Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
I’ve tried to stay out of my daughter’s room, and let her keep it the way she wants. After all, she’s 9 and old enough to manage it herself. As long as she didn’t have food in there, I was okay with it.
Or so I thought.
But last week the pile in the middle of the floor reached my knees. (I wish I were kidding.) So I declared that we were going to clean it up.
I didn’t want to give up too much time doing this, but I knew that it had to be simple or she wouldn’t help. So I came up with the following way to simplify cleaning the room.
I pulled together the following:
- Two laundry baskets
- Three empty boxes
- Trash bags
- My labeler
- A bag for writing implements
The laundry baskets are for clean and dirty laundry. The boxes were for “give away”, “put away outside this room” and “trash”. The trash box was lined with a trash bag.
Starting In The Closet
The first place I tackled was the closet. I raked out the contents on the floor and sorted the clothes. Since I couldn’t tell which were clean and dirty clothes, they all went into the dirty laundry basket. Then I started on the little pieces. Earrings went into a cup. Hair ribbons were sorted and put away. Her baskets were emptied and sorted. Anything that didn’t belong in the closet got tossed into the pile in the middle of her room. (A few more inches depth couldn’t really matter).
Working The Perimeter
Next I started working the perimeter. Anything on the floor was tossed into the middle. As I got to her nightstand, we decided that it would be better to keep dress up clothes in the closet, and put her CDs in the drawer next to her player.
Next, we sorted her stuffed animal clothing. After that, I started to rake out under the bed (which is where she had been storing clean laundry). While I was doing this, I had her start to pull things out of the pile.
My Tossing Method
The thing about me cleaning the room is that she is not allowed to say no when I decide to toss something. If papers are crumpled, they go. Pencils without erasers? Gone. Happy Meal Toys? Tossed. Anything broken, missing pieces or ripped? Out the door.
Sorting the Pile
First to get pulled were the books. She pulled all the books out and put them by the bookshelf. Next was clothing (into the dirty laundry), then stuffed animals.
At this point, the pile was much more manageable.
Cleaning Up The Little Stuff
Lots of little things were left in the pile now. We went through quickly and started to put things away. We’d gather a pile of like items, then move to put them away. We made a game out of it, to see who could find the most of the like items in the central pile.
In The End
I really wish I had taken before and after pictures to show you all, but I didn’t know I would be writing about it at the time. Her room is mostly clear, with things put away. 47 pencils and pens were relocated to other places in the house, and three loads of laundry done.
She’s able to do the maintenance on the room now with little effort. I just have to remind her to put things away when she is done playing with them.
Next up…the shared game/hobby/exercise/playroom. Last time I checked, there was a layer of Legos on the floor.
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Photo by Like Kittysville