Spring Cleaning?

The very notion of spring cleaning seems a bit dated to me, but Washington Post writer Daniel Bortz thinks enough people do it that he wrote an article about mistakes to avoid in the process. Don’t keep using the same dirty rag all through the house. Clean from the top of a room down, not from the floor up. Things like that.

Growing up we had no real tradition of spring cleaning. Our mother hated to clean in general, or even to bother straightening up, so we had a pretty chaotic household. Jerry’s mother was a balabosta, a zealous keeper of their home — although I’m not sure she did the keeping, as she had household help. Jerry’s “no pets” mantra was a legacy of his mother’s philosophy; animal hair or dander was a no-no.

Both Jerry and I liked a neat home, if not necessarily a deep cleaned one, and I’ve continued that level of care. When Sara was born and we’d moved to San Gabriel Drive, an older friend got on me about getting cleaning help. She told me I couldn’t very well be a professional woman, a wife and mother, engaged in the community, and attentive to working out and other matters of my own health and still clean on Saturday mornings. Jerry was amenable, so we had a string of people over the years who came in to clean. One was a Jesus freak, and I had to firmly put down her idea that part of her job responsibilities was bringing me to the Lord.

As thoughts turn to spring I focus on things like getting the furnace cleaned — I do it at the end of the season, not in the fall, because heating companies are less busy — and changing a lightbulb outdoors that I didn’t want to stand on a step stool in the cold and wind to accomplish. I think of the garden. I don’t honestly think much about cleaning. I read through Bortz’ suggestions, although I don’t plan on needing to apply any of the wisdom.

My person comes every two weeks, and I plan to have her continue her normal routine — which is good enough for me. No spring cleaning happening here. And you?


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