Jayne Gautreau
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Jayne Gautreau: How-to manage the mess | Moms


I had anxiety and dreaded every time I would think about having to go there, knowing that it may cause pain or distress. I am not talking about the dentist or the doctor. I am talking about my eldest boy’s bedroom.

With their collections of Lego, pieces of track and other random items that would lay strewn across their bedroom floor, going into their room would always be cautioned with an “enter at your own risk”.

I think as a parent most of us know the pain of stepping on a tiny piece of Lego.
It seemed like I had spent months trying to organize and de-clutter their room. My efforts always seemed to be in vain and in a very short space of time it would end up looking the same as it did. It had got to a point where the boys were not even able to mange their own mess.

After talking to their dad about it, we both came up with a plan. We told them that if they were not able to manage their room and keep it where it made access and clean up easy, that we were going to have to remove a lot of their stuff.

Finally after not seeing a lot of change, my husband took two large totes into their room and told them they had to pick out three books and three toys. The rest of the stuff was going into storage. We thought there would be protest and sadness but instead they actually seemed pretty excited. They both got busy helping their dad, picking out what they wanted to keep.

I was thinking about it and I came to the conclusion that maybe it was a relief for them too? They were unable to manage what they had to the point it was overwhelming them.

It reminded me of our own lives: as families we get really busy, we stuff our schedules so full. We get to a point where our lives are so cluttered and messy with activity and commitments that we don’t really enjoy what we have. Our boys had so much stuff in their rooms they were unable to enjoy it.

As the new school year starts up, I know there is a temptation for us to refill our schedules again. As parents, maybe it is worth taking the time to see what we really need to fill our lives with and to think through the clutter we add into our lives that causes disorganization and chaos.

If we take the time to think that through and make those decisions with and for our family, I am pretty sure we will feel a sense of relief and really get to enjoy the activities and efforts that we commit our time to.


Jayne Gautreau is married with three sons. Read her Mondays on Douglas County Moms.


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The News-Review Updated Nov 18, 2013 07:23PM Published Sep 2, 2013 09:13AM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.