Tuesday, May 30, 2006


This week I gave my sweet 5-year-old daughter a gift of love. I told her "You can watch a movie and I am going to clean your room for you."

Of course she was delighted. So I put Sarah down for her nap and Elizabeth and Silas on the couch with a movie.

Then I gutted her room.


I left her bed, dresser, and nightstand. I left the clothes and shoes that she absolutely has to have, four baby dolls, her nicest dress-up clothes, and half a dozen items in her toy box. I stashed her favorite things on the top shelf of her closet--her tea set, dollhouse furniture, and a few other things. I also discovered that I have a weakness for baby dolls; I couldn't bring myself to get rid of those! So they joined the other items on the top shelf. Then I hauled out a desk, a book case full of books (for relocation), and four big trash bags of toys, clothes, and trash, and a box of books.

She was so excited. And just as I thought, she didn't miss anything I took out (since I kept the few items that she actually plays with most).

This is my child who is high-strung, easily overstimulated and overwhelmed. Every day we were on her case about her messy room, and last week she spent the entire day cleaning it up. When I went in the next day and it looked just like it had before the cleanup, I knew I had to take drastic measures. It just did not seem fair to her that she had so much in her room that she was constantly stressed and overwhelmed trying to keep it clean.

She's so proud of her neat, new, uncluttered space. She could hardly wait to show her Daddy that night. We were able to move Sarah's crib into her room (now that it is not so full of little choke-able toys and general baby hazards) and this morning she was busy tidying up and making both beds.

I was a little concerned that is was heartless to take virtually everything out of her room, but I'm so glad I did, and so is she. In fact, when Silas saw her room he wanted his room cleaned out too. Last night Billy made a big haul, and now we have a much happier boy.

We sacrificed some material items in exchange for a whole lot of peace. It was a good lesson to me. I think I see more decluttering in my future!


Windy said...

Hi Stephanie,

It is truly "LOVE" inspiring to do this for our children. Todd and I decluttered Hannah's room a year ago(or longer)and she has 6 small tubs and one bookshelf, if it does not fit in any of this, it must go. :) I had to laugh a little when you mentioed that Sarah didnt miss the things you did not bring back... This happened with Hannah and it made me think, was I the one who was making her hang on to the clutter. The answer was, yes, and I have learned that if I am overwhelmed by the mess, she is overwhelmed 100 times more. It has brought peace to our lives as well.

I loved the flylady's 27 boogie and I may not follow her for the most part, but that 27 boogie flingy thing was just freeing!! :)

This weekend Todd made me a laundry station so I am able to fold, hang, hide the laundry baskets and gain control of the laundry situation... what a blessing it was!!! Talk about peace in the house, the couch is no longer the laundry station and we both love it (especially Todd).

Sorry to start rambling... I loved this post!! You all take care!

Charity Grace said...

LOL, don't even get me started on laundry! Your new system sounds great...I'm envious. :) Hopefully that project will be in the running for me before too long. Right now I'm just trying to keep the laundry room in some kind of basic order. Isn't it fun to get things under control?

Windy said...

It is very fun and I feel more productive... My husband is amazing with me. Some times I tend to let myself get the best of myself and he is helpful to pull me back to reality with finding things to help me.

This year has been extremely overwhelming to me, with school, my moms illness, Todd being gone 4 days a week and yes, my Baby starting school. Todd is all to aware of that and tries to help me in every way he can see. It is unfortunate that our communication of this may not be all that great. :)

I love being organized!! I wish it were easier for me. ;)~

Urka said...

I too hate clutter. Once a year I go through my own room, closets, spare rooms, etc and do the de-clutter thing. My motto: If I haven't worn this or used this this season I don't need it. Why hang onto winter clothes till next year if I didn't like them enough to wear them this year?

Ryan's mom is having a yard sale this month and we're throwing in a lot of stuff that we really just don't use or need. I'm so happy to be getting rid of it. I can't stand piles of stuff!

Mom and I used to de-clutter while the kids played outside. The overflowing toybox was whittled down to half full and no one every noticed anything was missing! It's amazing. lol