We'd been at loggerheads for over a week. Her room was a bomb site. How could she live like that? Was she my child? Didnt she know I was an interior decorator? This was embarrassing... How could she find anything? The truth was, she couldn't, and I kept getting the "Mum!!! Wheres......?" for what felt like every minute of the day. Which, clearly, I ignored. She was grumpy. I was grumpy. We've all been there. Locked in starring stances....
After inhaling and mentally chanting "I am the adult", I knew I had to back track, not back down. She couldn't sort all this herself. We came up with a plan to sort out her room. I wasn't going to clean and tidy it for her. She was going to have to do it herself with my help. The dialogue began, we talked about the mess and identified the main problem. She just had too much stuff. How many skirts and t-shirts does a girl need? Really need? Shes at school five days of the week. How many colouring books? And bangles? Even through we're a fairly frugal family, opp shops have bargains and we all love a bargain. The kids receive presents and gifts. It had got out of hand and we were sitting in it. We also realised other hurdles, like not knowing where to put stuff, not wanting to put away clothes, it being her space and she could have it how she liked. "You like living in here do you?" created a shrug and an eye roll!
The cull started. Clothes, accessories, dress ups, toys, stationery and craft items. We worked from one shelf or drawer to the next, all the time her deciding what should stay what should go. Like all major tidy ups, it got messier before it got better. But at least this time, the mess was gravitating into piles. as we moved from one side of the room to another. Stay pile. Opp shop pile. Give to others pile (returning/donating). Recycle pile. Rubbish pile. What did stay, she decided where it should go. She was creating "homes" for her stuff. She was an adorable client. And perhaps more brutal at culling than I had expected.
Three boxes and two bags later, her bedroom had lost half of its body weight. In a matter of 3 hours the mood in the room had changed. My daughter quickly ran to get the vacuum and went over her carpet. She made her bed. She then gave me a guided tour of where things were. So I knew!! Her response was beautiful. She was lightened. Quite literally. When I mentioned how happy she was, she suggested "my room was making me feel grumpy." BINGO!
Ten days later and the room still looks mostly like this. Shes plays, draws, reads and dancing around the room like all kids. But she's made the link between mess and misery! A cluttered space and a cluttered mind. It's not about minimalism or being constantly tidy. It's about knowing where things are and being able to get them at a moments notice. I haven't had a "MUM!!!! Wheres......?" once this week. So I'm loving it too.