Saturday, March 8, 2008

Spring Cleaning: Girl Room

When I got started with spring cleaning today, I just wanted to press on a little more, so I went ahead with our little girl's room, too. I spent about another hour and a half on this room.

In her room I cleaned the following:
- shined the mirror
- washed the doors and baseboards
- washed the window inside and out
- vacuumed
- dusted
- moved the bed (because my favorite kind of cheap redecorating is to move the furniture)
- washed sheets and remade the bed
- went through a TON of stuff on the floor...I need advice for how to handle this!
- Bonus: made and hung a new curtain to make her room a bit more cheery for spring. The print looks a bit busy in the photo, but works nicely with her bedding and I figure anything goes for kids' rooms. It was made from a sheet I got a thrift store for less than $2 and have had around for a few months.

Here are the before and after shots.
Before - view from the door - Yikes!

Before - facing the bed

After - view from the door
After - facing the corner where the bed was before

Okay, now to my big question. HOW do you get kids to stay tidy and not totally trash their rooms everyday?! We do require them to pick up their rooms almost every day, but they still end up looking like the before photos here. We've tried taking their things away when they are left out (yes, we're mean parents like that), taking things away with the opportunity for them to get them returned after a set amount of time, and on our worst days, just closing the door and hoping tomorrow will be better. I feel like the problem really lies in how MUCH stuff they have, but we really rarely buy toys for them. Another part of the problem is that they never want to part with anything. What do you do to help and teach and train your kids to be responsible for their spaces and their things? Even if I can't solve this problem in the very near future, I am happy with how the room looks today.

Thanks to The Homespun Heart for hosting this fun and motivational event!


Rachael said...

Hi Rachel, I'm Rachael from New Zealand. I've been enjoying The Homespun Heart for a couple of months now and got your link from her spring cleaning post. I have 4 girls, ages 9, 8, 5 & 2. We have a constant problem with stuff in their room. That before picture of yours is so familiar, and not all that bad compared to ours! I really think the problem with girls is that they are so creative, they are constantly making paper dolls, little notes for people & toys, hand-sewing doll's clothes and this contributes to the mess. I have no real solution, other than a deep clean every few weeks and better organization. Right now I'm in deep with the clutter all over the house, I might just have to join the spring cleaning thing!! (Except it'll be Autumn or Fall cleaning in the Southern Hemisphere!)

Melinda said...

Hey Rachel, It's Mindy. I have enjoyed reading your blog. I have one too but it is mostly just pics and small notes about our kids. I totally relate to the kids room mess. My kids have tons of toys too and I think a good idea is to have a toy rotation. i have a few rubbermaids in the garage that I have put some of their toys in and we swap them out with the toys in their room every so often. To keep the mess more managable, you could take half their toys and keep them somewhere out of sight, out of mind. Then every month or two or three months, switch the toys in their room for the toys in the boxes. This keeps the toys exciting for longer and also lets you know what they actually play with and what just gets tossed around the room. After not seeing a toy for a few months they may decide they don't really like it anyway and give it to goodwill. Hope the idea helps.

Linda said...

rotate their toys! :)

That way you won't have to part with any, but you also won't have them ALL lying around at once....

Just divide the toys into two (or three, or four!) big boxes, and let them play with one box a month. Next month, remove that box and give them the next one to play with

It works two ways: your house stays cleaner AND the toys don't loose their appeal (since they're 'new' everytime)

greetings from the netherlands!

Linda said...

*lol*!!!!! Would you look at that! The SAME idea twice, posted at the SAME time!

great minds think alike, we shall say ;)

Mom2Drew said...

Oh dear dear friend...looks great! between you and rebecca, you're really motivating me to do something similar. I desperately need a little spring cleaning around the home, but for now...will enjoy vacation while it lasts:)

Rachel said...

Thanks for the suggestions. I will consider the toy rotation. Our bigger problem is a million bits of papers, crayons, tape and other creative stuff. I will likely need to weed out the masterpieces under the cover of darkness while they sleep since their designated accordion folders are already filled to overflowing, and save the best ones.

thehomespunheart said...

This also looks great - you've been busy!

Mab said...

When my kids wanted a pet [as a family we decided on a pet lizard and we figured it in the set-up cost and then we asked everyone to help purchase our family pet]- the kids donated part of their Xmas money and sold toys and stuff. I was completely blown away by how much they willing to get rid of/sell. They got hundreds of dollars and a family pet. I got peace of mind and willingness to get rid of stuff- also had more than enough room for some Xmas stuff they got. Or another big ticket item like American Girl dolls.
We ask family members to consider non-physical gifts- membership to OMSI, Zoo, etc, pay for a class for the Recreational center, a planned trip, magazine subscription to help keep clutter down...
Anything that is new to our home has a "home" created for it- sometimes that means re-organizing, getting rid of something else to make room, or if the big sell-out works as well for you as it did for me then there will be space available.
I wouldn't sneak out the extra stuff because so many of us don't learn how to manage/deal with stuff then it becomes a problem of clutter everywhere and that is overwhelming. Use rubber bands to put different colors of crayons together to make quick grab and color indvividual collections. Melt others on wax paper to make pictures to give out to friends on last day of school, family members if they live close, donate to a school or church nursery...
Get those school boxes to keep things organize and label on the outside what is inside- so cheap during back to school sale [or shoe boxes]- color pens in one, glitter glue in another, paint brushes, scraps of material, etc Have them help you so they know where it goes and they'll be able to keep it up better. Store them on a shelf or bookcase...

BarbaraLee said...

It looks like you have a crafter on your hands too. What helped dd keep a little neater is a table with shelves. I am not sure how yours is but w/mine this helped her stay cleaner. Not perfect mind you. She has all this stuff in on the floor because she has nowhere to work. You could build her a desk w/built in shelves.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if you want to change to this extreme, but we have always kept toys out of the bedroom except for the beloved ones they snuggle with while they sleep. We have them either on shelves in a living area or in a closet (rotating some out) and that keeps the bedrooms virtually spotless. Other than books on a bookshelf, and making the bed with the beloved toys, there isn't much to clean up. We put the books away right after reading them at bedtime, and we're rarely in bedrooms except for sleep. It is the rest of the house that has to get continually cleaned up though! :)

Anonymous said...

I ask the little one to help go through the toys, and any they don't need, they will let me know. Then if I want them to let go of more, I'll ask them what else we can give to someone who needs toys and so we can make room for what is new. It really works! The 3 year old wants to get rid of things I am not even ready to get rid of! YIKES.