For me, the warming of the air and the greening of the grass this time of year mean one thing--it's time to go into a cleaning frenzy.
There is something theraputic about sweeping out the dust and cobwebs of winter, opening the long closed-up windows to let in some fresh air, and scrubbing, dusting, sweeping and vacuumming until I collapse. Nothing says spring like dishpan hands and sheer exhaustion.
I think I get this spring cleaning bug from my mother. She was not much of a housekeeper, and with five kids cooped up inside all winter, you can imagine what the house looked like come April. But just before Easter every year, she would grab a shovel and clear off all of the mail, school papers and assorted garbage that accumulated on every surface of the house. Okay, so I exaggerate about the shovel. But a backhoe sure would have come in handy.
I'll be the first to admit that I am a neatnik. I think this comes from growing up in a house that regularly looked like Hurricane Katrina came though. So it is not enough for me to just do the inside of the house. I have to move into the garage as well, and this year I have decided to tackle the attic.
The garage and attic are generally my husband's domain. But when you live with someone whose idea of putting something away is to throw it on the floor until your wife gets sick of looking at it, your ideas of cleanliness tend to clash.
So last week I went through the garage, threw away all empty containers, put everything back in its place on the shelves and wiped a year's worth of crud off the surfaces.
Now I am working on the attic, better known as The Place Where Unwanted Household Items and Electrical Paraphernalia From My Husband's Business Come To Die. I have found--among many interesting things--eight plastic sleds (we have two kids), a empty box from some floor mats my husband bought four years ago, and a set of tires.
The tires in the attic are odd, but the eight sleds are downright strange. Are we smuggling polar bears to a safer climate or harboring Eskimo refugees up there?
As this is by far the biggest job on my spring cleaning list, it is going to take awhile. But by the time I am finished, I am confident I will have a neat, organized attic and a nice pile of donations for some charity. And it will be well worth the effort not to have to climb over piles of garbage to get to the Christmas decorations come December.
So I will continue to plug away at the mess and ponder why we keep remnants of a carpet we tore out five years ago in storage. And if I find Jimmy Hoffa hiding under the rolls of electrical wire, I'll let you know.