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  • Dr. Allissa Gaul


I did a huge spring clean in Beck’s room a few weeks ago. He is now almost 8, and he never really had a hand decorating his room in the first place, so on Spring Break when he was away with his dad I hatched a plan to get the baby-feel out of his space.

That’s when I discovered that a lot of my crap was in his room. Inherited dresser drawers, piles of toys and stuffed animals. Books falling all over. And a closet full of outgrown baby clothes and stuff too cute to throw away. And a pile of older linens “too good” to throw out!

Enough is enough, I thought. I’ve read Spark Joy - The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I even have the workbook. I can do this.

So, my partner and I, and my parents moved all the stuff out of the room. I spent a bunch of time sifting through all of the little bits. And I started my trash, donate and recycle bags.

We painted away the baby blue (sniff!) for a mature grey. I labored over each little baby sweater and chose the items that I wanted to keep for Beck when he turns 18, like my Oma did for me when I turned 18 (she kept my first bikini!).

We went and bought two SUVs worth of furniture and items for the room. I spent days by myself slowly redecorating. Me and Peanut (Becks’s cute little hamster) hung out in my room contemplating the world on breaks.

I pulled out the entire closet’s worth of stuff and ended up putting it mostly in recycle and donate. I drove the van to the dump. Twice. $40 per pop. I hesitated at the bin when I threw away a damaged beyond repair but much loved chair that I have had for over 40 years. I threw away or recycled or donated about 150 kg of stuff. That’s no lie. They weigh you at the dump!

And when he came home, what did Beck say to us? And I quote: “WOW! Wow! Awesome! Really good! I am so happy I have to go pee!”

And the house felt as light as my heart.

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