Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Re-Organizing a Child's Room

Here's the "After"
It is February recess here and we have friends traveling to Florida, friends traveling to Africa -- what exciting locale did we travel to?  My youngest daughter's bedroom!  Woo hoo!  ;)  I work part-time from home and still needed to get my hours in, and my husband had Mon & Tues off, so we had hoped to do some fun things while he was off.  Unfortunately, he got a 24-hour flu bug and we quarantined him away from the rest of us all day on Monday!  While he was in quarantine ;) I got a burst of Spring (overly optimistic at this point) cleaning energy, and talked the girls into tackling my youngest daughter's room! I had a flash the other night of a different furniture set up in her room that I thought might give her more space.  We moved here almost 3 years ago and her room was the first one painted and one of the first to be set up.  At the time, I thought I was arranging her furniture in the best way possible with the configuration of door, windows, closet.  It worked for a long time, but lately I've been feeling like it was getting cluttered and feeling tight.  

Previously, when you entered the room, the bed was placed opposite the door, horizontally.  There was a small area to the right of that (where her bed is now) that was open floor space for her to play.  Recently I had a thought of, "I wonder if I can fit the bed in between the windows?"  I measured it out first -- ALWAYS a good idea before you start moving heavy furniture!!  It looked like it would fit and so we got started!  My eldest daughter, bless her heart, was up for helping Mom with the heavy lifting!  The worst thing to move was her little white dresser (right side of the picture).  It was awkward to move and HEAVY!  The carpets were also a pain to move!  Ideally, you would take everything out of the room, lay down the area rugs, and then bring the furniture back in.  But, there was no way that I was taking her bed apart -- that would have been a project in itself!  So, we moved as much stuff out as possible, leaving the bed (largest item) and the dresser (heaviest item).  We rolled the carpets up and moved the bed first -- piece of cake!  It is a beautiful, sturdy bed, but thankfully it is also super easy to move!!  Then we rolled out 1 area rug and vacuumed it thoroughly and then did the same with the second area rug (the rug is actually 2 identical area rugs that I bought at Target for $100 each.  We've had them since before she was born (she's 9) and I still love them!  Thankfully, so does my girlie!  She likes to try to play hopscotch on the squares...).  We slid one into place under the bed -- not too tricky, just had to lift up one corner of the bed.  Then the second rug...  In our first attempt, we had the HEAVY dresser on the wall to the left of the picture, facing the bed, and so all of the dresser legs had to be on the rug -- VERY difficult to maneuver!  We left it that way for the night, and in the morning I still did not love the way it looked and thankfully my husband was up and feeling better and he moved the dresser to where it is now.  That made a big difference!  

The biggest change in the room was the bed -- just flipping it to the opposite side, I cannot even tell you how much larger her room looks now!  My "before" picture is from the first week we moved -- I think it looks roomier here due to a combo of the camera angle and the fact that over the past 3 years she's accumulated a lot more -- including a big toy box!  In addition to rearranging her furniture and giving her room a good Spring cleaning, we also took the opportunity to go through everything to de-clutter!  My eldest daughter was so helpful with this -- the 3 of us sat on the floor and started with the stuffed animals.  My youngest LOVES stuffed animals and they seem to multiply quickly in her room!  We went through all of her stuffed animals and made piles of things that we are keeping in her room, things that we want to keep in her "special box" as a keepsake, things that are broken and could be thrown away, and things that we don't need and we can give away to someone else.  We followed the same process with her closet, in particular with her box of dress up things!  With both groups of items, my eldest would hold something up and ask her little sister, "Do you need this?"  Immediately, "YES!"  And if it was something that was in good shape, we know that she loves it, have seen her wear or use it, we would put it in the "keep" pile.  There was a large number of items in both groups that my eldest and I knew right away could go in the trash or giveaway piles, but still, my little girlie's first answer was KEEP!  My eldest would then say, "Really?  You really need to keep (fill in the blank)?"  Yes!  "But I never even see you playing with it!" or, tease her gently, "Really?  You need to keep stuffed BAT?"  The 3 of us had lots of laughs during the process -- watching my eldest grab various crazy dress up items and put them on -- light up sunglasses, boa, you name it!  She reached in her little sister's toy box and then screamed when her hand laid on a stuffed rat!!  (Beanie Baby)  But at first glance she thought it was a real rat!  We laughed hysterically over that and it went right into the giveaway pile!  We got everything de-cluttered and organized and into place on the first day and by the end of the second day we also had everything re-hung on her walls,  

It was not a relaxing, tropical vacation, but we all felt like we had accomplished something, my girlie loves her "new" room, has a fresh start when school is back in session, and we all had a surprisingly fun time with lots of laughs!!  Now my eldest wants us to work on her room next!!

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