|This was me "cleaning my room". I think it may have looked better before I started.|
This photo must look like an insignificant mess to anyone else, but so many memories are represented here. Tigger slippers, artwork, Keds, a stuffed dog my brother won for me at a carnival game (which I never would have remembered without seeing it in the back corner of this pic), letters to or from pen pals, a multi-color changing pen, photo albums and notebooks, our cute cat Gizmo. . .
I'm zapped right back in time looking at this photo. What a useful tool when you're trying to put yourself in the mindset of a child or teenager! I'm also reminded of how important specific details are to characterization. That list of items in the above paragraph probably gives you a much better idea of what I was like as a kid than if I'd simply said "my bedroom floor was often cluttered" or even "cluttered with papers and stuffed animals". The specifics provide clues to my interests, personality, and the time period.
What was (or is) your childhood room like?