Are you brave enough to spring clean?
However late Easter is going to be this year (2011) all my instincts are telling me that now is the time to spring clean. Why? Because my 10 year old looks as if she is wearing rags. This post is by Nicola Baird, loosely based on ideas in the book Homemade Kids.
Actually Nell hasn’t grown much in the past year and so her clothes (already passed on, and quite possibly second or third hand when big sister Lola wore them) are beyond patching any more, and it shows enough to show us as a family up.
And then there’s that strong spring light that bursts into the house uncovering piles of bags that need to be sorted out ASAP. One bag has outgrown kids’ knickers which younger daughter is saying she’d really rather not have to wear, couldn’t she perhaps have her own new sets? It’s the one thing I don’t buy for myself secondhand either, making this feel like a reasonable request.
My partner wants the place clutter free. Actually this isn’t a new hope, and obviously he could do it himself. But I had a panic attack this St David’s Day (1 March) when he tried to recycle the towering collection of yoghurt pots by the kitchen sink. After all spring is when you really want a collection of yoghurt pots – for making garden models and planting up seeds and, suppose the urge struck, to mix watercolours as you paint a mad March hare etc…
In the end I agreed the pots could go, I’m just trying not to let myself feel regret else he’s bound to mock me in a national newspaper. No wait, he did that back in 2006 ( it is funny though, see the Lone Tidier/Guardian here perhaps).
Clutter comes with memories
I do not see how I can pass on my eldest’s red babygrow. She was so cute in it, um, 12 years ago. For all of three months. I keep thinking it could go to someone else but it was secondhand then (from my friend Paula’s daughter) and is now tatty round the edges and quite faded. I still don’t want to pass it to a textile dealer (eg, Marie Curie shops which do take rags, especially if you label the bags) where it may end up mixed with sand as an equestrian menage surface, or stuffing for teddybears/bedding for rodents etc. Because if it does, this then all my years of saving her special garments was utterly pointless. (No one likes admitting that they are an obvious idiot either do they?)
Feeling weepy yet?
Anyway the bag of baby clothes is too big a clutter mountain to face. From that bag onwards my logic collapses into sentiment and the great spring cleaning experience somehow loses momentum. Or is it just because a dark grey cloud is blocking the sun?
If you ‘ve got any advice on what to do, please help me. I thought maybe a table top give away rather than Freecycle might be ok, but I find most springtimes that it’s much safer to do nothing at all… After all, even if I don’t have another baby, maybe I should be saving things up for the peak oil time when cheap babyclothes won’t exist and a future grandchild, or even nearby child might be very glad of a red-fading babygrow?