If your child is a packrat, his or her room may be filled with stuff you'd classify as trash: shopping bags, receipts, pieces of scribbled-on paper, shredded boxes. To you, it may look like stuff that needs clearing out, but to your child, it's precious treasure. Just the mention of removing so much as an old magazine may send your child into a tailspin -- but living in a crazy mixed-up disorganized room may cause him or her a fair amount of anxiety, too. Tame the trash with bins and baskets that can contain it all quickly. Start with large bins with lids that can be stacked along a wall to hold large items or extensive collections. Clear plastic ones add a decorative touch if filled with colorful toys; if you're filling bins with trashy treasures, go with opaque colored ones and decorate them with stickers, photos, and labels indicating their content. Smaller bins full of all those tiny toys that get underfoot can be wedged around the room. Finally, save a laundry basket or two for quick clean-ups -- have your child clear everything off the floor and dump it in a basket, then either stash the basket somewhere or sort through the items to put them in the proper bins. The resulting room won't be something out of Martha Stewart, but at least you'll be able to see your child playing without wading through debris.
Does being a packrat make your child a hoarder? Should you be worried? Read "Is Hoarding a Problem for Your Child?: 10 Questions to Ask About Your Child Hoarder" to find out.