‘The Pit of Doom’ aka My Daughter’s Bedroom


I am pulling my hair out again each time I attempt to enter my daughter’s bedroom and it now seems to have spread into Bonus Boy’s like some contagious disease. Our New Year’s Resolution hasn’t lasted beyond January and I am getting that itchy Spring cleaning feeling. Realisation is slowly dawning that she won’t tidy up because it really doesn’t bother her and that he can’t because he has no idea how! I sort of assume that, because I have done all this already with two children, the others will learn it by some sort of osmosis or thought transference but they clearly won’t.

Also, I seem to have stepped unwittingly into a time machine and whole months appear to have vanished. I sat in Bonus Boy’s bedroom last night, waiting for him to put his pyjamas on and stop fidgeting about, and realised that he has grown out of his room. It needs a total revamp and, I suspect, the same is true next door in the pit of doom. It’s time to look at some childrens bedroom furniture.

I attended parents’ evening for my Darling Girl last night and it was pretty obvious that the inside of her head is much like the inside of her room; busy, hugely creative and just a bit dotty. I need to wade in there (her room, not her head) and help her have a really good clear out. She has finally agreed to ‘edit’ her cuddlies box (although she *may* be under the false impression that they will just be moving next door) and, painful though it will undoubtedly be, we are going to bag up some of her old books to make room on the shelves for the ones she is currently reading. The Rainbow Fairies and Angelina Ballerina have given way to Twilight and I think it is just as much me hanging on to those pastel pages as it is her – but neither of us will be parting with The Magic Faraway Tree!

In his room he grew out of chunky bricks and shape sorters long ago and Lego, Harry Potter and Pokemon now need the space. I’ve already extended his bookcase and invested in some underbed storage in a vain attempt to keep it looking like one of those ‘real home’ magazine shots. Do children’s rooms EVER look like that?

Both of them spend huge swathes of time drawing and Darling Girl is currently working on a poetry collection (some of it is scarily good, watch out Carol Ann Duffy!) so I am looking at childrens desks as a good investment. Bonus Boy is currently making do with the high chair we bought 16 years ago and which converts into a desk and chair but he really is a bit squashed and it may well be impeding his growth!

I’m hoping that having a good spring clean, investing in some storage which fits their growing personalities and giving them both a fresh start will make us all feel better. I’m not very good at nagging and I have let things slip, partly because I am not a very tidy person myself and would far rather be creating something than tidying up after it! I’m not happy though with the scale of the mess so it’s up to me to do something about it!

Does anyone know the secret which will make this process easier? Do you have a top tip for helping children to tidy their rooms and keep them tidy?

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20 Comments

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20 responses to “‘The Pit of Doom’ aka My Daughter’s Bedroom

  1. itsasmallworldafterallfamily

    I am utterly ruthless about getting rid of old stuff. I found it really hard at first, but it gets easier with time. Think about saving some of it by adding it to quilts or making bunting. I also saw an absolutely fab chair the other day that was a wire structure, stuffed with old teddies, shall try and find a pic for you. Might be the answer for DD’s collection!

    • My problem is that I am ruthless in bursts and then I drift off to do something more interesting and the tide comes back in undoing everything I achieved. I like the sound of the chair although it might prove to be yet another dust trap.

  2. itsasmallworldafterallfamily

    PS I hated those rainbow fairy books, was very happy to see them go!

  3. Please if you find a solution… let me know too!

  4. No tips I’m afraid, but I may have to use your ‘pit of doom’ expression next time I’m nagging my two to tidy their bedrooms!

  5. Anything on the floor will be thrown out (with 24 hours prior warning). This strategy kept our bedroom floors clear but I wouldn’t say the rooms were exactly tidy.

  6. Savesnine

    I have two mainly tidy daughters. Always remember a few things… Less is more. If you have fewer things in a room you use them more often. Is there a space in the house/ loft? You can put things away for a season write on the calendar and if not missed review if it needs to be kept. Some toys are way mire winrer than summer and vice versa. I know we never played with several games, Unused ‘stuff’ is no good to anyone and could be very valuable to a family locally with nothing. The older they get the smaller the toys! It’s all gadgets with teenagers. Keep the fave books if you must, in a box in the lift for them to review their childhood in ten/twenty years time , let another child enjoy the rest?
    When tidying a room take EVERYTHING out. Every it of clothing, every pen, every hair clip. Nothing goes back in unless it has been individually looked at and wanted. And… It’s their room not yours, don’t say ‘but auntie Doris gave you that’ if you can’t part with it put it in your box for them in the loft.
    When the room is empty reasses storage… In a small room wall cupboards can be great. Think about homework space and chilling space. Do you prefer. Ring in a cluttered or non-cluttered room? I prefer tidy and more spare my mum likes stuff it’s ok to be how you like, don’t aspire to be what does not suit you.
    Mainly be ruthless, you are not looking for a reason to let it go you ate looking for a real reason to keep it in the room now. All our children have so much. What book they don’t have they can get from a library or wait for a birthday, that is not depriving, it’s saying sometimes we wait.
    Hire me? I work for cake!

  7. Berkley Bird

    Sorry Chris – no words of wisdom.
    Would love to hire Savesnine – have got plenty of cake and my daughter [ age 26] has a room which requires crampons and a map to find ones way into and out of!!! If you have the odd 6months get in touch and I’ll send you in!!!!

  8. darling girl's bff

    My top tip for tidying rooms are( which I’ve repeated to Darling girl several times!!!):
    1)put some music! I find it a great help especially if my room is really messy!
    2)ask a friend to help or a sibling and turn it in to a game.
    3)work towards something like a treat or surprise!
    hope this helps!

    • Darling girl

      Ahhh, but ddbff, I don’t HAVE any music!!! And if you try and help, you will get lost in the mountains of clothes, or the forest of books! but the last one? I like it!!!

  9. My tip is to appeal to their better instincts by telling them that Barnardo’s really needs money to help children who don’t have lots of toys like they do. Mine were desperate to take their stuff to the charity shop after that. For anything too big to lug to the charity shop I find freecycle fantastic.

  10. Once you’ve cracked tidying with your kids, please let me know so I can forward to my husband.

  11. Darling girl

    Mummy, you have discoverd the method!!! ban minecraft/computer in general, and I’ll do it!

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