Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tackling the girls' room (Days 1 & 2)

When the girls came home from their dad's house, I put them to work cleaning the floor and warned them not to touch anything else... They complied. Everything was sorted into bags and boxes like I asked.

The next step was cleaning out their dressers and shelves. They got part way through on the first night, but I soon discovered the drawers on the short dresser were full of junk. Ella's answer, "I don't want to keep clothes in my dresser." (Nice try.)

By late afternoon on Day 2 (after school Tuesday) they had almost finished cleaning out the dressers and shelves.

However, I had a meeting from 6:30-8:30 on Tuesday evening and I came home to find they had jumped ahead a few steps in the process. They were going through all of the boxes that I told them not to touch without my permission.

They put most of it back, but the stacks themselves are much less organized now.
I also found a Build-A-Bear rescue had been initiated, their newest stuffed animals pulled from the garbage bags, now laying on the bed.

So what is the next step?

One bag/box/tote at a time everything from their floor is being washed, dried and put in the living room on the couch. I don't want any mass decisions made about anything. We will touch each piece of clothing and decide if it is a keep, donate, or trash item... as well as who it belongs to. You wouldn't believe how many times I said to myself when I was picking up the clothes originally, "Hey! I wondered were that shirt went..."

We probably have 4 or 5 loads to go today... and there is household laundry mixed up in this... but before I let them touch anything else on the broken bunk bed, we will decide where every piece of clothing goes. I have a feeling that will be a battle in itself. I have yard waste bags waiting to be filled to be dropped off at Mission Mart.

Even for 5 people, we have a lot of clothes to go through.

This might take awhile... 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Tackling the girls' room

Anyone who has heard my testimony knows that I am not usually afraid to tell it like it is. It's important that people know me, my household, and my family are far from perfect. When I come into yours, and give you ideas or help you clean something up, I am not judging you... I have no right to! I say that whatever mess you have, we have already seen it and cleaned it up before, and it was probably in our own house.

Well, if you don't believe me after this post, I don't think I'll ever be able to convince you.

My three girls, ages 17, 11, and 9, share a bedroom. I am constantly telling them to clean it up, pick it up, put laundry in the bathroom, throw away the water bottles, etc. When the bottom bunk of the bunk bed broke a couple of weeks ago, I realized that even if I found a replacement, I couldn't get into their room to change anything out.

If you read regularly, you have no doubt seen my posts about how you can de-clutter anything in 15 minutes a day. I have to say, that doesn't include a child's bedroom if they are still living in it and not picking up after themselves. Today I decided I was fed up the less than enthusiastic efforts of my children, and took it on myself to get them started.

Here are the steps I have taken so far to move us forward in this process...

1. I took pictures of everything.

2. I started bagging things up while they were gone today.
     *All stuffed animals and pillows in garbage bags.
       EVEN FAVORITES (Motivation for later.)
     *Anything else washable from the floor into totes and garbage bags.
       ESPECIALLY FAVORITES (Motivation for later.)
     *Books, movies, etc. went into boxes.
     *Shoes went into a box

3. I didn't pick up any trash.

4. As I worked, I swept everything to the center of the room. EVERYTHING. And I stacked the stuff that had been bagged and boxed (all will be gone through one at a time.)

5. I worked until I was tired and had other things to do.   
     Then I wrote this note for when they came home.

I also added that they were not allowed to put anything "away" ... because all of the "aways" still needed to be cleaned out as well.

Next step: To have them clean off their dressers and bookshelves so there is a place to put whatever they decide to keep.

This is honestly a risky blog post to put out on my business blog... I mean, what if we don't get it done? What if it turns out that I'm too busy or too exhausted to stay on them and three months from now my 17yr old is still sleeping on her mattress on the floor because I didn't stick to this or make them stick to it either!?!

Well, that will be just another reminder that I am human as well. Hopefully, though, instead of that, over the next week I will be able to show you that even though sometimes things get out of control at my house too, it is possible to take back control.

When I said I "other things to do" and stopped cleaning and wrote that note... I didn't just mean writing this blog post...

Today I'm going to take down the Christmas tree.