Steps to Decorating Your Daughters’ Room
1) Send oldest daughter away to camp — this cuts down on the protestations and tears when you declutter and throw away precious pieces of paper, scraps of ribbon, old toys and crafts made from beads and glitter glue.
Rachel conceals her sadness at leaving her beloved family for a week behind a huge smile. She doesn’t look the least bit nervous or worried about camp. What an actress!
2) Take large plastic bin and several paper bags — fill containers with random toys and knick knacks, put everything else in the trash.
3) Trick rest of the children into helping in the finest tradition of Tom Sawyer — do this by saying things like “Maybe I’ll let you paint.” And “Well, I don’t know. It’s awfully hard to paint, we’d have to clean up all these toys first.” When I see how they enjoy painting, they remind me of the guys who do house painting in Lancaster.
4) Arm oldest boys with rollers and then stand back to watch the paint fly — it helps to fill their rollers for them the first dozen or so times (unless the ‘carpet splattered’ look is your goal).
Daniel and Joshua’s leisure time is in serious jeopardy now that I’ve discovered what amazing painters they are. I couldn’t believe how fast the room was completed. What room shall we do next, boys?
5) Hand out tiny rollers to youngest children — this is risky but pays off in raising future painters. Be sure they are dressed in attractive paint smocks. Be prepared to banish them from the room as wet paint begins to cover the walls, making even turning and walking around difficult.
David and Sarah did a great job helping paint the walls.
6) Spend hours edging — this is a difficult step as the younger children are still eager to help and return to the room often. Putting their hands on the walls to peep inside, they ask, “Why are you STILL painting, Mommy? What’s taking you so long? I thought we were done.” At the same time this disturbance is going on, the older children have escaped out into the back yard for some dodge ball and aren’t available to scoot little ones OUT of the room. Continue working, despite interruptions. Don’t worry about things like dinner, laundry or dodge ball injuries.
7) After painting is completed, go shopping — at this point it is advisable to bring another girl along, preferably one who shares the newly painted bedroom. If she is still upset about being sent away while painting (see step 5), use shopping as consolation.
8) Visit at least two stores in search of curtains, shelves, bedding, decorations, coat racks, and inspiration. Check wallet and credit limit. At this point it might be determined that inspiration is too expensive. Be sure to return home with at least one or two purchases to justify outing.
Sarah and I found these curtains at Lowes. We also bought some wall stickers of flowers and hearts. Too cute!
9) Weigh the cost of a trip to Ikea, which involves gas, time and money spent on out-of-budget extras, against a quick spin over to Wal-Mart. Window shop online, as much as possible.
10) Convince oldest son to mount new curtain rod — hand him a power tool. Saying, “I wonder how this drill works?” usually grabs a boy’s attention. Challenge him to put together the cheap, Wal-Mart bookshelf in under 20 minutes. Using a stopwatch, offer to time him for extra motivation.
11) Beg, plead and bribe dear husband to mount shelves and new hooks in the painted room. This can also be a tricky step. It helps if you have chocolate and diet Coke on hand. If necessary (use with caution), remind him of his words, “Definitely you should paint the room. I think it’s a wonderful idea.” These statements imply support, assistance and some time with power tools.
This is the wall you see as you enter the girls’ room.
12) Place knick-knacks and toys back on desk and new shelves. Hang other decorations — be careful to declutter a second time as toys are returned to the room. Filling another bag of either trash or giveaways is recommended.
Rachel’s desk by the window with animal hammock hanging from the ceiling and new shelves alongside.
13) Touch up spots on the ceiling — remind self to schedule training session with assistant painters before next paint job.
14) Pull old quilt out of closet and hang — don’t worry if the walls are busy and covered with other things. The point is to OVER decorate. Remember everything darling daughter has said over the years about this beloved quilt, made for her as a toddler, (even if the stitching is poor and the quality sub-par). Be amazed at how the colors of the quilt just “happen” to coordinate with the paint colors chosen by the girls.
Tim’s sister painted these beautiful letters for Rachel one year. Now, to convince her to do some for Sarah. Hint, hint.
15) Spend several minutes chortling with glee as you imagine the joy and surprise on dear daughter’s face when she sees her new room. Ponder her words, “Every summer you say we’re going to paint my room … but we never do it.” Cherish the opportunity to redeem yourself.
16) Stay up until 1 am (or later) using Publisher to create a photo collage of daughters’ friends and family. — be a perfectionist and work on each picture meticulously to crop, center and outline it.
17) Complete finishing touches — hang collage, vacuum, take photos, write blog, etc.
Now, to convince Sarah to give the top bunk back to Rachel.
There you have it — the steps of our little Breaking and Decorating in Rachel and Sarah’s room. Rachel returns from camp tomorrow. I’ll be sure to record her response (staged or otherwise) for the blog. Thanks for reading! We had fun.
Project 365 – Day 229