Time for Spring Cleaning
Published March 22, 2006
Spring is here!
This means wisteria is blooming, robins are flying around, and, for reasons yet to be explained to me, it’s time for spring cleaning.
How this tradition began or why it even exists is unclear. This is what I’ve been able to make of it: Apparently, we’re all supposed to live in utter filth until the Vernal Equinox. Then we make our families miserable by scrubbing the daylights out of our homes and performing completely ridiculous tasks such as dusting the tops of doorframes (like anyone ever looks up there) and sending the drapes off to be dry-cleaned.
I don’t understand it, but I’ll play along.
I’ll even offer some help with one of spring cleaning’s more unpleasant tasks in my handy guide called “Cleaning Out Your Closet” or “How to Ruin a Perfectly Good Week.”
First, if you have young children in your house, you know they will barely let you brush your teeth, let alone complete a major cleaning task. So you have to take action. I suggest sedating them. Might as well sedate your husband, too. Just make sure he’s awake in time to carry large boxes out of the house when you’re done.
Next, take everything out of your closet. I mean everything. Put it in piles all around your bedroom.
Now you can go through your clothes. Hold up each piece and ask yourself these questions:
1) Is it outdated?
2) Is it something you wore on a date with someone you haven’t seen in 15 years?
3) Is it ugly as sin but you feel like you have to hang on to it because your Aunt Sybil gave it to you and, well, you know how she is.
4) Is it a piece of clothing named for a celebrity who’s no longer famous? (i.e. M.C. Hammer pants)
5) Does it have baby spit-up on it and your children are teenagers?
6) Is it a Christmas sweater? Or a NASCAR T-shirt?
If you answered yes to any of these, it’s time to get rid of some clothes. Box them up. Then realize that if you get rid of all this stuff, you will have no clothes left. Open the boxes. Hang all the clothes back up in your closet.
There are still tennis rackets and sleeping bags and luggage and golf clubs and fans that don’t work all over your bedroom. Grab one of the sleeping bags. You can use it tonight to sleep in your daughter’s room.
Hey, there’s something you didn’t see before hanging behind your husband’s skis. It’s that outfit you bought last year on sale that you had forgotten about. The tags are still on it. It’s like you just got new clothes! For free!
Try the outfit on. Aren’t you cute! Go shopping.
Of course, you’ll bring home new clothes that will need a place to go. I will cover this in a future how-to guide called “Adding a New Closet to Your Home” or “Can This Marriage be Saved?”
My last piece of advice is to forget cleaning, get outside and have fun. It’s springtime, for heaven’s sake.
Deana Nall lives in Baytown with her family.