Sunday, May 29, 2011

Thoughts on Spring Cleaning

Part of my transition from apartment living to house living is the notion of spring cleaning. When I lived in apartments, either the spaces were small enough or I didn't live there long enough to warrant any project worthy of being called spring cleaning. Now, after about five years in the house, I'm noticing little things, like cobwebs in upper window corners and tribes of dust bunnies under the bed, starting to build up.

Don't get me wrong: I'm a far cry from "neat freak." I am untidy and disorganized, and sometimes I think my financial survival is pure luck. But yesterday, those windows bothered me. So as I was reaching behind the curtains to clean up the cobwebs, I noticed how dusty the blinds were. After scraping my knuckles and uttering a curse or two, I finally got them down to soak in the tub. Then back to the frames, which are wood. They were dusty and unhappy looking, so I didn't stop with the cobwebs. I gave them a nice treatment of Murphy Oil and washed the inside panes, and when they were decently dry, I re-hung the blinds. This little chore made my living smell so wonderful I found myself kicking back with a beer and relaxing music, just inhaling the combo of Murphy Oil, glass cleaner, and lemons (I use Mrs. Meyers aroma therapy cleaner).

I never imagined I would find joy from an act so simple and so domestic. The work itself wasn't exactly plesant; it was more akin to a labor of love. It's the kind of thing I don't normally get to because I spend more time on maintenance cleaning (litter boxes, dirty dishes, and laundry). Usually once the maintenace cleaning is done, I feel as though I've worked enough and it's time to relax. Yesterday I didn't do any maintenance cleaning, just spring cleaning.

I'm not gunning to start on every crevice of the house. I know I could find a "spring cleaning" project at any time during the year, as I've learned that the rooms I rarely go into still manage to get themselves dirty. Maybe it's what I need to do to create spring in the dead of winter: if I want to "rebirth" my home, I can lift up a piece of furniture and find a new home for the dust bunnies.

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