Sometimes I wonder who my kid is. Max is a major hoarder, like his parents. I swear he has the first gift he ever got. You know what? He does! The day he was born I gave him a baby sized soccer ball. It is still in the garage after 8 years. A short time ago I wrote about how he wanted a new bike and one of the conditions was to clean the garage. He did it with gusto!
Soon after that he took it into his head to clean up the sold waste dump otherwise known as his bedroom. Like the garage some of the stuff he threw away, others he donated. We can now breathe when we walk into it though it is not completely cleaned out.
There is another room all his; it is his toy room. It was piled from floor to ceiling with toys, junk, books, junk, videos, junk, games, and just plain junk! We had talked for months about cleaning it up and making it a room he could enjoy but nothing was happening. Finally we sat him down and made a suggestion. Get rid of only 10 items a day. They can be large or small and he can throw them away or donate them. For each item he got rid of we would give him a sticker. Once he collected 70 stickers he would get a prize. No, not something that would take up more space; perhaps a trip to Chucky Cheese’s or something similar.
He jumped at the idea. So much so he was getting rid of more than 10 items a day. He understood anything over that number would get him a bonus sticker but he would still have to get rid of 10 a day (no rollover points). He completed his 70 items in a week and chose to go to Chucky’s. I think his goal was just to get rid of everything and get the stickers because he spent only 30 minutes at the place.
Is the room spotless? No, it looks like nothing has been done. If, however, you saw everything he had thrown away you would have thought the room must be clean.
Since he got his 70 stickers is he done? No way! He came up with a novel way to clean it. He is having shopping sprees. Twice his buddy Bobby has been over and each time Max allows him to load up his backpack with as many toys as he can grab within a certain time limit. Max keeps having to make the limit longer and longer because Bobby is s-o s-l-o-w! It doesn’t seem a lot is happening this way but my wife and I are wondering how his Mom is going to react to all the stuff being transported to his house.
I really don’t know my kid. What happened to all the hoarding? I do know his goal is to convert the toy room into an amazing room he saw in a furniture catalog. It is all spotless and clean. There are places to play and to read. And there isn’t any clutter.
Even though he has been into cleaning lately he “falls off the wagon” sometimes. Both the garage and his bedroom are starting to get cluttered again. To keep his cleanliness habit we are going to have to keep after him to throw out his trash. His ocd seems to swing like a pendulum from hoarding to cleaning.
Right now he is getting really hyper. Bobby’s 60 seconds has stretched into a half an hour and he is still s-l-o-w-l-y finding things. But Max is bouncing off the walls waiting for him. Anything he picks up gets thrown down immediately. He tried to change a battery in one of his toys and it turned out he didn’t have a replacement…meltdown. I don’t know how much more cleaning will happen today.
Once he is finally completed he will have to convert his parents so that they become recovering hoarders too.