Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Spring Cleaned the girl's room - and learned some valuable lessons!

This spring cleaning party has been great for me. I'm making such progress and feeling like I'm in control of things in my house. My kitchen and living room have stayed clean and my laundry is basically caught up. All in all, this has been such a wonderful experience. BUT ... I am ready to move to something else. It has required a lot of focus to keep chugging away at all this. And, well, I'm tired of decluttering, cleaning and organizing ... honestly! But, today was more than just cleaning Casiday's room ... it was a beautiful, special time when I was reminded of some very important lessons. Of course, I'm jumping ahead of myself. So back to the beginning ....

Okay, so the day I have dreaded finally arrived. Day 8 - Cleaning the children's rooms. The truth is ... I have a hard time getting rid of things in here. As evidenced by the after photos - there is still A LOT of "stuff." Maybe by next year I'll be able to get rid of more.

Some of the problem is, I really believe, her age. At nine she is still very much a little girl in some ways and so does play with baby dolls, stuffed animals, etc. But she is also getting into that "tween" time of life and so loves her books, DVDs, video games, etc, as well. Plus, she is a creative little thing who is constantly drawing, coloring, writing ... and so there are journals, coloring books, sketch pads, etc. Within the next couple of years, I imagine, her interests in dolls and stuffed animals will have long waned and those things will be packed away for her children or donated to Good Will. However, for now, we have more "stuff" than I'd like but it is all "stuff" she really uses or plays with regularly. And so... as I have said before, that is our reality and I am content in it.

Now, on to the much awaited photos. Remember, I fearlessly posted photos of her room on Day One of our party at the urging of my sweet sister-in-law Beth who felt her children's rooms were much worse. Mind you, Beth has not yet posted a picture of said rooms ... so there is no way to judge. But, I had not done anything in Casiday's room until today since those photos were taken. I did tell her last night that I would be working in her room today so she better make sure that she had put away properly anything she wanted to keep. The girl knows that I have no patience for things put in the wrong place or (WORSE!) shoved under the bed and will absolutely throw away anything I find there. (Yes, she knows this because she has cried as I packed away her beloved Polly Pockets - ALL of them - to put in the yard sale just last month because they were not put away.)

So, here are the before pictures ...

Now for the after pictures ...

Her sheets and comforter are in the washer still. But I'll have them all on the bed before she gets home from school today. So no final picture of the bed ... maybe I'll get one done later.

A few things I learned today:

1. "Treasure" is very subjective! Casiday treasures things I would just toss aside. But they are important to her and, while it is my job to teach her to find balance in saving things, I must let her keep those things that she values - even if I would not.

2. There are just some life stages where you have more "stuff" ... and that's okay! This season will pass and I will miss the dolls in their pallet on the floor.

3. My child is an amazing person! I was looking through the things she had placed on her bulletin board and found myself thinking that she is just a really great person. She had saved notes written to her from her great-grandmother and from a special friend, pictures of her family and friends, momentoes from our trip to Disney last year, a few of her favorite papers from school, and a Bible verse she had written out. Of course there was a lot of other paper and "stuff" on those two big boards, but I am very proud that she is saving things that are about relationships and memories of time spent with others.

4. I only have a few more years to clean up after her. Casiday is finishing up 3rd grade in 2.5 weeks. In 10 years, she will be finishing her first year in college. Where has the time gone? I decided today that having her room be perfectly clean and tidy isn't really all that important to me. I'd rather have more pictures she's drawn, hear more songs she has written & sung, take more pictures of her playing with friends, and fold more tee shirts from all the places she has been. Life is too short ... and the truth is there will always be something to clean but she will not always be this little girl who loves caterpillars and High School Musical and is looking forward to Children's Camp and dance recital.

Maybe these were not the main things Tsh had in mind for us to consider or learn today ... but, oh, how very thankful I am for the time I got spend in my daughter's room. Praying for her, thanking God for her, and just being reminded that "Children are the Lord's best gift" (Psalm 127:3, MSG).

P.S. Casiday has a blog of her own ... I update it as I think of it with her writings and drawings from home and school. It's not overly current but there are enough writings on there to give you an idea of what kind of special person she is. Check it out ... Princess Casiday!!


Laurie said...

I loved reading this blog entry :)

My baby is 11 and quite the treasure collector, I was thinking along the same lines this morning when I was cleaning his room, so much stuff, and all of it so important to him.

Tsh said...

I love this! What a good reminder God gave you today as you worked through your daughter's room. Very cool.

PW said...

Seasons of life....and cleaning a child's room, what a great connection. Thanks for the thoughts. Time raising a child does slip by so fast!!