I've spent the last hour and a half cleaning, and you'd never know it to look at my kitchen or living room. The entire time was spent in the girls' room, weeding out trash and treasure alike. I have to wait until they're gone to do this, otherwise there is much protesting at what I throw out. Both girls, but Ella especially, are collectors, and every little thing they find instantly becomes a treasured keep-sake. They both just know that someday the little piece of colored paper will be perfect for some art project, really it will. Which of course means their room is filled with "art." I do keep many of their special creations, but if I kept every paper covered with scribble or glitter or paint, there'd be no room in the house.
So this morning I was ruthless. I tackled their bookshelf, collected all of Ella's chapter books on one shelf, pulling out and tossing all of the free coloring and activity books we've gotten from stores and Chick-fil-a, and returning my Calvin and Hobbes books to my closet bookshelf. I also sorted out all the board books and moved them to the bookshelf in Campbell's room for him to destroy. I threw out several that were in really bad shape - they were some of our favorites and will need to be replaced.
In the process, I found lots of junk and paper that went in the trash. I took out a garbage sack filled to the brim, and that was without even opening Ella's desk drawers, the contents of which will probably fill another bag. My hope is that the girls will be so impressed by the newly organized bookshelves and the pretty magazine holders I put in it for Ella's Spider magazine, that they won't have time to look for what's missing - like the broken toy vacuum cleaner (which is in the trash) or the light-brite (which is in the garage).
After the bookshelf, I moved on to their dresser. The weather turned cool this week, and I had to scramble to find clothes for the girls, especially Ella, who has gotten taller in the past year but hasn't gained any weight. All of her pants from last year are too short, and I didn't want to send her to school looking like she was ready for a flood, not that she would have cared. Fortunately, I was able to round up some tights and long-sleeved dresses for the girls. Today we'll be doing some clothes shopping for Ella.
In the process of cleaning out dressers, I pulled out all of the clothes I'd put in storage last spring. As a result, Lily is all set for the winter. She has plenty of pants and shirts and dresses, so I won't need to buy her anything.
I didn't get a chance to tackle Ella's side of the dresser before my little helper got bored and cranky. Normally Campbell loves the chance to play in his sisters' room without them there to take things away from him. But today he got tired of being trapped in there after 90 minutes. I'll have to finish the project later.
The discouraging part is that even though I spent all that time working in the girls' room, you can't really tell that I was there. The bookshelf is neat, and there's a little less clutter, but it still needs so much more work. Another project for another day, I guess. At least I know that I got rid of a ton of stuff.