Sunday, June 21, 2009


While Grace was gone, I decided to clean her room. I know, I know. First, she should be responsible for cleaning her own room. Second, I shouldn't mess with her stuff. But there were piles of clothes and bags and notebooks and papers. My friend Sheila said, "I always loved it when I would go to camp and my mom cleaned my room."
I remember always hoping a fairy godmother would clean my room, but she never showed. So, I started with the floor. The floor of Grace's room is rarely seen. When she comes home, she throws her book bag, her swim bag, her lifeguard bag on the floor in front of her closet door. I was going to concentrate on the floor until I saw the older cat go into Grace's closet. I opened the door and saw him peeing (more like dripping) on the pile of clothes there. The cat went to the vet for a urinary tract infection and I switched my focus to the closet. I picked up every item of clothing, vacuumed and scrubbed the wood floor, organized the shoes. Found a place for her backpack and other bags on the shelf along the top. As I cleaned, I found $1.80 in quarters and dimes, along with a dollar bill folded into a tiny triangle. Spencer had carried out some trash for me and run things up and down the stairs. He was going to Panera to hang out with friends so I gave him the $2.80 I'd found so far.
It took me three days of hard labor to get this room in shape. I threw out two bags of trash, mostly papers, and organized all of her "keepsakes" into bins that are easily retrievable. I pulled a crushed gift bag from under her bed and looked through it. I found two birthday cards with a $25 Panera gift card and a $20 bill. Her birthday was in January. I put the cash in her money drawer, but I was sweating and decided the gift card was buying dinner for us.
Her bed, which was mine when I was a girl, but it had a canopy while now it is a mere four-poster, was listing at one end. We took off the mattress and boxspring so Earl could reinforce the frame. OMG! You should have seen everything that was under there. Some normal things, like her sewing basket and a bin with her American Girl doll wardrobes, but also trash and bags and boxes.
Tucker was excited by the booty I had found so far and was willing to help. He picked up a small festive Christmas box and opened it. Christmas cookies! Gag! I'd found her Halloween candy in the closet on a shelf, so I guess the next thing to look for would be Valentine candy.
It took more than a day to clean out from under the bed and vacuum so Earl could fix the frame. Then we replaced the mattress and boxsprings and put on the freshly washed bedskirt, mattress pad, sheets and quilt.
I still had the hard surfaces, her bedside table, dresser, bookshelf and desk. Grace refuses to throw away anything. This year, when Spencer was taking government she would consult her notes whenever he had a question. So I filled a bin with school notes. Another bin is full of her drawing and writing notebooks. This emptied up a lot of space on her bookshelf for actual books which previously inhabited the floor.
Finally, I moved on to her desk. I found many of the applications to college swim teams that had been sent by coaches. I organized those in a folder and put them at the front of her file folders. I found more birthday cards, including a $20 check from my parents, again from January.
So Grace was up $40, and we had a nice dinner at Panera, and her room is clean. For now. I know it won't last, but maybe in July when we have to clear out the desk and fit a twin bed into her room for the French girl who is coming, there won't be as much clutter to clear out.


Sheila said...

wow you were working hard. First off I want to know were my shoes under the cat urine? :) Second I probably wouldn't have been as happy about the cleaning if my mom was keeping any of the money she found. :) But I guess she ended up with more money than she thought she had to start with.

So was she excited?

Paulita said...

Your shoes were, of course, not in the closet where they should have been, so they are clear of the cat urine. She was happy to see us, and happy to go to bed in her own room, and maybe happy about it being clean. She gave me a big hug and didn't care about the gift card. She still hasn't signed the check so I can cash it for her.

Linda said...

Big job. I used to clean my kid's rooms about twice a month. I couldn't stand the mess.

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