Vacation Day 3 Report

OK, so I skipped Vacation Days 1 and 2--but sort of the normal, expected stuff happened on both those days. Groceries, a little cooking, wrapping presents, then Christmas Eve and Christmas celebrations. Very nice, very relaxed--my fave way to spend the holidays.

So, today is my first official Vacation Day where I can decide what I do. My original plan was to have a pajama day. DH is at a football game, so my kids and I were just going to hang and I was going to spend copious amounts of time at my sewing machine. But while I was cleaning the kitchen yesterday morning I got thinking about other parts of the house that were bugging me. I have definite tendencies towards being a "work first, play later" kind of girl--I knew I'd be a lot more relaxed about spending time at my sewing machine if other more homely tasks had been taken care of first. I ended up working a deal with my daughter in which we spent today tackling her bedroom. Long overdue. I've been telling her that if she didn't get it hauled out before she left for college, DH and I would go in there with garbage bags and make the decisions for her! She's a bit of a pack-rat *. Her door is the first one that gets closed when we have guests over.

I allowed us a couple of hours of slow-wake-up time, then we got to work.  I instituted the "Clean Sweep" method--ever see that TV show on TLC a few years back? It's a great method for cleaning out clutter; I learned a lot from it. I've used their "Keep/Sell/Toss" method several times, although we substitute "Donate" for "Sell" because I refuse to do a garage sale ever again (but that's a blog entry for another time). I designated three areas in the hallway outside her room and set up garbage bags in appropriate places, then laundry baskets in the "keep" area. I then planted myself in her room and I'd hand her something--she'd have to make a split-second decision which category it fell into and place it accordingly.

There were two rules: 1) She couldn't snark at me at all during the process (and she did great--we actually had a good time!); 2) the "Keep" side could only end up as large as the "Donate/Toss" sides combined. She did pretty well at that, too, although I left her with instructions to see if she couldn't downsize her Keep pile by about another 25%. Then, after vacuuming and dusting, we tried a new arrangement of her furniture, got rid of one set of shelves that never worked well, and repurporsed a table from the basement to hold her guinea pig cage and accoutrements. Personally, I love the new room arrangement--she looks like she's got so much more space. But my girl is not a huge fan of change so she's got an expression that's alternating regularly between a pout and a smile--she can't entirely decide what she wants to feel. I told her if she wants to move it back again later, we can do that. She just has to give it a fair shot.

Now my part of the job is done, so I'm taking a few minutes of recuperation time and watching one of my quilt instructional videos, then I'll get to my sewing machine. Meanwhile, she's finding a new home for all the stuff still in the "Keep" pile in the hallway. I told her my only remaining rule is that nothing end up in stacks on her floor. We probably will go out later this week and get her one more set of shelves--she could use them. One thing I don't mind very much? Most of the stacks on her floor were books, notebooks for writing short stories, or sketchbooks and drawing utensils for her artwork. I can't really argue with those habits too much!

(*gross understatement)