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Aibu for moving my son into a smaller bedroom

(139 Posts)
Summerholsdoingmyheadin Mon 08-Aug-16 09:17:16

We have three children and four bedrooms. 3 bedrooms are decent sized doubles. Teenage son has the smallest double but he has an ensuite bathroom. Everyone happy with this. The youngest (one year old) is currently in with us.
Middle son has the biggest bedroom with floor to ceiling built in wardrobes and cupboards. This room is about 14ft by 13ft. He only has a single bed (11 year old). His room is constantly a tip. He takes his ironed clothes and just tosses them into a crumpled heap in the cupboard. He never hovers the room but doesn't want me to do it either. He constantly has reams of paper strewn over the floor and dozens of books, DVDs and food wrappers all over the place. Dirty clothes just pile up on the floor and his wet towels live on the carpet. He says it his impossible to keep the room in any state of tidiness. I have threatened to move him into the smallest room on many occasions so he has less space to keep tidy. I am at the end of my tether with his level of mess. Yes it is his room, but we have 2 asthma sufferers in the house and his dust levels are atrocious. The one year old has food allergies and we are sick of the food and wrappers that we find lying around middle sons bedroom as the baby could have an allergic reaction if he toddles in and picks things up.
I am now at the point of considering moving ds2 into the smallest room as I will clean and tidy it and it is a smaller space so will be easier for me to do.
Aibu to do this? Ds2 thinks this is unfair, mean and tantamount to child abuse hmm

Summerholsdoingmyheadin Mon 08-Aug-16 09:22:48

The smallest bedroom is 9ft by 9ft - a decent single.

LewisAndClark Mon 08-Aug-16 09:26:33

Our 14yo offered to swap his huge double for ds2's (5) small double (11x11). He said he didn't need all the space but ds2 does.

It's worked much better, he has less stuff to keep tidy and less room to make mess and ds2 has space for all his toys, making the rest of the house tidier.

I say go for it. He might whinge but it's not actually up to him.

LadyCallandraDaviot Mon 08-Aug-16 09:28:29

not a bad idea if you can sell it to him - can he choose how it is decorated etc? 11 year olds tend not to have big toys like little ones so it may be easier all round.

It would be a fresh start - easier to maintain tidiness than get there from a pit -like state!

Msqueen33 Mon 08-Aug-16 09:29:49

I'd give him a time limit to get his act together and if he doesn't move him! He will have had fair warning so he would only have himself to blame. My dd has an autoimmune disease meaning she absolutely cannot have certain foods so I'd be fuming if things were left around. No yanbu.

RubbleBubble00 Mon 08-Aug-16 09:32:41

I'd firstly start a no food rule upstairs esp with a crawling one year old with food allergies.

I wouldn't insist on tidiness as such but for a start I'd be telling him your hoovering once a week and he needs to have the floor clear.

Ellioru Mon 08-Aug-16 09:34:00

Give him his last warning then move him. If anything then the "child abuse" is self inflicted. grin

DragonsEggsAreAllMine Mon 08-Aug-16 09:38:24

Just clean it when he's out and warn him if it gets a mess again he will be moving rooms.

I get its his room but that doesn't mean he can leave it a tip. Mine know I need to dust and vacuum daily so it needs to be tidy so I can do that. Easier to put clean clothes straight away after ironing, never understand why they are left in piles as the effort to take them upstairs is no more effort than opening the wardrobe too.

SpecialAgentFreyPie Mon 08-Aug-16 09:40:08

YAsooNBU, he is seriously taking the piss!

I'd go with Msqueens' idea. If you don't put your foot down hard now, how bad will things be when he's a teenager?

I'd also be very upset he doesn't seem to care if he actually causes his siblings to get ill simply because he's lazy.

cexuwaleozbu Mon 08-Aug-16 09:40:51

Yanbu - you are entirely correct and if he doesn't get some discipline now it is only going to get worse.

SpecialAgentFreyPie Mon 08-Aug-16 09:42:18

Just saw the child abuse line, sorry I'm very tired. Does he act so carelessly/spoiled in other ways or is just the room? Child abuse ffs grin Kids.

Dreamstosell Mon 08-Aug-16 09:45:58

Move him into the smaller room and let him know this is so that his current room can be emptied and throughly fumigated cleaned. Then you could suggest that if he can keep his new smaller room clean and tidy for x weeks (or months) then he could earn his old room back. Oh and agree with the no food upstairs rule.

Summerholsdoingmyheadin Mon 08-Aug-16 09:57:56

I'd firstly start a no food rule upstairs esp with a crawling one year old with food allergies.

We already have that rule and have been very graphic about the consequences of the baby getting at food he is allergic to. He ignores the rule and bob stanly says he forgets. Most of the good and wrappers come from school or other places he has been when out.

I do tidy his room when he is out but then he argues that it is his space and I am invading his privacy. I am sick to death of tidying it because it only stays tidy / clean for a day or so. It would be less of s pain for me to tidy it if it was a smaller space to tidy. I am ignoring his comments about privacy until he decides to sort his mess himself.

SpecialAgentFreyPie Mon 08-Aug-16 10:00:31

Sounds like he needs some tough love. Some kids are harder to discipline than others I'm looking at you, DS2 and whatever you and DH are doing now isn't working.

Does he understand how serious the food thing is?

NapQueen Mon 08-Aug-16 10:00:59

If he isn't putting his ironed clothes away then stop ironing them. If he isn't putting his dirty clothes in the laundry basket then stop washing them.

Get everyone their own colour towels and if he doesn't dry his out he has a wet towel next bath.

Why is the crawling 1yo even in his room.?

Sofabitch Mon 08-Aug-16 10:04:30

Smaller rooms are usually harder to keep tidy because you have to be more organised and keep everything in its place... a lot less stuff on the floor makes it look messy.

I don't tidy my children's rooms. If they want to live like slobs I let them. They will grow out of it (I hope) I offer occasionally to help them have a big clear out they nearly always take me up on it.

I figure it's their space. And I do agree that they are entitled to a degree of privacy.

At 11 I'd have certainly been pissed off if my mum insisted in entering my room all the time.

But I would stop doing his washing etc as if he's responsible enough to sort his own room.then he can do his own washing.

Bahhhhhumbug Mon 08-Aug-16 10:07:01

I would definitely move his entitled arse into smaller bedroom. One last warning (which he will obviously ignore) then move him whilst he is out.

independentfriend Mon 08-Aug-16 10:11:08

Don't see how a smaller room addresses the problem, if anything it might make it worse because too much stuff for the space.

Suggest a baby gate on his door if he can't/won't pick up food wrappers, because then you are at least keeping your youngest safe.

Suggest making him do his own washing and ironing if ironed clothes aren't being put away sensibly.

Think about the layout and storage space - does he have somewhere sensible to put books/DVDs/paper or would a book case or similar help? Where does everybody else put dirty clothes/wet towels?

Maybe get somebody other than you to help him tidy (given this is a big issue for you) - does he know how do to this?

Summerholsdoingmyheadin Mon 08-Aug-16 10:29:55

napqueen I stopped ironing his clothes months back with the exception of his school uniform but even that just gets chucked in the cupboard, including his expensive blazer. I have to wash his clothes because his personal hygeine is dreadful and his clothes stink and he leaves his door ajar so the rest of the house then stinks. The baby toddles / crawls into his room because he constantly leaves the door open and baby will be playing on the landing (stair gate shut) whilst I am upstairs doing stuff.

independent he has masses of good storage and more than anybody else on the house. He has built in floor to ceiling wardrobes and a built in floor to ceiling cupboard for other stuff, a bookcase, a DVDs case and plastic boxes with lids. He doesn't put anything back when he has used it, that is the problem.
He knows how to tidy, he just can't be arsed.
The mess is also problematic from the point of view that he can't find anything and when he is expecting me to find things when he is running late for school (senior) it really annoys me.

Yes, he will still be untidy in a smaller room but it will annoy me less as currently he has the biggest room with the most storage and he doesn't appreciate it. Also a smaller room means less space for me to hoover and dust (or him to do if he is ever motivated enough to keep me out by doing it himself).
I appreciate that at 11 he needs his privacy but the asthmatics can do without his dust and I can do without the food and wrappers accumulating in his room for reasons already stated, plus I am sick of discovering fossilised food on his windowsill.

Summerholsdoingmyheadin Mon 08-Aug-16 10:49:39

Just to clarify: when I say that I want it tidy I don't mean show home perfect. It would be nice if you could walk on the floor (impossible due to the amount of mess) and if it could be hoovered and dusted once a fortnight. I would like the no good rule to be adhered to. I would like dirty clothes in the wash and clean clothes put away so that he can find them in the morning. I don't want him coming to me on a Monday morning saying that he has no clean underwear and then finding a dozen pairs of worn boxer shorts stuffed in his cupboard because he couldn't be arsed to walk to the wash basket. One of the Benefits of the smaller room is that we could buy open style storage which means nowhere to stuff dirty clothes out of sight.

Having read that back I am afraid that I am starting to found like my mother grin

Summerholsdoingmyheadin Mon 08-Aug-16 10:53:40

I didn't want to post his actual bedroom but found one similar on the Internet. The only real differences being that we also have very messy cupboards and food wrappers everywhere in addition.

MyNewBearTotoro Mon 08-Aug-16 11:01:47

I would give him one chance to get his act together and, if he doesn't take it, move rooms.

I would spend a day where the two of you tidy his room together. Get it spotless, be clear on your expectations of what needs to go where and stress it needs to stay tidy.

Then the expectation would be on him to keep the room clean and tidy - I would accept a small amount of mess building up over the day but tell him he needs to spend 10-15 minutes tidying up before he goes to bed each night so it doesn't become unmanageable or a huge chore.

If he can't keep it tidy then yes, move rooms and make it clear you gave him the chance to keep it tidy and explained your expectations but he made the choice not to bother and that's why he's moving.

Stormtreader Mon 08-Aug-16 11:31:10

Put an automatic door-closer on his door. Seems like a lot of the issues would affect the rest of the house a lot less by solving the "leaves his door open" part of it.

Msqueen33 Mon 08-Aug-16 11:34:19

Oh god that would drive me insane. Yes it's his space but honestly he needs to learn to care for his things.

SaucyJack Mon 08-Aug-16 11:40:55

Has it always been like this? Have you ever taught him how to keep his room clean, and made sure that he does it with enough frequency to stop it building up? These are life skills that need learning for some people.

For ex.- I know with my DDs, if I tell them to go and get a load of washing for the week ahead on a Sunday they'll need reminding to get enough knickers and socks, and to check things that they've worn for five mins and then just chucked on their floor are actually dirty.

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