Ahh, spring cleaning. A chance to de-clutter the closet, to un-stuff the dresser drawers, and perhaps rearrange the furniture for a better use of space. I used to love this opportunity to ‘downsize’ my children’s growing possessions in their shrinking rooms and donate perfectly good clothes and toys to Good Will.
Now that the children are older, my other four children sort out the clothes that no longer fit or that they don’t wear anymore. My ETL child can’t. Or is it won’t? She “needs” that yellow-stained tee-shirt or was “just going to wear” that skirt that is two-sizes too small or that was her “favorite” sweater Aunt Silvia gave her six years ago no matter that she never wore it. And forget the stuffed animals and fluffy bed junk! She is very tactile.
Needless to say, my ETL child is very possessive and doesn’t like change whether it is in the form of a downsized dresser drawer, a re-organized closet, or the rearrangement of bedroom furniture. With Marie, ‘spring cleaning’ is a major trauma requiring much planning, emotional strength, and intestinal fortitude—all mine! Because of the wear and tear on my nerves, I only do this about every ten springs…or when the house starts to lean to one side—the side toward Marie’s bedroom. And I would put it off even longer if Marie didn’t share a bedroom with her sister.
I really need to psyche myself up for this. I need to come up with parameters and specific numbers. You know, like we will work on her room together for only about an hour each Saturday and Sunday until the job is complete. She can only keep four articles of clothing that are considered her “favorites” regardless of size, condition, or never-wearing. As far as broken objects [toy, jewelry, purse] are concerned, they are separated into three groups: fixable, a part usable for craft, or trash. No exceptions, regardless of whining. This is where my intestinal fortitude is most needed.
The hardest part are all the stuffed animals in various sizes from key-chain size all the way up to a panda bear almost her size. [She’s a petite young lady in her twenties.] She has close to 80 animals overflowing her bed and stacked in corners to the ceiling. I’ve tried everything from “Let’s donate some to the local pediatric ward at the hospital” to “Maybe we can donate some to the local day care or library.” Marie is a very caring individual, so I thought this might work. No luck so far. Any ideas? It’s actually the twelfth spring!