her princess dress up clothes!

I’m proud of her for wanting to give many of these things away away rather than just tossing them, but I’d like to save some of it. After all, my mom saved my dolls and my daughter now plays with them at her grandmother’s house. And, my daughter reads my copy of Light in the Attic and The Lorax and even Stuart Little. So, now I’m in an unexpected place. My sentimentality and desire to save things is getting in the way of my 9-year-old’s desire to be a minimalist. I’ve started a box of things that we will tuck away, but it’s going to be so hard to weed it out and put it all away. I know I can’t save everything, but how do I decide?

Little girl with a stack of books

I’d love to hear what other parents hang onto as their children get older. What should we keep in the midst of this “spring” cleaning overload?


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