I FINALLY broke down and started The Big Fall Clean. I have been putting it off for many reasons, but reached the point where I could not take the overall mess and clutter which has crept into the bedrooms and the rest of the house over the past year.
Last weekend we started in the girls’
dungeon dorm room. This is the 2nd largest bedroom and houses 6 beds, dressers, clothes and a MINIMAL amount of toys. This room ALWAYS looks like a tornado has gone through it, overturning the dressers and dumping the clothing out all over the floor and beds. When I walk into the room, miraculously the dressers are right side up and in the correct place. There must be some weird vortex in the room that is causing this effect. I am betting is a unique combination of weather phenomena in the house: Hurricane Abby, Hurricane Maggie and Hurricane Marian. These meet up and combine often with Typhoon Emma and Typhoon Becky. These five storms collide with Monsoon Mandy, leading to Superstorm Sloppy.
To clean up from Superstorm Sloppy, we started what has been affectionately become known as a Room Dump. A Room Dump is when EVERYTHING, other than the furniture, is taken out of the room and usually
dumped placed into my bedroom. Once everything is there, sorting, purging and reorganizing happens. I decided to do a modified room dump, since the older girls had been keeping their clothing within the dressers and closet. The majority of the mess was from the 6 year olds and the 18 year old and most of it was the clothing on the floor.
It began with the girls picking everything up off the floor, including those items stuffed under the beds, and moving to my room. Once the floor pick-up was completed, the 6 year olds emptied out their dresser drawers. The older two dusted, swept and vacuumed the now vacant floor while I was sorting through the clothing in my room, most of it belonging to the 6 year olds.
Too small items and out of season clothing were put into the Give-Away Box. The remaining clothing was folded and laid on my bed in piles, organized by girl and type of clothing (shirts, pants, etc.). The girls and I talked about how to organize their clothing. Up to this point they had individual drawers with all of “their” clothing in the drawer, but they have started to “share” the clothing and it often gets mixed up or not put away at all. “We” decided to organize the main dresser with shirts, pants, and skirts/skorts drawers since they all wear the clothing now. The other dresser would contain the underwear, socks and pajamas. Once that was decided, we went to work putting the clothing away.
A second issue I have with my girls is they are all snugglers. They love to snuggle under the blankets, many of them, too many of them! In the morning these blankets often wind up on the floor. Each bed had 5, yes 5, blankets on them. Imagine 6 beds, 5 blankets each. Many days there would be 30 blankets on the floor. We reached a compromise of 3 blankets for each bed, after all winter is fast approaching. Actually the benevolent dictator stepped in and set this limit since everyone was arguing. The remaining blankets were packed up and banished to the hinterlands of the garage.
The final issue causing chaos in the room was the sheer number of stuffed animals living in the room. Again I limited the girls to no more than 5 stuffed animals on the bed, not including the special lovey. I know that number still seems high, but it a step in the right direction. 30 animals to keep track of are much better than 130 or more. The unchosen were boxed into two boxes. The first box is the 2nd string; those animals that are loved, but didn’t make the cut. This box was put on the top of the closet, and the girls will be allowed to switch out animals every so often. The second box was banished to the garage, just like the blankets. If no one requests an animal from this box, it will be somehow become “lost.”
The girls’ room has been done since Saturday and I have been following through to make sure it remains this way. I make sure the beds are made every morning, keeping the blankets and animals off the floor. When laundry is put away, I follow up after dinner to ensure it was put away properly. If the 6 year olds do not put the clothing in the correct drawer, I call them all up and make them put it where it belongs. Slowly good habits are being built. My plan is to never have to do a complete room dump again, just seasonal dresser dumps to weed out clothing.
Next up on the agenda is the boys’ room. Now THAT is a scary thought!