Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Neat-Freak Teen: Every Parent Should Have One

From the time my 9th grader, Sky, was a preschooler, she has demonstrated the preference for  neatness and order over messes and chaos. She was my only child who never really needed a bib, because she refused to get her face and hands messy. She happily put her toys away at the end of playtime, and even tried to make her bed when she was as young as 2.

Her room is never a mess. I won't say anything about my other kids' neatness or lack thereof, because they are all fabulous in different ways. Today I am bragging about Sky. If there is one bedroom in the house that I would never be embarrassed to have you take a gander at, it would be Sky's.

I was gathering laundry this morning after the kids were off at school, and I paused at Sky's room as I passed, breathing in the neatly made bed and freshly vacuumed carpet (she pulled the vacuum out on her own last night). It is a normal scene - Sky's clean room. And I thought, I wonder how many other teenagers keep their room so nice. I know I didn't, much to the chagrin of my poor mom.

I "trained" all my kids to clean up their toys when they were little, to make their beds, to hang their clothes. Something happens to them when they become teens, and they seem to forget those lessons. Except Sky, who probably didn't need me to teach them to her in the first place. If anyone is born with a "neat gene," she's one of them.
 I love her wall collections - notes and drawings from friends, favorite movie posters, souvenirs, awards from school. And her strings of colored lights, which echo the rainbow-hued polka-dots of her comforter. Her room is bright and cheery, just like her.
 This is a dresser that my husband and I bought at Good Will for Whitney when she was a teenager, then she and my husband used a "distresser kit" to paint it and make the paint appear "crackled."

Sky is a talented piano player and although we have a regular piano downstairs, this is her little keyboard she plays around on.

The kid even keeps her closet organized.

For years, Sky has been collecting snow globes from the different places we have visited or vacationed.

 I'm guessing this could be her favorite, as I know how much she loves New York City. Or maybe it's the Cedar Point one...

My husband is always buying the girls a bouquet of fresh flowers for their rooms. This past Valentines, he gave them beautiful bouquets of colorful, dried flowers - but he didn't know they were dried. He said, "Get these on water before they die!" and my girls said, "Dad! They're already dead, duh!"

It is refreshing to have a kid who keeps her room clean - although I'd venture to say it is not normal. Well, I will relish abnormality as long as she lives here!

My Lukey Boy, who follows me around everywhere, waited patiently while I took pictures of Sky's room.
So, what do you think? Are some people just born with a "neat gene"?


  1. I wish I was born with one of those genes! Also, I want to play twister on that blanket XD

  2. My husband and oldest son are naturally orderly. Disorder bothers both of them. My son shares a room with his not orderly brother. One side looks like a bomb went off, the other is immaculate. I am somewhere in between. A little mess doesn't get bother me but I like the satisfaction of a clean and organized, decluttered room.

  3. I was born with those genes and was pretty adamant about keeping my room spotless. My room was not, however, nearly as cool as Sky's. You can 'train' them til you're blue, but I do honestly believe that to a large extent, it really is a 'gene' - something inside a person that is either neat or not and to what degree.

    (tmm is Timi)

  4. I think I was born with the "neat gene" too - but maybe a bit "lower on the scale" than Sky! I have become somewhat of a neat freak as an adult, and I liked my room clean when I was a kid, but I didn't consistently keep it picked up. My mom even took pictures of my messy room one time and hung it on the fridge. I was so embarrassed and made an agreement with her that if she would remove the picture, I would keep my room clean.

  5. I am a 19 year old boy about to start my third year of college for computer systems technology. I feel like I am the same way as Sky. My room has always been the cleanest room in the house and I make sure the rest of my house stays clean. I am an only child. My mother has a broken arm so I try to reduce the amount of work she has to do around the house. I have a stepfather with Alzheimer's to take care of as well. He is now in a wheelchair because of his arthritis. I also used to play piano when I was Sky's age. It makes me happy to know there are other teens out there that are like this.

  6. Cody, that is awesome. I know you are a blessing to your family. I hope you can get back to playing the piano again!