In my attempts to become more organized, I spent an entire day deep cleaning the living room and rearranging the furniture. Needless to say this was a dusty, sweaty job. For some reason, there was an unusual amount of toys hidden under the couch and dirty laundry stuffed between the wall and the back of the couch. Hmmm….this may have been the result of telling the girls they were responsible for cleaning the living room the previous week.

I love rearranging furniture. It always gives me a rush and puts a smile on my face. My dad used to laugh when I started moving furniture as a child. He said it was caused by my over active imagination. Not sure why he always said that. The carpets have not looked this good since we moved in. Everything was dusted and scrubbed. Wow! How dirty can windows become? Q- enjoys making hand prints on the windows for some reason. This deep clean also resulted in two plastic bags full of random items that were sent to the thrift store. We also found the missing library book that has to be returned to the school library. At least I do not have to pay for the book now. Not sure why it was under a cushion.

I even sent the throw pillows to the dry cleaners. They now look almost brand new. This should be done more frequently, however, I usually just clean them at home with the shampoo machine. Now, a trip to the dry cleaners is on my calendar annually for the throw pillows. They needed it.

D- was affected the most by the deep clean. People with autism like routine and avoid big changes. She had spent most of the day with family at the beach. When they all came home, she was stunned. I could see the nerves in her. Her shoulders immediately tensed up and her breathing changed. After a half hour long conversation, she calmed down. It still took her a few days to become comfortable with the changes. Life is filled with changes of all kinds. As a family, we try to work with her on this topic. It is surprising to some people that something as simple as moving furniture from one spot to another can have such an impact. D- has never been comfortable with change of any kind.

We have taken a break from any more major changes around the house. We are trying to give her time to adjust to everything we have done so far this summer. At the end of May, the kitchen cupboards were rearranged for better storage. D- still struggles with this. She often forgets where things are located at now. This is something we are also asking her specialist to help address.

The other two girls love all of the changes. They love the yard work, the small garden, the new arrangement of furniture. They think it is great and they are asking for more. They want to rearrange their bedroom and the dinning room. It is cute and frustrating at the same time.

J- takes it all in stride. His biggest concern is when I move the furniture myself. He worries that I will hurt myself or that my back will go out on me again. No idea how many times this has actually happened; I stopped counting.

It has been just over two weeks now and the results are encouraging. Windows are cleaned every few days, no more dust bunnies hidden under the couch, less toys in the living room and there is an overall feeling of more space. J- also bought me a new vacuum that is just fabulous! The amount of time I spend vacuuming has been cut in half. J- has also noticed that my anxiety is not as bad when company comes over to visit. Since the main room is now looking better, I feel more calm. I am still a pack rat and trying to correct that, but this has been a positive step for me.