Coping with Kid Clutter

We blame our children for having a cluttered room and yet we start rewarding them with clutter when they are quite young. We start early- "Be good and Mommy will give you a nice surprise." And- we repeat this lesson over and over again-so they understand the "real value."
Then A little older we say " Atta boy! Keep the toys picked up and Daddy will buy you a bigger toy box." We continue to reinforce junk values as age increases. Mommy goes on a trip-" Be good and Mommy will bring you home a nice souvenir." Christmas comes - "What do you want for Christmas?" "What are you giving Sam for his birthday?" They learn that few occasions can pass in their life without an exchange of something tangible-called a gift. Then we tell them how to save, keep, collect and store, but seldom what to do with it and why they have it. The day comes we turn them over to the school system, where they are taught to keep all articles, magazines and clippings because they might need them some day. In their teens, vanity and glamour are established as more important than practicality or reason, and we buy them clothes and apparel to make sure they " Fit IN." When they get a small job, or join an organization they hand out trophy's and plagues for them to collect. So, they continue in life, collecting junk and inheriting other peoples' treasures and keeping it forever. It's important to understand where the clutter in your children's room came from. It started with you-the parents. But it's more important to know where it's going!!