Is My 5 Year Old Granddaughter a Hoarder? Self-Renewal of a 5 Year Old

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A Clutter Free Bedroom Gave My 5 Year Old Granddaughter Self-Renewal           

Eleanor's Anything Boxes

I just pray Eleanor doesn’t end up on the TV show about hoarders when she grows up. Her bedroom turned into a jungle of “anything boxes” and chaos. She loves boxes of all shapes and sizes. She calls them her anything boxes because she can put anything in them. I love this definition. Each box did have an array of her assorted toys. I could say she’s a good recycler because she reuses boxes but she may have taken it a little too far. Along with her anything boxes, her bedroom floor of clutter was markers, crayons, color books, dolls, toy horses, playhouse furniture, rocks, Lego (tiny, tiny pieces), hair ribbons and bows, stuffed animals of all sizes, books, books, and more books, purses, dress up clothes and a giant box made into her castle. I’m sure I left things out, but bet you can imagine what we were facing. To mention, we are part of the problem, as we gave these toys to her. Thought I'd just sneak that in.

Is Eleanor a hoarder at 5 years old?

 We didn’t find any dead animals. Isn't that a true sign of a hoarder?

How did Eleanor’s bedroom get this far? Life and other demands from 3 other children. At least there wasn’t any science experiments with mold or dead animals when we got to the bottom. It had been so overwhelming that even her mom couldn’t grasp how to start the excavation.

But today was the day!

I got involved helping when I walked by Eleanor's room and saw my daughter sitting in one corner with a look of ok, now what. I jumped in and sat at the opposite corner and we started working towards the middle. We dumped out all of Eleanor’s anything boxes. There were giggles and small chatter of what we found in her chaos. We started by sorting like things. Inch by inch we started to see the bedroom floor. Eleanor was given one small anything box by the end of the cleanup.  She helped, but mostly to save some of her treasures and she was allowed to keep a few. Eleanor even gave up a few things on her own. This impressed me.

Eleanor, Clean Your Room 

Clutter, To Put It Bluntly, Scrambles Our Brain Of Not Knowing What To Do So It's Easy To Do Nothing Rather Than Something

Clutter effects how our brain reacts to our inner peace, which there is none when faced with it every day and it just seems to grow before our eyes. It becomes piles that overwhelm us. Without even trying to prove this, it happened to my granddaughter. How can any room or space be your sanctuary with piles of this and that lost in importance just sitting there staring at you in the face every day? I had no idea it affected my granddaughter in such a way as well. She's only 5.  

 A Little Back Story 

My husband and I made a visit to my daughter Lacey and son-in-law’s home.  They have 4 children. Three boys 10, 9, 8, and Eleanor is 5. Keeping all the balls in the air to ensure everyone cleans their room plus all the other child rearing like school, OMG, the laundry, and activities is like a three ring circus of lions, bears, and tigers or I should say a 4th ring of hyenas. They all have chores, lists are made, but somewhere along the list of life duties, Eleanor’s room turned into a jungle of anything boxes and clutter.

Not An Experiment

Cleaning Eleanor’s bedroom was not an experiment on how clutter affects a child’s wellbeing as a 5 year old. I accidentally discovered how it affected her wellbeing by interacting with her afterwards. While wading in her backyard pond, she was sharing with me how cold the pond was when she dipped her toes in the water. Then she looked at me and said, “It’s beautiful, my room is clean.” It was recognizable to me that she was at peace. I'm not a child physiologist, but  I saw the self-renewal of a 5 year old before my eyes. Her bedroom was now a Sanctuary for Her Soul by just getting rid of the clutter. 

That Night

"Grandma, can you make me a list of chores so I can keep my room organized?" That night I went into her beautiful, shiny, clean, room to read her a goodnight story, but she asked me if I could make her a list of chores she can do to keep her room organized. Remember she is 5 years old and she used the word organized. So she got her notebook, on her dresser, and set out a box of crayons from her shelf. I printed out in a green crayon her list of 1 through 10 chores she can do, every day. The first one was Pick up your clothes every day. I added 'every day' to each chore and when I read to her each task we came up with, she said every day on her own.

Before and After

My unintended experiment of how my 5 year old granddaughter's self-renewal was gained by cleaning up her clutter was not even in my thoughts. I wish I would have taken a 'before' picture of her room, but I wasn't anticipating writing about her in my blog either. It wasn't until we were done and her own wellbeing surfaced that I felt I must share her story because who really thinks about children being stressed out. Their life is worthy to understand their stress in their day whatever it may be and help them take it away. I did take an 'after' picture with Eleanor and her chore list to keep her room organized, every day. She has a framed photograph hanging on her wall of a baby fawn curled up in tall grass. Now they both can rest easy. 

Maybe Eleanor Isn’t a Hoarder 

Eleanor with her list of chores

Love you, Grandma


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