The Cost of Kid Clutter

21 Apr

I just looked at a few websites for housecleaning services in the Dallas area. I’m not hiring anyone; I just wanted to get a sense of how much it would cost. But I don’t think I can get an accurate estimate for my daughter’s room because cleaning isn’t the primary issue. It’s a clutter problem.

“My room is a disaster,” Aidan said recently. She was merely repeating something her dear Dad has said many times. So she’s aware of the problem.

Her mom has been a troubleshooter in this situaton. She’s bought items to help, such as shelves and drawers and containers. But where the organization attempt falls short is getting the child to actually use these things. Even her bed comes with a pull-out bookshelf, but she would prefer to surround herself with books in bed rather than putting them away.

I’ve made several attempts to start clearing the clutter. Each time I make some progress only to see it get reversed in a matter of days. But all that is about to change.

Aidan’s birthday gift is supposed to arrive tomorrow. It won’t be gift wrapped; it’s a Catahoula Leopard dog named Rio! Actually, it’s a puppy who is only six months old. Now you understand why my daughter’s room needs to be cleaned.

We met Rio at a fundraiser for Paws in the City. The choice to adopt him wasn’t impulsive. She’s been promised a dog for her birthday for months. She even has a doggie calendar that’s she been using to cross off days until her birthday in May. But weeks before her birthday, she met The One.  She noticed the words “Adopt Me” on a band Rio was wearing, and was suddenly attached to him.

Wow! We skipped the entire search process with one visit to a fundraiser on a sunny Sunday afternoon. So while the effort to find the right dog was drastically lessened, the work load to prepare a home for a puppy is immense.

Fortunately the timing gives us an advantage. Good Friday closes Aidan’s school tomorrow so we can devote all day to cleaning her room together. She understands that a puppy could chew on anything so if she wants to spare her favorite toys from getting destroyed, she needs to clean her room.  I’m sure imagining bite marks on her Cyndi Lauper doll will keep her motivated most of the day.

I’ll get the work started today. If I can get 4 hours done, I can easily charge her $100. Of course, she won’t actually have to pay me in cash. Just the sight of her playing with Rio in her clean room will be worth far more than that.

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