I had very ambitious plans for last Friday night. I drank an extra cup of late afternoon coffee, made a good dinner, and dove into those plans as soon as the kitchen was cleaned up. I thought we’d get all the Christmas decorations down and stored away, and then we would clean the entire house, top to bottom. I planned on working late into the night, and then maybe catching a nap sometime over the weekend – in my spotlessly clean house.
I’m not sure what exactly I was smoking when I devised that plan, but I never made it out of the first room I tackled – E’s room. One thing led to another, and the entire room ended up taking most of the weekend. I really wanted to give her room a good cleaning and dusting from top to bottom, but there was just so much stuff in there. She worked really hard with me – cleaning out closets and drawers, organizing her teetering towers of art supplies, sorting through her toys and games and stacks and stacks of papers.
It was pretty frustrating at times. I really planned on getting a fresh start in the house on our first full weekend home in ages. But just surface cleaning her room wasn’t going to cut it either – it needed an intervention – particularly when I discovered how many things were just shoved into the back of her wardrobes or into drawers that hardly shut anymore they were so full. I might have even found a half-eaten lunch in her closet, plus two of our kitchen spoons. And a pudding cup, date unknown. Gross.
She and I worked together, filling six trash bags to the top – items to donate, items to hand down to her sister, items that belong elsewhere in the house, trash, recycling – it was a lot of piling, sorting, and reshelving. But the end result is pretty awesome. The bonus at the end of the work was getting to install the new Flor rug she got for Christmas and the bedside “table” that M made for her. The colors in her new rug are perfect – it’s like it was custom made to match the quilt my grandmother made. She’s been asking for a warm, fluffy duvet for awhile, so we purchased an insert and cover over the weekend, and the quilt is folded at the end of the bed. I think it’s a good balance of color and simplicity now, which works well with such a bold rug.
E’s been asking for a bedside table for ages, but as you can see in this photograph, there’s not a lot of room between her bed and her door. She has a small ledge under the bulletin board on the other side of the bed – there’s a reading light there too, and it worked great when she had a twin bed, but now she really hangs out on the half of the bed nearest the door. We’ve looked for just the right (small) table for a year or two, but I really didn’t like the idea of a piece of furniture right there when you walk in. Then I saw this house shaped ledge from Ferm Living, and thought maybe a wall-hung solution was the best.
The problem was, I couldn’t find a dealer carrying this product in the U.S., and none of the European shops that shipped to the states carried this shelf. I showed the image to M and he really liked it, and he thought he could run with that idea and make something that fit that wallspace just right.
E was super excited to get it up on the wall. It holds her new alarm clock (another request – and, if I can say it here, an amazing addition to our morning routine), plus a few books she’s reading. My favorite feature is the “roof” that holds her place when she’s done for the night.
The shelf could be easily modified in the future if she wants to run power up through the bottom from the outlet below. I’m also going to check at IKEA next time we’re there to see if they still carry that red light on the other side – I think it would look cute to have a second one mounted on the other side for some additional reading light. E cleaned and dusted and rehung more recent treasures on her bulletin board, and we organized her books on the front ledge, moving a lot of them back down to the library shelves in the living room.
Her desk area is really the first thing you see when you reach the top of the stairs, and it was always overrun with backpack, gym bag, binders, textbooks, etc. Even when it was organized, it looked like the inside of a messy locker.
But since she cleaned out her wardrobe as well, now she’s got room to organize all those books and folders for her ‘A’ days and ‘B’ days at school, and the shelves are deep enough that her backpack fits in front of those bins. She was so jazzed about this that she came home Monday and told me she had been inspired at school to organize her individual binders at the end of each class. Progress! (F keeps a rotating display of her artwork on the inside of E’s doors – lots of Elsa and Anna work.)
So now the view at the top of the stairs is more like this…
…which is a welcome break from the state of the rest of the house. Oh well, there’s another weekend ahead.