Chelle had me (Tracy) help her daughter, Sydney, organize her room. Sydney just got back from college. They’ve already packed away some “college only” things for the fall but quite a bit is left cluttering her room.
Here are the before pictures…
This gives you a good idea of what we were up against. First, we sat and enjoyed talking to Sydney about her first year away at school, what she learned, the biggest challenge, packing for dorm life, etc. Listen to the interview here.
Then, we started organizing her room.
Yes, it can be overwhelming. Time and time again I just have to start by picking up one thing and sorting it into a pile. We used END CLTR and it worked perfectly!
- Name Piles
Since we couldn’t empty the whole room we did move certain piles out into the hallway. All clothes on the floor went outside her bedroom door.
Everything that belonged elsewhere in the house went at the top of the steps to be delivered later.
We named our piles as we sorted the room: Clothes, elsewhere, music, paper, books, money, memorabilia, decor, photos, bathroom stuff, gum, trash, etc. A lot of the items had been there for years and needed attention.
Once we emptied out all the cubbies, under the bed, and the bookshelves. When everything on the floor was sorted we could move on to the decide step.
Moving on to a new step is exciting. Sydney was especially motivated to keep going.
During the decide step we went back through each pile and decided what we would keep and what we would get rid of.
Making decisions is tiring. Sydney had a lot of decisions to make.
Sometimes it is helpful through the END CLTR process to “finish” part of the room so you see some hope. We decided to make a corner of her room the music area. Sydney set up her keyboard and we put the music she was keeping in a container (contain) and labeled (label) it.
Ahhhh….that feels so good.
We reminded Sydney we were working not enjoying the music corner.
When we got to the clothes pile we had to sort again. We named our piles of clothes: jeans, shorts, underwear, bras, tanks, sweaters, skirts, socks, etc. I emptied all the clothes in the closet into these piles, too, so Sydney would know exactly what she had. Then she went through each pile to decide what to keep and what to donate.
This gets really old and tiring. Sydney was trying to keep her composure. Having a third party helping (me, in this case) is a good thing. Mom and daughter working over 5 hours together could get ugly?? Syd is especially thrilled in the pic below.
Next step: Contain – the C in END CLTR. We used containers they already had and some that Chelle had planned to use in the garage. The chevron containers are from Wal-Mart here.
After five hours I had to leave to get my daughter to practice. There were a few projects left to do: Go through the decor pile, finish the bathroom cabinets and sink, and go through one more box of paper that we had taken down from the shelf in the closet.
Here are the after pictures…
Each shelf in the nightstand has a purpose: Christian books, other books, current college class books and devotion/Bible/journals.
Sydney LOVES her organized room. And Chelle and Sydney are still speaking.
UPDATE: After a weekend traveling and a busy first week of summer Syd’s room got a little messy again. Even though she was a little overwhelmed at the thought of cleaning it up she said this when she was finished,
“I was surprised how fast I could get things put away but it was because everything had a home. I’m looking forward to studying for my online class in my clean room!”
Here she is studying (with her BFF).
How does your teenager’s room look? Are you ready to organize?