Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Rob cleaned the boys' room on Sunday. For almost 7 hours.

Seriously. It was a disaster. Dirty socks strewn behind bookshelves, gloves and mittens stowed carelessly in corners (have I mentioned how many times my kids have had to go to school in mismatched mittens because we could not find ONE pair?), and -- the piece de resistance -- a pile of clothes and a backpack in Spencer's closet on which the dog had peed god knows how long ago. I could smell it but I couldn't find the source. Oh, how thoroughly disgusting.

They hauled out 6 or 8 brown grocery bags stuffed full to the trash and recycling. My laundry (which was mostly caught up prior to the cleaning) ended up being 8 loads. Let me mention that white vinegar does a bang-up job of removing pet odors from clothing and backpacks.

I was sent downstairs to the main floor by my husband who refused to let me berate the children for hours on end (he's a keeper, that one). They fixed drawers that were stuck (now I know why Spencer kept telling me he didn't have any pants to wear. Did he tell me that the drawer was stuck, though? *Sigh*). They found NINE pairs of children's scissors. NINE. And I can't manage to get them to leave the one pair in the phone alcove alone.

And lest you think the little darlings learned any lessons from this flurry of cleaning, they left for last night's baseball game and I went upstairs to put fresh sheets on Spencer's bed and put his no-longer-pee-infused bedspread on, and I found: Legos from 2 storage tubs strewn about near the stairs; Dora's house and her Lego playground, along with most of the furniture (although no people, strangely) in the play area; and a wooden house built by Rob and one of the kids with more furniture and other accessories in the bedroom. To add to the delightful ambience, a travel game of tiny magnetic chess and checker pieces was artfully sprinkled across the carpet.

So I now have a 60 gallon Rubbermaid tote in hiding in the spare bedroom. Argh.

The good news is it is now clean up there, again. And I am reworking the chore charts, considering incentives, and I have consulted the kids' principal for guidance. Let's hope his ideas work.

We went through their clothes today and cleaned out another 60 gallon tote of outgrown stuff. It's in the van ready to be dropped off at church later in the week for the spring rummage sale, along with another 40 gallon tote of cast offs from the closets in the grown-ups' room. And I got out the label maker, oh blessed thing, and made labels for the boys' drawers, to help them stay organized.

We have so much. And I am grateful. But sometimes I think the days of having one outfit for the week and one for Sundays, and corn cob dolls, and small, simple houses, and just what one needed might not have been all bad.


  1. Wow! Talk about a mega clean out!

    We could stand to do the same...minus the peed on stuff. Though I did notice last night that T's sheets smelled funny...he's had some diaper leakage issues recently...

    ANYWAY, I saw a great idea that might work for you. The lady made whole outfits including socks and undies and put the clothes away that way into a shoe/cubby type organizer. That way they always match, they never forget to change socks and undies (well, they still might) and they don't wear the same 7 shirts every week and at the end of the season you don't find 5 perfectly good, unworn shirts that no longer fit anyone.

    Good luck!!!

  2. I just had to laugh at your post! WITH you...right? Ugh! I remember those days with my kiddos like they were yesterday. Oh, wait...it hasn't really ended. My 18 yr. old has now "grown up" to the garage and I constantly have grease on my back door/handles/bathroom sink from the grease monkey.

    At least they do their own laundry now. There is an end to it....I promise!

  3. Just wanted to add...I'm seriously addicted to "Give Me the Booger" blog. Thanks for that link!!