Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Over the past several years I have done all of my "Spring Cleaning" in the fall.  I find that to be the perfect time as the Heinisch children are all back in school and the house could use some attention after summer break is over.  This year was different, however, as I became a contracted teacher again!  Before this school year I had spent the last sixteen years at home with my children, substitute teaching as we could fit it into our schedule.

I was offered the teaching position in July and since then my life has been crazy.  I had not realized how little attention I had been paying to the house.  We were able to keep up with the typical cleaning (bathrooms, kitchen, dusting, etc.), but not the deep cleaning that all homes with children need from time to time.  Since I am only teaching four hours a day this trimester, I thought I'd had better catch up on my cleaning in March.  Brett graduates on June 8th and we plan to have his open house in our home.  

With cleaning supplies, paper towel, trash bags and the like in hand I started the adventure in Cal and Cameron's room.  It took me a while to sort through the clutter, the dust and the stuffed animals.  I have noticed over the years that Cameron's stuffed animal collection has grown as each of his siblings has passed on their cherished "friends" to him with the understanding that he is never to get rid of them.  He stays true to his word and as we sorted through the pack he would say to me, "I have to keep that one.  It is a memory."
Cal is not a keeper of memories.  Instead he is the water bottle king.  I appreciate his thoughtfulness to the environment, but would have been a lot happier had he put the 21 plastic bottles I found under his bed in the recycling bin. 

Feeling a sense of accomplishment I moved on to Meg's room and my jaw dropped.  I have never seen so much stuff scattered in one room in my life.  She is not a hoarder as you see on TV and has no problem getting rid of her "memories."  However, Meg's ability to organize seems to be lacking.  Thus, I decided to bring her in on the project.  After my eight hours and her four hours, Meg was proud to show off her room to her grandparents via Face Time.  She promised all of us it would never look that way again and true to her word it is still clean several weeks later.  

Compared to his siblings, Brett's room was a breeze.  He is a keeper (especially of books), but has them all organized. He is also very helpful, so a quick dusting and reorganizing led to the end of the upstairs.   We were having guests over to watch the Big Ten Tourney, so I had a reason to get the basement in order as well.  I quickly polished that off the list as well.

I was happy to have this part of our Spring Cleaning done, but I noticed last week I was very anxious.  I realized Friday that this anxiety was coming from the thought of finishing the last room in the house - the toy/storage room.  I decided I had to call in the Big Dogs for this - so this weekend all six of us spent some time in that area of the basement.  All told it took 15 hours of combined effort, but it was so worth it!

The Heinisch children will tell you that I am a clean-freak obsessed with organization.  They may be correct, but it felt just wonderful today to wake up knowing everything was in its place.  I will worry about my obsession tomorrow!! 

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