Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Dealing with the Mess

Now that I've returned home from my vacation I'm tackling my project for the week: cleaning and organizing Mabel's bedroom.

I Googled "messy kids bedroom" trying to find a picture to go along with this post, and while I didn't find one, I did see lots of articles. Some give advice on how to organize your kid's room, while another article said to let your preteen's room alone and let them deal with it. The point of view being that they need their privacy and independence.

My daughter's 8 and thinks she's a preteen, but I can not leave her to her own devices when it comes to her room. At least not yet. In a few years I'm sure she'll forbid me from touching her things, but right now she's still willing to let me get in there and sort through the debris.

The main problem in her room comes down to having too much: too many toys, too many clothes. I took out a ton of clothes that are now too small, as well as toys she hasn't touched since we moved in this past December. I took them to the attic just in case there's something she will spaz out over when she discovers it gone, but I doubt it. A lot of them are kids meal toys from restaurants, which shows just how often this kid talks the adults around her into eating fast food.

The second problem is a lack of organization. I spent a couple hours yesterday sorting through boxes and bags of things that were thrown in willy-nilly with no rhyme or reason. I am now labeling metal boxes "pens and pencils," "crayons and markers," "tape, scissors and stapler," etc., so these things can have a home. I couldn't believe how many pencils I found in that girl's room -- I'm guessing near 100. I'm reuniting CDs with their cases; dice, instructions and other paraphernalia to their games; clothes, shoes and accessories to their doll owners.

I'm also pulling out special works of art for the Mabel Archives: her stories, drawings and letters that are particularly cute or funny. It would be a shame to toss these out with the pages of scribbles, so it's taking time to separate the wheat from the chaff.

I'm starting to see some real progress now, and I'm hoping it will be done by the time Hubby returns from his trip tomorrow. I think Mabel is pleased with what's going on, although it's hard for her to envision the finished project while things are still lying around and not put in place yet.

I have to admit I feel like Mabel's room right now when it comes to my eating. I've been really messy with my food, picking out lots of unhealthy things and eating too much of it. Over my trip away I would do okay with Intuitive Eating when I was out eating with my friends, but in our hotel room at night I'd tend to overeat. Exercise hasn't been regular other than my weekly yoga class, and the walking has been sporadic.

I'm not pleased with this current behavior, and I feel like I'm gaining weight, but I refuse to weigh myself, which I think is a good sign. I also feel myself starting to slowly lose my love affair with junk food, and I'm starting to crave healthier things. I'm eager for school to start and for our routines to return to normal, because I'm sure that I'll be able to get my eating and exercise more regulated. I don't mean dieting or busting my butt at the gym two hours a day. I think I'll be able to get my routines stabilized for regular enjoyable exercise, and I think once things settle down I'll be more in tune with my body and less prone to overeating.

No matter how much we try to control the world around us, things get messy. We may not be paying attention, or there's too much going on, but we turn our heads and suddenly everything falls into chaos. But with a little time and patience we can work with the chaos and find some ways to organize and keep a handle on it. It may not be permanent, but we have to keep trying anyway.


Jen said...

You mention fast food. I'm thinking you haven't yet read the book "Fast Food Nation" or seen the movie by the same name. We have the book at home. Hubby has read it; I have not yet done so but want to after seeing the movie. Read or watch it. Either way, it will curb a lot of those cravings -- or at least make you think a bit more about them!

And I like your ending to this post. Everyone's world certainly does get chaotic at times. When it does, it can be beneficial to "find your center," so to speak. And when you do that, the eating, exercising, etc. is more likely to fall into place, right?

Ty said...

My 9 year old daughter's room is horrible. Every so often I have to get in there and do a major clean out.

I feel like my life is on the verge of being very chaotic. I hate that feeling.