Dear June: Meet Felix and Oscar

Photo by nolaclutterbusters

I hear from intelligent home managers all the time who graciously stop by this blog and read. So in tonight’s Dear June column, I am turning the question over to you, smarty smarts

Back in March, I received this question from a reader:

“I have two daughters who are quite different in their styles. One is fairly neat while the other is messy. Is it wrong of me to make them share a room? It drives them both batty. On a semi-regular basis they both ask to not share a room. But I want them to work through their differences. I am interested in your thoughts.”

–Nicole R., New Albany, OH

What would YOU say, readers? Feel free to leave your answer in the comment section below.


  1. Anonymous says:

    I have three girls – and my husband says "I have three kids, one of each!" God has blessed you (and I) with children with unique personalities and talents.
    If you have the room for them to each have their own room, I say let them. There are, and will be, many other opportunities for them to learn to work together and to work out differences.
    Who knows? It may just help them get along better as well!
    ps. The "messy" one may turn out to be the neatest! – Oh, do I say that from experience?! :)

  2. My thoughts instantly jumped ahead several years to college . . . let's say (hypothetically, of course) that the neat and organized child has a roommate that is messy, care-free, and disorganized. Would it not be much easier to "cope" with that situation having already learned and practiced that at home? Perhaps that child would also be more ready to look past some of the messy irritation to appreciate and love the other person and who they are?

    My thoughts then jumped further ahead to these girls becoming wives. What if (hypothetically speaking, of course) the messy, disorganized daughter marries a "neat freak"? Would not that daughter be better prepared to share space with her polar opposite having already learned to "cope" with an organized loved one?

    Does not the task of parenting include training our children to get along with those that are different, and to learn to love others despite those personality differences? Only time will tell the benefits of learning to live with each other in a peaceful manner and to deny self for the betterment of the other. Isn't that what successful relationships are all about?

  3. If you have the space, give them space. My sister and I were as you described growing up and my parents wisely gave us our own rooms. It took us a lot of years to work out our differences, but one of the things that really helped was space. We are better friends when we each have our own space. This continues to be true now that we are adults with our own families. I was the messy one and my husband is neat. It's been much easier for me to become a neater person learning from him than it ever would have been learning from my sister. My Mom says, "Choose your battles." I'm still learning to do that, but I think it's wise advice. Is this a battle you want to choose? Either way, commit to it–perseverance wins the day, whatever you decide. Good luck!

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