Monday, September 12, 2011

The Great Dig Out of 2011

It's finally done.
And I am wiped out.

I began the process of digging out #2 son's bedroom a week ago.  After slowly making progress during the week, this past weekend we did the "big push" to get it finished.

Yah  see, #2 son took over #1 son's bedroom when #1 went away to college in the fall of 2009.
#2 had the smallest bedroom(being the youngest)so he got the upgrade when #1 left home 2 years ago.

I had told #2 to take all of #1's stuff and put it into #2's old bedroom before moving his stuff in.
And I didn't check that he did before he put his stuff in there.
My first mistake.

Then I didn't inspect his room for 2 years.
That was my second mistake. 

Ok, I'd pop my head in and tell him to clean his room now and then(I have a duty as a mother to tell him that, right?),  but if things were off the floor and stuck under his bed or in his closet, I didn't see them.
I have a laissez-faire attitude when it comes to kids' bedrooms.
As long as their mess doesn't extend out into the hallway and doesn't smell like a sink full of month old food and dirty dishes, it doesn't concern me.
I give the kids some leeway on how they want to live in their bedrooms.
They want to live in a pigsty?  Fine.  Just don't expect me to clean it up.

But I really should have kept a closer eye on #2 son's filth.  He is after all, the kid who had a used ball of masking tape.....

I found this when I attempted to clean his room while he was away at camp 4 years ago.

I spent the week, off and on, going through what I had mucked out of the corner of his bedroom.....

And the bulk of the weekend was spent going through all this.....

The last 2 photos are what was under his bed.  Sorry, but I didn't get a shot of what was crammed into his closet.

I also removed a white shelving unit from the room.  Our family is "horizontal surface challenged".  Any flat surface gets crap piled on it.  #2 son would pile stuff on it until it eventually fell off onto the floor.
Then he would leave that where it fell and pile something new on the shelf, repeating the cycle.
No shelf and he has to deal with the stuff(throw it away or put it away).

And here is what under the bed now looks like....

And here is what we are throwing away.....

This doesn't include the dishes, silverware, glasses and soda cans or the items going to Salvation Army that he has outgrown.
8 Bags and 3 Boxes full of unmitigated another garbage bag full on the front porch.

And hidden among the normal garbage output that a 15 year old boy is capable of I found this.....
52 plastic spoons.
I dumped the bag I had collected them into on the kitchen table and just looked at him with that motherly "WTF is this??!" look on my face.
He didn't even crack a smile and said like it was the most matter of fact thing, "I was bored in the cafeteria at school so I took spoons."
Yes folks, your school tax dollars at work.....buying overpriced plastic spoons so some angst filled teen can squirrel them away like acorns for winter.

It was all I could do not to whack him upside his head.

I am keeping these spoons and making him use each and every one.
And then I'm washing them and making him use them some more until he gets the message.
You can call me Mommy Dearest if you want.
At least I'll have one clean bedroom in the house when they cart me away to Parent Prison.



  1. Okay,so what you are saying is, "it doesn't get better"? Honestly, my kid's rooms are disaster areas. Actually, the boys room is just a mess. It's Claire's room which is the worst room in the house. How was/is your daughter's room? Are girls worse?

  2. "No.. More.. Plastic.. SPOONS!" in my best Joan Crawford-crazed voice :)

    I totally sympathize - this brought back terrible memories of cleaning out son's room after he left for college. 'Dear Gawd, what IS that?' became the catch phrase of each new day. My favorite finds involved petrified banana peels!

  3. LOl...I can laugh because it is at your house. That is a lot of trash for one room. But, I sort of agree with letting them live with their own garbage.

  4. LOL!!!! Horizontally surface challenged AND the spoon hoard!
    LOVE it! I just love getting my dishes back. I know I have to go in and do the monthly gathering of the glasses when I'm drinking water out of a measuring cup.

  5. Gross! My Teenagers room is equally disgusting. The sad thing is, It gets "cleaned" on a weekly basis.

  6. Mark--I can't say boys vs. girls or girls vs. boys is worse. My oldest son got the clean religion about age 14, my younger son is a borderline hoarder. Daughter is a slob but she hides it
    It's more an individual trait. It sounds like Claire will be your Waterloo. ;-)

    Pretty--LOL...I love Joan! Anybody looks like a normal sane parent next to her.
    We didn't find anything petrified, just piles of wrappers....candy, chips, cookies. Thankfully #2 son is a processed food freak?lol

    PracticalP--They have to learn sometime how to live on their own/clean up after themselves, right? Might as well let them practice at

    McVal--I have never gotten to the using a measuring cup to drink out of, but then again, youngest doesn't leave home for another 3 years!lol It could happen, right?

    Free!--Define "clean".....funny how our notion of clean is so different from teens Thanks for coming to read me today and leaving a comment. 8-)

  7. I've been reading your blog for a year at least. I just recently starting a "following" the blogs I like and I created one of my own. I have no idea how to get myself out there. My focus is eating on a budget but I'll go into other stuff to as it comes up. Do you have any tips on getting readers?

  8. Free!--Hey, thanks for coming out of hiding! ;-)
    As for gaining a readership.....I'll do a blog post tomorrow for you on ways to go about doing that after I check out YOUR blog.
    It's the least I can do, right?

  9. Free, I cannot go to your blog until you allow readers in! Okay, how can I tell her this?

  10. Practical Parsimony what do you mean by allow readers in? It should be open to the public. Am I missing something here?

  11. Free!--She might mean your blogger profile is private? That's usually where you can describe yourself, your blog, your mission statement, etc. and put your email addy out there if someone wants to contact you.


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