The Big Clean-Up


So when I was a kid I occasionally received books from the “Weekly Reader Book Club.”  I don’t have any of those books anymore but occasionally I come across a title in a bookstore and I always buy it for the kids.  One such title is “The Big Clean-Up” by Harvey Weiss.  I found the copy we have now when I was at the beach the weekend before I found out I was pregnant with Delia.  It was about a boy whose mother tells him to clean his room.  He has a big dog named Maurice and as he sorts through the junk in his room, he imagines himself and Maurice building things out of the items or in some way needing them.  He ends up keeping everything including the cardboard boxes his mother gave him to sort the things into.

That kid could be my daughter, a child who may someday be a true hoarder.

Okay, that’s a bit harsh, but she wants to keep EVERYTHING.

Which is why I can only do a really thorough cleaning of her room when she is gone.  That was today, and here is the end result:

The super fabulous Halloween quilt was a recent gift from my mother, who made one for each of the girls because she is awesome like that.

The net groaning under the weight of the fifty bajillion stuffed animals is staying but the intent is to reduce its load somewhat.  This is nearly as painful for me as it is for her.  I pick one up and think, “But I’ve seen her play with this, she loves this one,” or, “This one was a gift from my grandmother who is no longer with us,” and I get nowhere.  The Lovely Rhonda is far more ruthless, which is why she is Not Allowed To Help.  I figure, eventually most of them will wander off of their own accord.  Or the net will collapse and we will get FEMA money.  Either way.

We got rid of her bunkbed on Saturday.  We posted it on Craigslist for free, because the new owners would need to disassemble and reassemble it.  It was originally purchased at Ikea, which means it came in a box of five hundred thousand individual pieces of wood, forty different kinds of fasteners, and one (1) Allen wrench.  A very cheerfully determined woman came for it.  She knew the drill and brought her own Allen wrench.  A captain’s bed, courtesy of my cousin Heidi whose daughter has outgrown it, now takes the bunkbed’s place, and a little desk makes an appearance for the first time.  She’s thrilled at the thought of a desk because she draws and writes a lot and really would like a place to do this in her room that isn’t the floor.  Every pencil I found in her room is sharpened and ready in a box on the desk.

She hasn’t seen it yet.  She’ll see it when she gets home tomorrow.

I won’t show her the recycling bin full of old school papers and broken-down cardboard boxes.  She’ll never miss them.


3 responses »

  1. The secret to ditching some of those animals are to pack them away little by little. After they are out of sight for awhile, you lose the need to hang onto them forever. Sure, you can save a few favorites, but to keep them all is crazy. Outta sight..outta mind. Do a few at a time and she won’t notice they are gone.

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