Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Girl's Room

*you can read the captions by clicking on the pictures and enlarging them if you want.

It isn't finished.

There's a few projects yet to do, but I wanted to show you the progress we've made. It's phenomenal, actually.

The point of this makeover was not to give my daughter a pretty room, though until I actually started in on it, that had been my goal. No, the point was to give her a clean slate, a fresh start, a chance.

My goal became to create a calm, clean and gorgeous environment that would support her growth and development into a highly functioning and purposeful person.

It would be a place where she would be able to do several things:

  1. Make the bed. The daily discipline is excellent. Besides, it's a good habit to have for life.

  2. Lay out clothes for the next day. Another good habit to develop for life.

  3. Keep essential things near at hand. This is impossible when a room is too crowded and stuffed with all sorts of things.

  4. Find library books and other items when she needed to find them and at short notice.

  5. Have friends over without hours of preparation and clean up before hand

  6. Maintain order and cleanliness easily. It doesn't have to be hard. What makes the difference? Always.... in every case? Clutter.

She is a pack rat and sentimental about things. Every time we tried to clean her room, she scared me. The "stuff" literally got in our way. It seemed she was developing ways of thinking about her stuff that, as far as I could tell, could lead to hoarding in later life. She was developing:
  1. the tendency to keep things in order to remember events. A few is fine: but when you pick up a bag of moldy molds and say, "this has to go" and are met with a wail about how wonderful the day was she made them and a full story about what happened--things are happening in the brain that perhaps ought not to be.

  2. a reluctance to part with anything once loved--even though it had been long forgotten.

  3. no perception that anything was amiss.

And it was this last one which convinced me that I, as her mother, had to do something. It was my responsibility to give her a room with breathing space. The kid had no idea what that was! As soon as I realised that, I couldn't let that messy room exist for another day. I did it without her involvement. I did it with my Mom.

She resisted. She didn't want anything "new." She didn't want anything changed. Most importantly, she didn't want to lose any of her things.

So, these were our rules:
  1. we wouldn't throw anything away.

  2. she could have anything she wanted back, but she had to ask for it.

  3. if something was not asked for by July of 2011, I had permission to get rid of it.

Other than the massive de-cluttering, we changed out her curtains, added the Ikea chandelier (to help teach her that change can be delightful) and I painted her dresser and a new (old) desk.

Do I need to tell you she loves it?

I'm a happy Mama, too.

Though my room is an absolute disaster.

Linking to the 88th Met Monday at Between Naps on the Porch Check out everyone's fabulous creations!


Leena said...

Amazing change! You have all put so much time and effort on this. I cannot believe it's the same room. Most amazed I'm by the fact that you painted the table and the dresser.

I'm super glad your daughter likes it.

susan said...

You sound like one smart moma! I find that my own brain is less cluttered when my surroundings are neat. This sounds like a well-thought-out plan for both her room and life and taught a lot of lessons. Great job!

LOJO said...

very nice changes!

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