I spent the day decluttering Bug's bedroom in an attempt to simplify his world. He's not pleased, but I think it's a step in the right direction.
Here's the problem (really a group of problems).
1. Bug has Asperger's which means, among many other things, that he has trouble with executive functioning (a common thing with Aspies). In layman's terms, he can't organize himself - at all, ever, even if I promised to take him to Legoland tomorrow.
2. He's a collector of things, everything, bits of things, large things, all things. So, I spend much of my time vying for Mother-of-the-year telling him that certain items are not welcome in our home (gross things), must live outside (organic things) and need to go in the trash (rotting, experimental things).
3. We live in the California where square footage is coveted. So, we just don't have room for lots of things AND we don't have anything resembling a playroom in our 1500 sq. foot palace. Don't get me wrong, I love our house. It's just small.
4. Bug hates change. See #1 if you don't know why he hates change.
5. Bug has special interests that border on obsessions (again, see #1). At present, these interests include LEGO, Rokenbok, K'nex, Erector sets (thankfully he just has 1 small set), rock collecting, and books. These aren't small collections nor are they activities that work well in small spaces. The current Rokenbok set up takes up his entire floor. Moving it to vacuum is a feat, usually resulting in something becoming detached or misplaced (not good based on #1).
6. He uses all of the things he has. So, the task is to guess at what he will miss least and remove it from his bedroom, thereby reducing the distractions. See, it's the distraction of all that cool stuff that results in moments like:
Mom: Bug, get your socks and shoes on please. [don't ever say "shoes and socks" as his head will pop off of his body]
Bug: Okay. //walks down hallway to bedroom//
Mom: //after 30 minutes, thinks to self "Where is Bug?"//
Mom: Bug! Where are you?
Mom: //walks down hallway to Bug's room to see him sitting on floor building something//
Rinse, Repeat. This is my life.
In an effort to make the above problems manageable, I removed most items from his room (that aren't part of his current "special interests") and moved them to the family room, recycling bin and hall closet. The items he doesn't miss will most likely disappear to the local thrift store.