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What got me all sporky last week- cleaning the Girl’s room.


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I know. I’m a horrible mother. I let my children just have their way and leave their shit out everywhere. They don’t make their beds. They have piles and piles of crap. It’s like an episode of hoarders in their rooms. Minus the rat feces and ferrets living in an arm chair.

My friend was coming to stay with us and she was to sleep in Emma’s room. I couldn’t imagine her in there in the state it was. Let alone, you couldn’t even see the floor to put an air mattress on it for her daughter. So I was going in. We are talking, rubber gloves, Haz Mat suit, Asbestos mask, the full meal deal. It was necessary.

This is what I was faced with:

The problem was, Emma doesn’t part from her things very well. She’s sentimental. There were dolls, Polly Pockets and journals from 1st Grade. She’s in 7th Grade now people! She is also very lazy. She doesn’t put away her clothes. They are just all over the room. Not in drawers, not on hangers, not even in the dirty clothes hamper. Just …. everywhere. Sometimes, I’ll find a sock on her book case. Or a  rogue pair of underwear she tossed will be sitting on her window sill. Really.

It took me two days of just pulling stuff out of drawers, from under the bed, out of the closet, and making the choice of- toss it, or keep it. I drove to Goodwill with 8 bags of clothes and crap and 3 boxes of books and knick knacky shit.

I put the other bookcase in Owen’s room. He’s a book hoarder. That’s better than most kids, so I’m okay with that.

Once I vaccumed, washed the bed (even the dust ruffle!), put everything back together again- I felt amazed. And clean. And tired. Very tired.

I told McSweetie that I did such a good job I’m going out to buy myself a present. One guess what his reaction to that was.  Yeah, you’re right- he rolled his eyes.

So here’s the big reveal. Pretend it’s the Nate Berkus show and I’m waving my magic wand. Cue tinkly chime music-

Next on the list- my home office.

Holy crap, we are frickin’ slobs!

Skeletons in my closet- or also known as, piles of crap in the office.

…and gross things in my fridge.

Do you have a room in your house that is the junk room? The room where you let no one in? I mean NO ONE. Not even your best friend, not your neighbor (sometimes not your husband) and definitely not your mother in law!

We have that room. It’s our home office. It’s piled high with crap. Let me describe the many varieties of crap that are in this room:

Backpacks from last school year with report cards still in them

Random things from Amazon.com I intend to return

packing peanuts

A steam cleaner

Pictures we don’t hang on the walls anymore

Pictures we meant to get framed so we could hang on the walls

Old telephones

Old cell phones and their charge cords

light sabers

Dioramas of Emma’s book reports from the last 4 years

Science fair project tri-fold boards

My high school yearbooks

My husband’s high school yearbooks

File cabinets that are too full to use and probably should be purged

Rubber stamps and ink pads (by the gagillions, I used to be really crafty)

Spools of ribbons and gift wrap and every gift bag I’ve ever been gifted since I reuse them and can’t bear to throw any out. I’ve inherited this from my mother.

hangers- metal hangers. No Mommy Dearest here!

Crayons, markers, pencils, pens- you name it. By the bucket loads.

And don’t even get me started on the Silly Bandz!

And God knows what else that could be used by The Borrowers to stockpile a small country. If The Borrowers had a MacGyver, then he would be set too.

I’m not sure why I’m sharing this. Possibly a confession. A guilty conscience. I always intend on cleaning up the crap. Like a New Year’s resolution of sorts. Every year the kids start school, I think, ‘this is it. I’m going to clean out the office’. Uhm. No.

Well, da da daaddada… (that is the trumpet sound like in a royal court, I have no idea how it would be spelled.)

I did it! I cleaned the office today. Not really.

I took a 5 x 5 square area on the floor and just threw a bunch of shit out. How does so much stuff get in there? I filled our recycle tote outside with random papers and crap. I filled the garbage can with odds and ends and plastic bits. There’s two boxes ready for Goodwill. And I didn’t even get to the OTHER half of the floor or the desk, or the bookshelves.

It’s sad when there’s nickels and quarters scattered around randomly that no one gives a damn about. I always think, if Laura Ingalls saw that nickel, she would feel rich. There is probably $20 of loose change scattered around my house. It’s in the laundry room, the kitchen, the office floor as we have found out, the bathroom, my bedroom… is there a room I haven’t mentioned? Oh, the pantry. I don’t think there’s any loose change laying around in the pantry. But I am probably wrong. I bet there’s a penny in someone’s Easter basket candy or Halloween crap.

I remember a couple years ago when volunteering at Emma’s school, I noticed her sweatshirt and a jacket on the Lost and Found rack. I claimed them and brought them home. Showing her saying, “look what I found! How long have you been missing these?”
She shrugs and says, “I don’t know. I never really noticed.”

WTF?

I guess we live in an age where we have so much crap that we don’t notice when stuff is missing. I remember as a kid having one coat, and probably two pairs of shoes. I’m guilty of getting more things for my children than I ever had. And definitely more than they need. But it’s so easy to do. There’s always cute, affordable things at Target and Old Navy. Kids are picky these days. Either tags or seams itch, elastic is tight, whatever. I’m always providing them with choices.

How many socks I’ve gone through to get my kids happy when they get ready for school in the morning!

There’s birthday parties where there’s goody bags, go to People I Want To Punch In The Throat and read her rant on overachieving moms and their goody bags.

Grandparents are generous with little goodies and gifts for no real occasion. I got one package a year from my grandparents at Christmas time from Germany. I got money too, but that was always put in the bank.

Times have changed. We buy more, use more, make more money. Care less about being stringent with our money. I suppose. I’m speaking for my demographic. I always think of some poor kid in Africa who would be thrilled with the bucket load of crayons and markers we have in our house.

Thankfully, as the children are growing up, the flood of crap seems less. Well, I’m lying. There’s still papers, books, games, pencils, those mini erasers…

okay, it doesn’t end. Now I know why whenever I see my mom, there’s always a bag of my stuff from growing up she’s giving me.

And yes, I admit- I’m not the world’s neatest person. I don’t purge regularly, I’m not terribly organized and I tolerate clutter- to a point. So this is my hope, that I will always be one less gift bag, silly bandz, or kid’s backpack from Hoarders. I think I’m on the right track.