Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Teen's Space

As I'm sure I've mentioned, my teenage daughter was stuck with a large bedroom in our old apartment. Sound nice? Yeah, except the only bathroom was in her room. In fact, the bathroom vanity / sink was literally in her room. This was fine when she was only there part time, but on a full time basis... a teenage girl really needs more privacy than that!

She now has an attic bedroom. The ceiling is slanted with a point down the middle. Anyway, she only has to have occasional traffic through her room to access the storage space in the attic. Otherwise, she is very out of the way and has a cool room. Her bed wouldn't make it up there, so she even wound up with a larger bed!

Now the problem part. She isn't very organized. She also had junk in boxes that had been in those boxes since the move before our last one. I, of course, cleaned and organized her room myself when she was little. As she got older, I'd try to threaten to do it, but she never minded. Even knowing that I would donate things and toss things, she never minded me cleaning her room for her.

My husband prodded me to do it again. He volunteered to bring her boxes down from her attic room so I could stay downstairs and go through things for her. We got started Sunday morning.

Items for Donation5 kitchen garbage bags, 1 poster, 1 monitor, 1 box of Legos®
all destined for donation

I divided items for donation, trash (like an OLD bag of Halloween candy!), laundry, and keep. I started just putting all the "keep" stuff together. Then once I'd gone through everything, I went back through the "keep" stuff and organized it. She has a nice wooden chest that is not designated for art supplies because that is her biggest hobby. She has a bin for sewing supplies. Everything else is in one box... still in a box. However, this was a huge improvement from the many boxes she had in her room. In fact, my husband even gathered up every scrap from around her room and put it into boxes I'd already emptied so I could go through it all.

Attic Office CornerThe "office" corner. Her laptop is usually on this desk.

I was still working on it when I had to leave to fetch her home from her sleepover. I had a box mostly empty, plus another box and a small box to go through. I had some stacks of things on the coffee table to finish putting in their places as well. So when we got home, I had her go in through a back door so she could go directly up to her room and see it before she saw the boxes. (She had a bag to take up anyway.)

Unfinished closetUnfinished closet, containing last box.

I did tell her that I got all her boxes down to one box. She told me I was really good at that! She is pleased with her room. She is very pleased with the offer my husband made as a bonus if she can keep it clean for a week. (I wonder if she can do it without my hounding her. And whether I can make it a week without hounding her!) She is also very excited that now she can finally have friends over! for sleepovers even! She has said nothing about where things went to get so much stuff down to so little.

Entertainment cornerEntertainment corner

My husband even helped me go through her DVD books, alphabetize them, and get them back into their books. He was available to me all day for taking things up the stairs, bringing things down the stairs, taking donation bags to the truck, taking bags of laundry to the laundry room, and taking bags out to the garbage. He was an amazing helper and we have another project planned for today!

Attic BedroomFuton Bed
My husband even made the bed for her!

Where do you draw the line for doing this sort of task for your child as opposed to helping them do it or insisting they do it themselves?

Momma Jorje: Monday Minimalist
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2 comments:

  1. I recognize that rail fence quilt! I remember when we all got together and you made it!

    She probably won't miss what you threw away and/or designated for donation.

    And you know my feelings on all that other stuff. Start them early, and keep at it.

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  2. I know lots of parents refuse to clean after their older children, claiming that they need to learn the responsibility and pride in their things. But, I think that pride in your space is not something that can really be learned. So I feel that a parent shouldn't hold an expectation for a room without being willing to do it themselves. Then the child has 3 choices: Keep it up them selves, request help, or leave it to parents with the caveat being that they loose privacy and maybe even possessions. If the parent is not willing to take that responsibility, why should the child? :-)

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