I have never claimed to be normal. Even so, there is something about the coming of spring that drives me to do what every other so-called normal woman on the planet craves to do: clean my house. Although, I don’t do this in a normal fashion either. In fact I can tell that this abnormal behavior goes even above and beyond my regular irregularity of the rest of the year by my husband’s annual declaration, “Who are you and what have you done to MY wife?”
For some reason the bright yellow orb in the sky combined with the budding green plant life outside my windows drives me from my well-worn desk chair into a frenzy reminiscent of the cartoon Tasmanian devil. It’s not enough for me to just cut down on the clutter, prepare for garden season, or ready my body for a bathing suit. When spring comes, I am compelled to get into every dirty little crevice in my home and scrub all the nooks and crannies that have been collecting dirt, dust, and God-knows-what over the winter.
Forget the countertop clutter, the closet chaos, and the carpet confusion, go for the gusto:
Tackle the Walls
There’s nothing like the sun to show you just how greasy and grimy your walls have become. I walk around with a bottle of spray cleaner (my favorite is Lysol Antibacterial Kitchen cleaner – even out of the kitchen, it’s great, but after I run out, I use a bottle of water and vinegar solution) and a scrubbing sponge and go to town. For the stubborn stickies, I always have a Brawny Easy Eraser on hand – that thing IS the bomb!
All Over the Floor Moldings
I’m not sure why and it’s not a pretty picture, but every time I sit on a toilet in my house I stare at the dirt and crud collecting atop the floor molding. It really grosses me out, but do I do anything about it? Not until spring – but then I’m all over it. I travel through my house, on my knees, equipped with a ratty old towel, my cleaning-only designated toothbrush, and a bowl of hot water and bleach mixture. I scrub the moldings from top to bottom and wipe dry with my towel. Checking myself out in a mirror – eh, it’s ok, but when I can see my reflection in my floor moldings I’m a happy girl!
Window Sills Worthy of Affection
When it’s finally warm enough to open the windows and let the warm weather in, all I can think about it getting all of that filth that’s been hibernating in the sills out – so I do. I open up all of the windows and remove the screens, leaving nothing between me and the object of my disgust. Armed with a roll of paper towels and my Lysol, I spray and wipe all of the vinyl and wood window sill components until they are worthy of my affection once again.
Fresh Front Porch
The last vestige of fall and winter remains on my front porch: a hearty supply of dirt, dust, and dried up old leaves. Cleaning my porch is like out with the cold, in with the blue skies to me – it’s a breath of fresh air. I sweep away the winter blues by whisking off the old leaves, wiping down all of the outdoor furniture, and then I go just one step further. Maybe it’s because my house is yellow, but it just looks so dingy after the winter. I take a bucket of water sudsed-up with dishwashing liquid, a large car-washing sponge, and a few towels and wipe down the siding. It may seem like a monumental task, but it really doesn’t take much time at all, the dirt is just loose dust that’s been blown around all winter. I just sponge it lightly and then wipe clean with a large towel. When one towel is saturated with water, I get a dry one. And, trust me, I’m not doing the entire exterior of the house (that’s what my husband and his power washer are for!) just the siding that’s the backdrop for the porch. An hour or two of light elbow grease and the front of my house is tied for shiniest yellow object in my life!
Isn’t there a saying that goes something like “happiness is in the details”? That’s my basic approach to spring cleaning. No heavy lifting here, I just want the features of my house that haven’t been shown any love all winter long to get the detailing they deserve. As for the counter clutter and carpet cooties – if they get too bad, well, they can hang out with the rest of the chaos in my closet.