I finished shoveling out my daughter’s room today. It was part two of the cleaning - I got about halfway done a few days after she left for college but after a few hours I just closed the door. It was like that TV show where people hoard things and won’t throw them away. She not only kept every single item she’s ever claimed as hers since she was an infant – such as seashells, pretty rocks, pieces of Barbies (they didn’t seem to survive with all their limbs intact for very long), she also kept ever candy wrapper and potato chip bag she snuck into her room and ate late at night, wadding up the evidence and tossing it under the bed.
I found two portable phones that have been lost for years under there.
Her room hasn’t been really clean in years. Sure, we’d change the sheets and dust and vacuum – but she’d simply take everything that was in the middle of the floor and piled on top of her dresser and toss them under the bed and into the closet. It would appear to be clean for a day or two, and then it looked like Hoarders again.
I used to “help” my kids clean their rooms every few weeks – usually before we had a party. They threw clothes, toys, and school work in the floor and cleared out enough of a path to walk through. It would take hours to get those rooms clean.
First we’d pull out all the dirty clothes, some of which had been used stuffed into the closet still wet and muddy to better cultivate mold and mildew and the odors they cause. Then we’d put away all the books that were piled on the floor beside the bed, away from the door so your couldn’t see them. Then we’d arrange the stuffed animals and large toys back on the shelves. That all went pretty fast.
The worst was those little odds and ends left on the floor – things that didn’t really have a specific place, such as the toys they got for free from McDonalds or those little things they’d win at arcades when they cashed in their tickets.
They hated to throw away anything – it all had some wonderful function or memory tied to it, but by the time I’d gotten through all the garbage and junk up until that point, I was ready to be done. I did not want to sort that little stuff. Somehow they had manage to wander out of the room to get something to eat and hadn’t come back.
I finally created a new bin for the McDonald’s toys and little stuff. Some were never even opened. One of these days they’ll be worth a fortune, I’m sure.
Kindof like those Beanie Babies. My son’s friend, Dylan, was obsessed with them. Every time a new one came out, which was about three times a day, he’d get his dad to drive them to the mall so they could buy it. They bought tag protectors to keep the tags from getting crumpled, because that made their “investment” more valuable.
I used to say, “How can something that they are selling to every kid in the universe and a whole lot of their parents be an investment? Something has to be rare before it’s valuable. They’re selling millions of these.” They wouldn’t listen because they kept hearing on the commercials (made by the company selling the Beanie Babies) that they were collector’s items.
Those Beanie Babies are in two duffle bags in my son’s room. They never really played with them, although they’d dump them on the floor and pick them up one at a time to admire them and talk about how valuable they were, like Midas counting his gold. They also threw a substantial amount of money away on Pokemon cards for the same reason.
Today when I was cleaning my daughter’s room, lots of good memories flooded into my head, so I guess it was worth it – at least I can open the door now. I will be one happy mother if I never make another memory of cleaning their rooms. If I en, and I am so thankful that I won’t have to add any new memories of cleaning her room again. I can’t even imagine what her dorm room looks like, and thank goodness I don’t have to.