Last night as Hannah and I deep-cleaned her room, it occurred to me how very much like her mother my daughter is. She looks like her dad’s side of the family, but she reminds me of me at age 12….and at age 41.
She is a messy marvin.
Not because she’s not a good little housekeeper – she’s the first one to clear her plate, fold a load of laundry, or vacuum whenever I ask.
BUT – like her mother – she always has 20 balls in the air at once.
Homework spread out far and wide.
Clothes that she has outgrown in a pile on the floor, waiting to get donated.
Arts and crafts that she has started but not finished, and therefore can’t put away.
Clean clothes yet to be put in drawers.
Lotion and body spray and nailpolish and lipgloss here and there.
Markers and colored pencils, thank you notes and zebra duct tape, quotes and photos and stuff,
I wish I had taken a before picture to show you, but it would probably have given you hives, so let’s just pretend it looks like this all the time!
The messiness of all my kids’ rooms makes me a bit crazy, I’ll admit it. On the other hand, I am so glad to be able to give them a place to retreat to, to hang out with friends or have some downtime, so I’m trying, really trying, to chill out about the state of their rooms.
At ages 14, 12 and 10, I think it’s important that they care for their belongings and pick up after themselves, but at the same time, I get having a place to be free in.
And I’m choosing to pick my battles with my children carefully.
The battle of getting my kids to keep their rooms clean falls way down on the list after working hard in school, being kind to their siblings and friends, being respectful to their parents, doing their best in athletics and activities, being thoughtful and considerate citizens of the earth, and picking up after themselves in the common spaces of our home.
So I take my mother’s advice and close the door to my kids’ rooms if they are unsightly!
Back to my little/big girl’s room.
Like her mother, Hannah always has something creative going on.
Duct tape bracelets. Doodling. Funky lettering. And of course – nail art.
Silly me, I thought this desk would be used for homework. But truth be told, the desk is from Hannah’s little girl room (how did the years go by so fast that she’s not a little girl anymore??) and is a bit short, especially with the chair that came with it, for a girl that as of last night is 5’5″ and growing by the minute. She much prefers to spread out on her bed or the floor with her homework, so the desk is used for her craftiness.
To make the desk more usable, I took off the drawer, and replaced the toddler chair with a vanity stool.
The stool was $20 on Amazon and arrived with the legs ready to be assembled.
I thought I would be able to pry off the nailheads and recover it, but alas, those nailheads were not budging.
Plan B: I used upholstery tacks to attach fabric right over the existing cover, trimming the excess.
Then I simply glued grosgrain ribbon over the tacks to hide the raw edge.
Now Hannah has a comfy spot for all her crafting. The absence of the drawer gives her the perfect amount of legroom between the stool and the desk, and the little vanity stool is big enough that two 12 year olds can share it to do their nail art.
I found this blue contact paper at Marshalls – it goes with the walls perfectly! (the wall color is Ben Moore’s Splash 2059-60 if you’re interested.) It’s easy to replace with a fresh piece as needed.
Hannah’s new little vanity stool picks up on the color in her closet, which she just reorganized. (Her cousin Kate just gave her a bunch of awesome hand me downs – her wardrobe options are endless!)
Taking the doors off this space has worked out great – it’s not always nice and tidy like this, but every inch of it is used and even Hannah’s stuffed animals have a spot. Eventually we’ll probably need to utilize the side with the mirror for hanging clothes but right now it’s a great place for all her beauty products (mostly for experimenting with at her age.)
This fun little project has sparked a couple other tweaks in Hannah’s bedroom that I’ll share with you soon!
Fabric (Tutti Fruitti – Fuschia/White – I used less than 1/2 yard) – Joann Fabrics $4.19/yard