Time for Summer Decluttering

by Caroline on August 3, 2012

Every summer Bubbles and M-bug spend several weeks at Decoder Man’s parents’ home in Seattle. It’s great for several reasons. First, they get to see their grandparents and lots of other extended family that we don’t see the rest of the year. Second, they get to go to the beach (which I’ve only done once in my whole life. For fifteen minutes. It was late December, at the Washington coast, and freezing. Seeing the ocean from a plane doesn’t count, and neither does my Alaska cruise, because I was never on a beach or in the water. Someday I’ll actually go in the ocean. But I digress.). Third, they get to do lots of other fun things. And the last reason should be obvious: I get to spend several weeks, at home, by myself. I spend most of it decluttering.

What homeschooling stay-at-home mom wouldn’t want that? I wish all of us women, stay-home or not, had such a luxury. I’m forever grateful to my mother-in-law, who goes from being kidless 11 months out of the year to being in charge of two girls with ADHD in one road trip. Of course, she raised Decoder Man, so it’s not unfamiliar territory.

One of the things that’s great about my mother-in-law is that, much like my own mom, she’s always go-go-go. Dishes in the sink? She does them. Laundry needs folding? No problem. Is her house always perfect? Of course not! But the thing is, when the work needs done, she just does it, efficiently and with a great attitude. I’ve always been impressed at how much of a do-er she is. Her own mom died when she was 13, and, being the oldest, she had to take over … well, everything. It became part of who she is. I hope she can impart some of that attitude to the girls while they’re with her.

I, however, get very overwhelmed when stuff starts to pile up. I do other things to avoid the job that really needs done. And the whole time I’m unhappy. If I’d just quit whining and do what needs done, instead of letting it run me over, I’d be a much happier person a majority of the time. So do it already, Caroline!

I use a large portion of the time I have by myself to do some summer decluttering. It helps start the school year off right and keeps us from accumulating stuff in our house year after year. It’s a lot easier to get rid of old McDonald’s toys and craft projects when the girls aren’t around to see that they’re missing. They come home after being gone a month, and voila! their rooms are clean! They like it because they get to start the school year with pretty rooms, and I like it because … I’m Type-A and that’s the way it’s supposed to be all the time, darn it!  Sarcastic smile

For whatever reason, it took me a long time to get to decluttering Bubbles’ room this year (see “overwhelmed,” above). She really doesn’t have a ton of stuff, compared to a lot of kids her age. However, she rarely puts anything away, so everything she owns ends up all over the floor, bed, desk, dresser, and any other surface able to support stuff. Half the battle was throwing away trash (she loves to draw and leaves half-finished drawings all over the place). That, and rounding up the hundreds (not exaggerating) of LEGOs all over the place. All over the house, really.

So now, after two days of decluttering and cleaning and culling and organizing, Bubbles has a nice clean room to come home to. I keep going in there just to see how pretty it is, and to enjoy my hard work. This afternoon I’m starting on M-bug’s room. I’m hoping it will only take one day.  Winking smile

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie August 4, 2012 at 7:57 am

You show my daughter your girls’ clean rooms and you die. She’ll hold me to it for years. Or, then – maybe she should see it, and I can hold HER to it – for years! Looks great and their rooms are so dang cute. If you have any leftover time – c’mon down! Miss you. Hate drinking (coffee) alone. Jule

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Caroline September 5, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Maybe it would inspire her to keep her room clean. You never know. :D

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Karen. August 5, 2012 at 8:43 pm

I’ve fought this losing battle twice today, but much milder, and partially resolving problems of my own making. *sigh*

Hope your girls are back in good shape AND that the rooms stick for at least a month! :)

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Caroline September 5, 2012 at 6:16 pm

So far the rooms are still pretty clean. Yay!

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