My Professional Mess Maker

Today is supposed to be a regular "school" day for us, but after yesterday's events I am changing plans! For those of you that know me, you know that I suffer from an extreme case of Type A personality syndrome - sometimes this is good (we are never late, I'm very organized, my children are usually prepared for everything, the house is clean), but sometimes it's not so good. My two children have very different personalities - GMan is a lot like me. He loves organization, picks up after himself, lines his books up neatly on the shelves. You get the picture. My lovely Miss B, however, is something OTHER than Type A. Over the past year I have start called her my "professional mess maker" . She can destroy a bedroom in one minute flat. I know it's not intentional, but it drives me crazy!

Look at this sweet little face (this is a photo I love from many years ago!). Does it look like the face that could topple a house with disorganization???

Well, maybe!

One of the reasons I like being organized is that it lets me relax and enjoy life, which is funny because if I was really relaxed and enjoying life, wouldn't I just let everything be messy and not care? Anyway, I have been working with Miss B to help her keep her bedroom more organized. We purchased see through plastic shoe boxes and labeled them so she could keep up with her doll clothes, accessories, shoes. She has a shoe keeper in her closet that is easily accessible. Her drawers are supposedly arranged by pjs, tshirts, shorts -- you get the picture.

Most days when I ask her to put something away she throws it into her room or shoves it under her bed. The other night I asked her dad to look under her bed and we had to laugh because it was FULL of STUFF. Just dumb stuff - a dollhouse bed, a box of fabric scraps, crayons, silly bands, underwear (ewww). I have been trying to let her take responsibility for a clean room, but I don't think it's working. How can this be our child? I do not understand.

Last night, after a pretty rough day, I came up with a plan. You see, yesterday my sweet girl had been pretty mouthy - not responding to me respectfully, picking silly fights with her brother, and just being cranky in general. I got to thinking that maybe she was acting this was because she is so disorganized - I get very crabby when things around me are chaotic, and I think she felt that yesterday. As she was getting ready for bed last night I revealed my plan to her. She wasn't very happy, but I think in the end she will be.

We are going to take EVERYTHING out of her room today - other than clothes and a few books she is currently reading. I mean everything! Dump the drawers, under the bed, in the back corner of the closets, etc... We are then going to sort things and decide on Good-Will, give to a friend, or box up nicely to put in the basement. I had done this six months ago, but I did it without her, and not nearly enough.

Here's a good example -- I love it that she plays with her American Girls so much, but lately most of them have been sitting in a corner naked with scraggly hair. So, we will pack them away today (except for two) and pack away most of their clothes and accessories. We'll rotate the dolls and toys (I'm hoping to store it all in the basement where she can get to it to swap them out).

I told my little darling that if we did a good job of cleaning things out, that then it would be possible to update her room a little with a new paint color. Right now it's a baby blue (the color of the room when we moved in - I did add a pink stripe to make it more hers, but never really repainted just for her) and she said last night she would like a light purple room.

My worst fear is that I'm creating a child that loves stuff more than people, and that scares me. Miss B is such a kind and loving little girl, but sometimes we need to work on heart issues here at home. And, since home is where we do EVERYTHING, this is very important. Perhaps I never realized the importance of this when she was in public school because I saw her so seldom. When she was at school I would clean her room for her and she didn't really have enough time at home to get it out of order. Additionally, her desk at school was a MESS.... and I know the teachers didn't have time to help their students be organized, but I think if they had things would have run much more smoothly.

One of the benefits of homeschooling is that we can STOP with school today (oh, we will do our read alouds and maybe a math game) and address the problem at hand, which we allow all of us to better focus when we pick back up tomorrow. I'm hoping this is a valuable life skill for my children.

So this morning when my children wake up we will go out for a nice walk and bike ride (before it gets to be 100 degrees!) and then get to work on Miss B's room. I'll let you know how it all turns out! If you don't see a blog post from me for a few days, you might want to contact the authorities, because I probably got swallowed by THE STUFF!
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