Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Is Here; Now Let's Clean Something

Do you do "Spring" cleaning?

I mean that deep, intense, move all the furniture, roll up all the rugs, strip everything kind of cleaning?

I never fully appreciated the concept of "Spring" cleaning till I moved into our 1920s farmhouse, that we heat with wood burning stoves. Now I understand the "old fashioned" concept of "Spring" cleaning.


When the days start getting warmer and things start getting greener and the days longer, I get in a cleaning kind of mood.

The thing of it is, I don't always know how to begin; and once I get going, I don't exactly know where to go with it.


(I've been snitching photos off the net recently. Have you noticed?)

So I started this week with some Spring cleaning. Part of what made me make up my mind to do this is the fact that we have a plague of Ladybugs in our guest room. It is very disturbing to walk across one's hardwood floors, crunching on lady bug carcasses. So, first, I decided to to clean all the floors, all at once.
Then I was going to clean all the windows at once. Then I was going to clean all the furniture all at once; wash curtains, dust, clean out the fireplaces, etc. etc.

But I don't think this is a good method after all. I got them all clean, but with the other half of the rooms not clean, and it felt like I had done nothing at all. I decided to try the method of totally cleaning one room at a time. I think this is a better plan for me.

So today I began in our bedroom. The first thing I do in all the rooms as soon as the weather is nice is throw open all the windows and let the fresh air in!!

Next I strip all the bedding, pillow top mattress cover, duvet, everything. Oh and the cat's beds, too. Into the washer they all go. Then I proceed to vacuum, dust, mop, scrub, and polish the room. I was shocked - shocked! - about all the cat hair, fuzz balls, dust bunnies, and other mystery particles found under and behind my bed. Ugh. It was like I couldn't see all of it until the windows were opened, or something.

Then I did the hall between the bedrooms. And I will proceed with each room until it is all done - and then it'll be time to start all over again!


Part of my Spring cleaning also entails doing a huge purge of all my clothes, junk, stashes, etc.
I stared this a few weeks ago. In fact, I started with my attic stash in January. Last week I was so proud of Kevin when he went through his drawers and clothes racks and made a huge donation pile. I was so happy to see some of those old t-shirts go....

When I start getting out my spring and summer clothes, and putting away my winter ones, I do a huge tossing. I make piles: "Fix and Repair", "Ask my sister if they want", "Goodwill", "Yard Sale", "Etsy/eBay", "Abi and Lexy Dress up", and the biggest pile of them all: "Cannot bear to part with". I also decide at this point what I need to go shopping to buy for my warm weather wardrobe.

I go through old magazines and catalogs and recycle the old ones; I clean out my desk and office space and shred old documents; I wash all the curtains and vacuum out the sofa; I put away the afghans and throws. I pack away all the heavy Carharts and Outback coats; heavy, bulky outer wear. I also stash away the heavy chore boots, hats, and mittens.

I usually brighten up the decor with lighter fabrics: put away the flannel sheets, thick bedspreads and blankets, velvet pillows, and heavy place mats and napkins; and I bring out the light, floral, cotton things.


I even sit down with my recipes and work out new menus and pick new recipes to try. No more stews, chilies and soups. No more heavy stick to your ribs dishes we like when we're trudging around in the snow feeding animals and hauling wood.
Soon, it'll be time for cold suppers, cooking on the grill, and eating fresh from the garden. YAY! (I already planted a good crop of early lettuce!)

What do YOU do for "Spring Cleaning"? What's your method?

(And no - I do not do any cleaning wearing a fresh and floral dress and high heels, with my hair do perfect and a cute apron. Sorry. When I am cleaning, my appearance is totally lacking in any kind of loveliness.)


Catherine said...

You inspire me. :) And I was just about to comment on how everyone is smiling in those "housewife" pictures. Not quite what I'd call realistic. ;) I'm usually hot and sweaty with a furrowed brow when I clean...

Gail said...

I started my spring cleaning a week ago, but when the sun stops shining it is hard for me to keep it up. I do enjoy a nice fresh house after the winter stove gets shut down though.

som30n3s said...

Fly Lady ( is amazing. Not sure if you have heard of her. I use her method for cleaning- I guess because when I was in high school that is what my mom did. It seemed so simple that I use that method now.