Okay, girls, today our fast-clean project is this stuffed coat closet. Oh, we have so much to do to make it better! Here, Little Mary, you can play with all these wonderful wooden hangers. Can you pile them onto the couch for mom? Great! Thanks!
Hey, Big Sis, look at Daddy’s old umbrella–it needs mending. Write that on the list for me, will you? First write “mend”, then I will spell “umbrella” for you, okay? Thanks!
Oh, look, here is the glove you were looking for, Leah! I’m so glad we are cleaning this closet out. Maybe we’ll even find some MONEY hiding in here. Run and put the glove with your other one, okay?
Oh, I wonder what is in this box–Would you look! It is empty except for one cap. What a waste of space, and just when I was thinking we needed a bigger closet! Are you back already, Leah? Take these road atlases over to the couch beside the hangers. Yes, that’s right. Thanks! No, Little Mary, those are grown-up books. Good girl.
Okay, this other box has candles in it. Can you tell from the lovely perfume coming from it? Here, everyone sniff and tell me what it smells like . . . Right! Just like flowers, isn’t it? Good job! We’ll set it on this big chair, and don’t you let me forget to put it back, when things in there are dry.
What else is up on this shelf? Daddy’s two good hats are dusty. Big Sis, do you know where the whisk broom is? Get it for me, please. Thanks. I didn’t know I would need that in here. Leah, could you bring me back the big box? Yes, that’s the one. Let’s put Daddy’ good hats in it, since he doesn’t wear them often. That will keep them clean and keep bugs off them. Oh, here’s that broom. Good. Now we can clean the hat before we store it. Won’t Daddy look sharp in this new, clean hat? What? You want to try it on? Okay, but let Mommy help you–Whoa! You look just like Daddy!
You know, I think I will pull all the coats out of here before I wash the shelf. I don’t want to get soap on our good coats, if I spill. We’ll lay them across the back of the couch. There. Much better for the coats, and you help me remember to take this graduation gown to my closet, okay? Okay!
Big Sis, how are we for time? Fifteen minutes? We need to hurry more.
Little Mary, would you like a job? Can you carry out all the umbrellas off the floor in here? You can? Great! Leah, you help her with that huge one. Yes. Good.
Big Sis, hand me the step stool. Thanks. Let’s see if Mom can fit up inside this little closet. Oh, sure, I see we need to wipe the shelf, so here goes. Can you fetch the fan from the dining room? I want this to dry fast so we can put everything away before the timer goes off. Do you know why it should be dry? Yes, the box could stick to the shelf. That would be a big mess. I think I will clean this door, too. Somebody handled it with grimy hands. Too bad!
Now to sweep the floor right quick . . . There!
Let’s put the coats back and let’s be sure to check all the collars. Uh-oh, Daddy’s trench coat needs dry cleaning, see? Look at that. We’ll take it out to the car in a while. Everything else looks good, so back it goes, into its place. Hey, Little Mary, I’m ready for you to bring me the hangers again. Thanks, Baby. You are such a helper. Okay, let me get the candle box. Now the hat box. We are almost done.
You two put the umbrellas back except for the broken one. Mommy will take care of it. Whew! All that work made me hungry! Who wants a cookie?
There you have it: one session of the new Spring Cleaning plan, in a one-sided conversation, with three imaginary girls helping. Of course, your children are not exactly like these and your words would differ, but do you see how it might work to incorporate children into this job?
They SO need the attention and the teaching. Let’s go for it!