Fashion is everywhere

Chez Larsson



Tidy version

Here are a couple of comments with questions from Maddy and Carol a little while back.

"Benita, I am wondering if Wille has always been a tidy child? His bedroom looks so neat! I remember you blogged once about tidying his Expedit shelves… but does he always pick up his clothing, etc?" -Maddy

" My daughter is 13 and she has begun the try on and discard thing. Everything ends up on the floor, even clean clothes. How are you able to motivate Willie to be tidy? I am afraid I am not teaching both kids in way that they respond to. Any teaching tips? What do you do if Willie simply refuses to do household chores? I'm not sure what works over at our house." – Carol


Not so tidy version Exhibit #1

Well the truth to Maddy's question is that yes, Wille is a fairly tidy teenager and once his room is organized so everything has it's place he's really good at putting stuff back and takes good care of his belongings. Not all days are tidy days though. With Wille's permission I'm showing you what his room can look like on a Sunday afternoon.


Not so tidy version Exhibit #2

I'm ok with it as long as the door is closed. As soon as the door is open I tidy up a bit because I just don't do messy. Wille doesn't mind and it's not like earth quake zone in there or anything so it's not a major undertaking. And besides he can live with his little mess, I can't, so I tidy. I make the bed, close his closet door (why is it ALWAYS open?) and shove odd papers into the drawer of his desk. The dirty clothes I ask him to pick up himself and he does. His room is also included in my weekly cleaning routine when I dust, vacuum, change bedding and mop the floors. I honestly don't mind.


Not so tidy version Exhibit #3

To answer Carol question how I get Wille to do his chores. Well, the truth is that Wille doesn't have any… Is that a terrible thing? I keep hearing of families with chore charts and to-do lists for even very young kids and I can understand that it's necessary in a larger family than ours but Wille is such a great kid in all respects and works really hard at school and is a joy to be around so this works for us. The fact that he's fifteen and still enjoys his mom and dad's company is worth so much more to us than if he takes out the trash (which btw he does do if asked and lots of other things too). 

Oh, and I too was an only child and didn't need to do any chores when I grew up and look at me now! 🙂

Today's Swedish words:

teenager = tonåring

earth quake = jordbävning

vacuuming = dammsugning


Mini Update:

Mini had her last vet appointment yesterday and everything is healing really well and her teeth don't need doing at all! We had hoped that she would be able to go outside on her own and eat dry cat food as of today but that will have to wait for another two weeks until her bones have hardened a little bit more. We have waited more than seven weeks now so another couple of weeks is nothing. We'll keep taking her outside on the leash every day so I think Mini will also be ok with two more weeks.



  • Caroline says:

    I really like your smart organizing and nice images!
    May I as where you bought the large map?
    Caroline-reading-often-but-not-commenting-so-often… 🙂

  • I got it in a specialty map shop on Vasagatan in Stockholm.

  • Tant Grön says:

    So u did, so u did, hi, hi! Jag tror att barnen gör som vi gör och du fantastiska och inspirerande kvinna är väldigt bra på att hålla ordning och reda och det ser ju förstås Wille, han har växt upp med det. Självklart finns det undantag, men själv, även om jag givetvis gillar ordning och reda jag med och mår så himla mycket bättre när allt är rent och saker och ting på sina platser, så är jag också väldigt rörig och lite lat, så en hel del kläder hamnar på golv, säng, soffa osv., när jag provar vad jag ska ha på mig, och detta ser mina Gulliganer, därför gör de likadant. Barn gör ju inte som man säger utan som man gör, heter det 🙂
    Önskar dig en fin dag, hälsningar Tanten

  • Tant Grön says:

    Nu blev det fel, Jag hade för mig att du avslutade med … and I turned out fine, därav mitt: so u did, ha, ha!

  • Nej, det blev inte fel, jag skrev så!
    Gulliganer – vad gulligt 🙂

  • lisbeth says:

    Funny; I too grew up as a only child (functional that is – 2 much older sisters left home before I was 6) with no chores and my aunt was quite worried that I would never learn to cook. My mum was more concerned whether her messy teenager would ever get her act together. Today: I’m very proper (borderline OCD 🙂 and loooves to cook and think up new recipes etc.
    The conclusion must be that Tant Grön is right: children copy their parents’ actions, not their advice and demands.

  • kory says:

    “The fact that he’s fifteen and still enjoys his mom and dad’s company is worth so much more to us than if he takes out the trash”
    i like the way you think! you are a wise mom 🙂
    “(which btw he does do if asked and lots of other things too). ”
    and this is just a bonus that comes with not forcing anyone to do anything, but appreciating everything they do.

  • aiz says:

    yay for mini…. love your confession… makes me feel normal… lol!

  • Benita, I would love to see your bedroom all messy 😉

  • Oh, but that’s just not going to happen 🙂

  • I understand perfectly 😉
    I think it’s never messy in your room.
    Love the yellow.

  • valeria says:

    Same for me… our son never had a “list of things to do” and he his a very mature and responsible young man( soon to be-father). He also is an only child. Great to hear about Mini!

  • Carol k says:

    Benita- You truly are an angel! and a terrific Mom!
    Thank you for showing Willie’s room in teenager mode.
    That’s so much what Dodge’s desk looks like- down to the earphones! What is that about the closet door being open? We have that too. You also confirmed something else for me and that is set a good example.
    Best of all- you are so right in focusing on the fact that you have a wonderful son and he’s a joy to be with. We have 2 wonderful funny, smart, and caring children and are very blessed. Thank you for being such a wise mom and sharing this! It really helped me see what is truly important.
    I am happy to hear about Mini healing so well. Thanks for always answering my many questions!
    Does Wonder Mom have her own cape or does she use Wonder Girl’s?

  • Rebecca says:

    My husband’s mother never had him do any chores and when we got married I had to teach him the most basic things, like how to use a spray bottle! And I often find him doing things strangely still, after 10 years together. Like when I noticed a blue residue on the *outside* of the toilet, because he was using the toilet bowl cleaner all over it. Or when I asked him to put a delicate piece of clothing into a pillowcase before putting it in the wash, and he put it into a plastic garbage bag instead. And he’s otherwise such a smart man. Sigh.
    Hopefully Wille has picked up more cleaning techniques by osmosis than my husband did!

  • Like Rebecca’s, my guy never had to do any chores at his parents, and now is clueless as about where to start. He doesn’t know what or when needs to be done unless I tell him or ask him (then, he does it happily) but that’s because growing up things just happened to “clean” or “tidy” by themselves. And about his technique… well… you should see him mopping…
    I think it’s good that Wille doesn’t have a list of chores, I never did as a kid and grew up just fine, but I was always included in the daily/weekly/monthly cleaning routines, and always encouraged to “do a room” so I would learn to see what needed to be done.

  • Nina says:

    Benita, I love the way you talk about your son, it’s heartwarming. And it’s always a pleasure to come here and see your posts!

  • J says:

    haha my boyfriend turns 28 tomorrow and he still leaves the room with open closet doors when he got everything he needed.. I just don’t get it. He says he forgets to close em but I think he just doesn’t see those doors 😉 hope Wille (btw like his nickname, my bf’s name is Björn, I like those northern european names so much) will change this attitude 🙂
    xox Josefine

  • Lisa Z says:

    Maybe these guys need to live on their own for a while to figure this out? Don’t marry them until they have! (or something like that…;-))

  • Lisa Z says:

    We don’t make our kids do many chores, either. The one thing we’ve started this year, however (kids are 10 and 12), is to have a “family cleaning hour” each Saturday morning. We each take one job–dust; vacuum upstairs; vacuum downstairs; or clean the bathroom–and do it at the same time. Of course, this doesn’t get everything done but it’s a very good start. I do a lot of the tidying up every day, but I feel better about it since the big jobs are done altogether. The kids don’t seem to mind since we’re all working at the same time.
    My brothers and I are also examples that children learn what they live. We didn’t have chores, really, but mom kept the house clean and we learned from her example. We’re all neat and clean adults.

  • Ksenia in Canada says:

    I see both sides. My dh didn’t do many chores even though he grew up in a large family. It concerns me when people (esp. men) grow up with a sense of entitlement that cleaning and tidying is “not their department”. I think this is more of a concern for men/boys because they have the “clueless factor” going whereas girls/women will often figure it out themselves.
    On the other hand, when parents are always nagging their children to do chores, it can damage the relationship when there isn’t a lot of positive quality time to counteract it.
    I do like the idea of “if you live in this home then you are part of taking care of it” – in whatever way is developmentally appropriate.

  • I cannot believe that is a teenager’s room–it is so beautiful with its color scheme and tidiness, even in its messy stages I am envious!

  • Awww, he sounds like a sweetie. At least he tries ( with mixed results) 🙂

  • Carol K says:

    Of Course! What was I thinking?

  • Anne says:

    My children don’t have fixed chores to do either. Me and my brother didn’t when growing up so I’ve never thought much about it. On the other hand we grew up with just a mother so it was natural that everyone has do things to get the home working. Sometimes I cooked, sometimes my brother did. Same thing with cleaning, washing up, laundry etc. I never thought of it as hard or strange.
    It is the same thing with my children. I’m a single mum and I just expect them to help me when asked and they always do without complaining. My teenage daughter’s problem is clothes on the floor. She tries out different combination and leaves them wherever she drops them. I used to tidy up a lot because i felt bad seeing it (she doesn’t). But now I often close the door instead :). Every other week she gets tired of not finding anything and then she cleens it up much better than I ever do.
    I think it is important to include the children in things that have to be done. Partly because they should see it as natural part of life, but partly because I don’t want them to have a mother that is always exhausted. I want to do fun things as well together with them and not jus be a servant.
    But I rather ask them kindly when I need it rather than nagging about things they were supposed to do whitout my saying.
    Then I think you have to pick youre fights. A lot of times it’s faster and less irritating to just put the shoes in the middle of the hallway aside than get all worked up about them.

  • Anne says:

    Didn’t realized that i wrote so long until after I posted it. So sorry!

  • Carola from Austria says:

    danke, benita, für diesen letzten absatz. ich bin auch ein einzelkind, das im elternhaus auch nie pflichten zu erfüllen hatte und ich bin auch sehr gewissenhaft und ordentlich geraten 🙂 ich will meinen kindern diese to-do-listen auch ersparen, aber mein mann – der aus einer grösseren familie kommt – ist so begeistert dafür, also haben wir einen mittelweg gefunden 🙂

  • devil says:

    My mom and dad raised six kids. Mom always said “You can’t treat all kids the same, because they’re not the same.”
    Some kids may need a list of routine chores to do. Obviously, Willie doesn’t. Whatever you’re doing is working great for your family. His room (and your whole house) looks great! 🙂

  • Schön das ihr einen mittelweg gefunden habt 🙂

  • Martha Jane says:

    Congrats, Benita. 15 and enjoying the company of parents beats a clean anything any day.
    I’m one of three. We didn’t have chores and weren’t allowed to have jobs until late in college. However, we were forced to do yard work on two acres, which was difficult. As a result, I’m never going to have a yard that I can’t manage on my own.
    My husband didn’t have chores and was a “bad” kid until he turned 27. Like Rebecca’s husband, he’s smart and sweet but also does weird things. Not as weird as Rebecca’s though (thanks for sharing!). To cope, I’ve forgotten most of his mistakes and hired a maid.

  • lucy says:

    My husband is just the same, he was an only child and he never learned to clean. I do my best to stay patient with him, but I have accepted the fact that I have a higher standard of clean than he does, so I have to do certain things myself.
    I don’t have children, but I like the FlyLady ( philosophy to teach by example, and make it fun, not like work, and to just do 15 minutes at a time.