Moxie Mom On Life and Kids

MOXIE MOM on Life & Kids

Spring Cleaning

The other day I read an article on budget home improvements. Really budget. As in free. One suggestion was to move your furniture around to give a room a new look.

You know what my free makeover is? Cleaning the house. Not just wiping the kitchen counter, which is often all I get done, but actually wiping down trim and vacuuming dust bunnies. I would rather do almost anything than clean the house, and so it goes many months between deeper cleans, but I’m always amazed how much more I like our living space when it’s a little bit shiny. I get this urge every spring as we emerge out of the depths of darkness to see just how grimy our houses are. (I think our house would benefit from this urge hitting more often, but there’s no pregnancy in my future.)

Yesterday’s big step: I called the carpet cleaners to clean the upstairs carpet. I freely and sheepishly admit I can’t remember these carpets have ever been cleaned. Like in 15 years. Not free, carpet cleaners, but worth every penny. I also washed the curtains when I discovered the tops of them had a nine-year-old layer of dust. (I made them before Ty was born.) I mean, really, how hard is it to throw the curtains in the washing machine once in a while? Sheesh.


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Basement Purge

On Saturday, we cleaned out our basement. We moved and hauled and assessed and swept, and what do you know, it looks great. Everyone keeps commenting. By everyone, I mean my kids. And when my kids notice something is tidy, it was really not tidy before the project started. Granted, it’s hard not to notice when you can’t walk across the floor of your basement for all the flotsam and jetsam that’s been deposited will nilly. (Tossed. Dumped. Stacked. Piled. Even thrown, I think.)

This week, I’ve made trips to Value Village, the Re-Store, Henderson Books, and Half Pints. But the tidying and sorting are not done yet. I was ready to keep moving on Saturday because that’s the kind of person I am—my momentum tends to build like a bad storm until, hours later, I am swirling in good tornado fashion, ready to take on the entire house. But my husband is not like me, sensible person that he is. He’s more like a sudden rain shower that stops as quickly as it starts.

Which is why I keep reminding him we’re not done yet. We are not done because we haven’t yet tackled his corner (he thinks the wrapping paper storage is a problem. I think it’s the crates of records I have been tripping over. Of course, now my son has noticed the records and is interested in the music on them and I am feeling a sense of nostalgia blowing through and I find myself wondering where the old record player went because maybe Ty would want to play records in his room. Because wouldn’t it be cool if he got into his dad’s old music? Listen to me. What am I saying?).

But I did manage to talk Curt into putting out a foam mattress with a free sign that’s been living under the basement stairs for way too long. The kids have been using it, apparently, as a cushy place to ingest candy. Under the mattress, when we pulled it out, we found scores of candy wrappers, presumably leftover Halloween candy that I’d probably banished to a top shelf in the basement. It appears the kids have been lolling in their cave eating to their hearts content away from the eyes of the powers that be.

Anyway, this mattress, well, not only did it live under our stairs like a floppy, stained troll for years, it got carted around for the years before that from apartment to house to duplex to apartment before we finally bought and settled. Curt and I have been together now for about 17 years (wow, is that right?), and he owned this mattress before I met him. It’s old. And it has a certain sentimental value for him. Part of the reason we’ve been hanging onto it. But as with all phases of life, it’s sometimes time to say good-bye, and Saturday was the day. We aren’t college students any more.

So it was with unabashed glee that I noticed it was gone within a couple hours. I nearly clicked my heels. Except that, according to my neighbor, the story is that a fellow parent, when picking up his kids at her house, saw it and thought it was the perfect find for kiddie sleepovers. His wife, according to my neighbor, would not be thrilled. I felt a little guilty then that I—the mattress, rather—may have unwittingly contributed to marital discord, but I still had to laugh. If you’re not into free things walking through the door, you would not want this mattress. Not that its history involves anything skanky, but it is a mattress, after all. Mattresses have stories.

I’m not sure where this mattress will end up. I’m sure it’s no longer with the family it went home with. I’d like to think it will find a good home with an appreciative college student. We once watched our old couch go off with a couple of young guys who couldn’t believe their good luck. (And we couldn’t believe ours, either.) Because while I’m not the type who ponders where her junk—or her husband’s—may have ended up (I’m too busy feeling light and unfettered), in that moment when the furniture is available to be corralled and carried home, I like to think that, ugly and worn as it may be, it can still have a place in someone’s life.

I’ll keep you posted on the wrapping paper/record corner.

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