Weird stuff

What I Found When I Cleaned My 10-Year-Old’s Room

How did THAT get there?

Originally Published: 
What I Found When I Cleaned My 10-Year-Old’s Bedroom.
Ariela Basson/Scary Mommy; Getty Images, Shutterstock

Let me set the scene: It was a Thursday morning, and I had set aside some time to give my 10-year-old son’s room a deep clean before summer break. Now, I was already going against my husband’s wishes, as he feels pretty passionately that a 10-year-old’s room is his own responsibility. But my neurosis really needed this task complete before the start of what is sure to be a wild, dirty, fun, messy summer. I wanted to start with a clean slate. So at the risk of starting a marital tiff I threw on a Bravo gossip podcast and got to work. And what I found was, well, shocking.

First I went through his dresser, removing everything and organizing it into three piles: trash, donate, and keep. It was pretty uneventful at first, as I made my way through drawers stuffed with various unfolded clothing items. As I got to the bottom of each drawer, I started hitting stuff that had been there a while, and that’s when it started to get weird. A few favorite finds: a laminated four leafed clover, my electric blue thong underwear, one fully unwrapped yet unbitten Rice Krispy treat, and three Canadian coins. Oh, and keys to the backyard shed that I have been searching for for over six months. Yay.

Then there was the nightstand. As a very small piece of furniture with only one drawer, I expected this to be pretty anticlimactic. Instead I found a mix of poorly handwritten “favorite things” lists, and the remnants of a 2022 Christmas stocking. And, in case you are wondering, half-eaten marshmallow Christmas tree Peeps do not age well out of their packaging.

None of this boded well for what I’d find under the bed, and I briefly considered masking up. But lucky for me it wasn’t too bad. I mean, minus an entire ocean worth of cheddar goldfish and fifty-ish Pokemon cards, it was kind of okay. A couple of quick passes with the vacuum and we were good as new.

Last to tackle was his gaming station. (And before you come at me with all the reasons a 10-year-old shouldn’t have a gaming station in his room — I know, and I actually probably agree, but Santa is a mother f*cker and here we are.) Anyway, the setup is a desk with a couple of drawers and a chair. It should be pretty minimalist, with just the Xbox console and the monitor on top. Instead, it looks like the setup of a strange circus flea market table. I found two loose batteries, a sparkly fishing lure, several stacks of Sharpie-drawn doodles, an orange sock, a Ziplock bag full of red slime, an ice pack, and a Solo cup filled with sunflower seed shells. And, for the record, I have never seen my son eat sunflower seeds.

Once the clutter was organized and trash was done, I did a quick vacuum and my job was complete. A quick two-hour project to sooth my brain and ensure that my son isn’t starting the summer off in complete filth.

What did I learn along the way, you ask? Well, first, he will no longer be eating in his room. And I will equip him with his own medium-sized trash can so he can independently discard things when he needs to. I also think it’s time for some kind of chore chart or allowance. I mean, I would love to just increase expectations without a reward, since these seem like basic living tasks. But I know my kid, so I will do what works. Oh, and I will be a bit more careful with underwear placement during laundry time to avoid any further thong misplacement. But with six people, I can’t make any real promises.

Samm is an ex-lawyer and mom of four who swears a lot. Find her on Instagram @sammbdavidson.

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