There are days when spic-and-span is a must, but in general, I stopped stressing too much about my kids’ bedrooms long ago. While our definitions of clean are very different, the bedrooms simply do not justify blood, sweat, and tears on a regular basis.
Not long ago, I rearranged our 11 year old’s bedroom. Caden, who has had bunk beds for many years, was ready for a change and when furniture is being moved around it’s time to really dig in. There are times when “Cleaning House” Really Does Matter.
I started with the empty water bottles. When I was finished collecting them, they filled the kitchen sink.
I moved on to trash. In addition to the somewhat expected 11-year-old-boy trash (candy wrappers and broken toy parts), Caden had a whole box of Kleenex (used) between his bed and the wall. He explained that it’s easier to stash them when you have a cold than to put them in the trashcan. He did have a valid point. The trashcan was on the opposite side of the room.
From there I addressed the things I knew he’d outgrown. We tend to add to the closet and dresser but don’t remove things as often as we should. It was time. It was also time to address some toys that no longer “fit”.
Caden was not quite ready to give up his collection of costumes and was still highly attached to his stuffed animals when we moved into this house 18 months ago. I knew he’d moved on so I bagged them all up and tossed them in the den for Caden to sort through when he returned home from school.
As I pulled from his closet, I sorted toys on his newly arranged beds. One bed held those I assumed were keepers and the other held toys I felt he would likely want to add to our give-away mountain in the garage.
With all his “keeper” toys laid out on one bed, I had a bit of an “a-ha” moment.
Caden has some really neat things. I hadn’t seen some of them in many months. I imagine Caden hadn’t remembered what was stashed in the depths, either.
I stepped back a bit and considered the other things I’d sorted through. Caden has some sharp-looking clothes I never see him wear. Doubtless, a stuffed closet and a stuffed dresser are difficult to manage when you’ve hit the snooze button one too many times in the morning.
I really allowed this reflecting I’d begun to hit home.
How many “things” in my life have I outgrown? How many “things” clutter my mind and affect my emotions throughout the day simply because the “trashcan” isn’t close enough?
And what about my blessings? Are there treasures in my life that I take for granted? What richness surrounds me that I’ve lost sight of because I’ve been too focused on the trash in my life? Have I lost sight of my many blessings amidst the clutter? And finally, one last tough questions in light of the 2016 presidential election this week, do I allow the clutter (or Facebook commentaries) to rob me of the fantastic and the beautiful in my here and now?
There is room for some “cleaning house” in my life as we approach Thanksgiving. What about you?