My 7-year-old daughter is a hoarder of things. LOTS of things: tiny scraps of paper, shiny gum wrappers, beads, balloons, ribbons, cheap plastic toys, candy, books, napkins, stuffed animals, cards, pencils, feathers and various unrecognizable doo-dads.
Well, these things end up in her room... all over her room. So, usually about once a month, I attack her space with a garbage bag -- and a vengeance -- valiantly resolved to rid her room of the ridiculous amount of clutter... without taking away all her fun, of course.
Tough job. Especially for a neat freak.
I would love to turn everything upside down and dump it into a big garbage can. But I won't do that. I've promised myself not to infect her too terribly with my tidying obsession. :)
But since her bedroom is still part of my house, I do have to help her "sort things out" now and again. And, yes, sometimes she helps me, and we go through all the things that we can throw away or donate. At other times, however, I simply tackle the task when she's at school. That way I get more done. (And she never remembers that tiny piece of pink, Mickey-shaped confetti she picked off the ground after a parade at Disney World!) ;)
At any rate, my goal the other day was to give my child some of her desk space back. After Christmas, the toys and gizmos completely took over her desk. It was, simply, an explosion of stuff, with no rhyme or reason. There were game cartridges on the floor, paper scattered all over (and under) the desk and her new magic kit piled up in the center. What a disaster.... and what a completely UNusable desk space!
So, I rearranged her toys in her closet (on the toy shelves... go figure!) and carefully placed all her paper and folders in one drawer; all her craft items in another drawer; and all her electronic gadgets in their own space -- for safe keeping (and so I wouldn't have to dig through random gift bags, tote bags, book bags, purses or otherwise to find them later on). I also placed a cute basket on her desk to "capture" random papers, little notebooks or folders she's using to write stories or draw pictures. I also left her most recent toy/craft out so she could pick up where she left off and finish it before we find a good spot for it to "live."
Here is the result. Still a little girl's desk, no doubt. But now a much more pleasant and usable space. AND, for the record, my daughter likes it, too!
(BTW: to display her various arts and crafts from school, we hung up a "clothesline" over her desk, and we pin up her papers with cute clips and pins. This way she has her own artwork displayed, and it's tidy and also simple to change.)
Now, THAT's neat!