This is the time of year when my kids are gone to camp. While they’re gone, I usually take the opportunity to clean out their rooms, clean out old toys from the attic, and generally work on the house without a lot of distractions.
In fact, one year, we managed to clean out several van loads of stuff while our children were at summer camp. We deliberately didn’t tell them that we had gone through and cleaned out stuff, just to see how long it took them to notice that things were missing. Believe it or not, it took almost 6 months before any of them noticed and said anything. That, of course, tells me that they generally have absolutely no clue how much stuff is in their rooms. Even stuff that they insist that they absolutely must have. They didn’t even notice for 6 months that things were missing. Then they asked me what happened, and we told them that we had sold their toys for chocolate. They didn’t believe us, but it was actually true.
Since that year, I take the opportunity to clean things up most times that they leave the house for an extended period of time. Last fall, I moved the kids around into different bedrooms. I literally tossed bins and bags, and boxes of stuff. Old make-up, broken toys, and just a lot of trash. It’s amazing how much trash can accumulate in their rooms. Every time I do this clean-up operation, it feels incredibly liberating to be offloading piles, and piles of stuff that we no longer need or want from the house. It gives us extra space to breathe, and function. I love it. It’s a great reason to send kids away to summer camp. To give me precious time to clean out their rooms, with a rake and a garbage bag.
So, while the kids are away, mom is going to play. Maybe not in the way they had intended, though.