Hidden Clutter

May 29, 2012

My daughter’s room looks pristine.  If you stand in her doorway and survey the scene, you see a clean floor, appropriately “decorated” dressers and tables, and a made bed.  (No joke!  The six-year-old is a near-faithful bed-maker.)  I’ve complimented her numerous times on how clean her room is, especially compared to how she kept her previous room; which, at nearly half the size of her current room, was admittedly much harder to keep clean.

And then I helped her look for her shoes one morning.

It was yet another Sunday morning “I can’t find my….” moment, and since we had plenty of time before we had to leave for church, I was pretty mellow about the “I can’t find my pretty shoes” comment.  She looked in various places, and then I headed upstairs to help look, too.  I checked her closet….not there.  I checked in the corner, next to her chest of drawers…not there.  I checked under her bed…HOLY WOW!!

If they were there, she would never find them amidst all that stuff.  (If she went in looking for them, we might never find her, either.)

That roused my curiosity, so I started opening drawers.  It became quickly apparent that her clean room was a beautiful facade for overwhelming amounts of stuff stashed in all her drawers (and under the aforementioned bed).

Honestly, I’m not worried about it.  She’s a pro at going through things with me, and perfectly willing to get rid of stuff that she doesn’t use or love.  It fascinated me, though, how quietly things creep in.  You would never in a million years guess what was lurking in her room just by looking in her doorway.  I wonder how long it would have taken for the disaster to become obvious, to begin its crawl outside of its containment.  I’m glad I discovered it when I did, before it truly got out of hand.

And now that I think about it….do I have any cabinets that would embarrass me if someone opened them?  Do I have a drawer that is a few items short of disaster?  Is there a closet behind closed doors that’s waiting to pounce?  (I’m proud to announce that my laundry room closet has remained clean since April 13th, thanks to a note I put on a shelf:  “Cleaned April 13th.  Do you REALLY want to clean it again?”)

A big thank-you to my daughter for forcing me to think about the difficult stuff…..

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2 Responses to “Hidden Clutter”


  1. That was absolutely me when I was little 🙂 And until this last weekend, that was my closet, too! Well, in the spare bedroom, where there was little room to make any headway, as my mother-in-law occupied it (either personally or with her belongings) over the winter. It’s been cleaned out now, and to great relief 🙂 I think we all have spaces where we tuck things away. Some more than others 😉 Thanks for sharing!

    • jenfletcher Says:

      My mom used to laugh because I’d say I was going to “clean my room,” and then I’d start with the drawers. I’m thinking that might be a good place for my daughter to start! She actually took care of under her bed herself, totally unprompted by me. I think she really is organized at heart. 😉

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