The commitment of a spring clean

April 7, 2013

Does anyone do spring cleaning any more?

From that question, you can tell that I donít. Sure, I give the house its weekly once-over, but spring cleaning like we did when I was a girl doesnít happen.

However, this year the walls of the house are literally closing in on me, and I think it might be time for drastic measures. Truth be told, Iím not ready for an episode of "Hoarders," I just long for some sparkle. I want to see no streaks when I look out my windows, and no coffee spots by my dishwasher.

The temperature is warming up. The calendar insists that spring is here, so perhaps itís time I read the handwriting between the smudges on the wall and do some spring cleaning.

As a girl, I remember it was hard work. And a team of us (Mom and her child workforce) were needed to get the job done. There were lots of rubber gloves and sponges involved, and as many people worked outside as worked indoors. But the specifics of it elude me.

I could ask Mom, but then Iíd have to confess I donít do it still. And havenít for more years than I care to count. Mom still spring cleans, and so do my sisters. I donít want to be the slacker in the group, so other plans were needed. Perhaps drastic measures.

I considered just opening the windows and letting a stiff west breeze blow the winter stench outta the rooms. I even considered just going to bed and getting a good nightís rest and hoping things would look better in the morning. I gotta tell you, I really did do that, but no elves had come in to clean the house by morning.

OK, spring cleaning, itís you and me.

To get a grip on the idea, I went online and found Martha Stewartís plan to clean the house for spring. It was three pages long.

I had trouble reading it. How in the world could I implement those ideas and still live to tell you about it?

So, I began eliminating those things that didnít pertain to me.

I have no wooden floors (sadly), so I didnít have to worry about waxing any of those. My freezer is frost-free, so no defrosting needed. My attic is empty, so nothing there to do.

Great, three things tackled and I barely broke a sweat.

So, that leaves my carpets, drapes, windows, appliances, tile, walls and ceilings, toilets, blankets, computer and outdoor furniture. And, the utility room and basement.

Can I get all this done in one weekend? I will assign the utility room and basement to my husband. That will shorten my list considerably, and lengthen our marriage. Experience tells me both of us cleaning in one room is not in our best interests.

OK, Martha, lead me.

A quick trip to gather supplies is required, starting with a mask to keep me from breathing in all the dust that will undoubtedly filter down on me. I also needed new sponges, lint-free cloths, lots of vinegar, bleach, and a stiff brush. The rest of the supply list, which includes furniture polish, Lysol, detergent and Windex, I had at home. Score.

The first thing Martha suggested was rid the place of clutter.

Well, that will extend the weekend project into next week. That is, if Iím the one ridding the clutter. My husband sees no clutter when he looks at the house, so Iíll need to have him out of the house for this portion of the process.

In fact, I think that given my timeline, if I want to finish spring cleaning before spring ends, Iím going to have to take some time off work. Wonder if the powers that be would call spring cleaning a vacation day or a sick day? Probably arguments for both could be made.

I only hope that my time off doesnít correspond with the time my bosses decide to spring clean the staff. Something tells me that I could lose my spot for morning coffee if that were to happen.

So, re-thinking the whole spring cleaning thing, I think Iím going to pass on that this year. Thanks Martha, I appreciate the help, but the sparkle comes at too high a price.