Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring Has Sprung so Grab a Mop

photo by Melissa Ann Barret 
I'm pretty sure spring cleaning was invented by a man with a maid fetish.

Spring has definitely sprung. And you know what happens in spring, don't you? Why, it's that special time of year when the little lady's thoughts turn to cleaning. I mean really, what the hell else do we females have to ponder?

The spring cleaning furor seems to have dulled down a bit now, but for a while there I couldn't click on a link without seeing some mention of spring cleaning (although I am happy to see that using green, homemade cleaners seems to be the "in" thing this year).

I don't know about you, but when the weather turns nice after a long winter (ok this winter was pretty tame here, but bare with me), the last thing I feel like doing is staying inside and scrubbing. I mean I love cleanliness as much as the next borderline OCD person, but anything that requires a long checklist, likely written by some homemaking maven who probably has a maid for that kind of thing, is not something I feel the need to follow. And if there are some heavy duty cleaning jobs around the house that need some tackling, does doing them once a year really cut it?

I thought spring cleaning harkened back to the days when heat sources caused a heck of a mess. Since that's hardly the case, or at least not for those of us reading this post, isn't it time we kill this antiquated tradition?

All of which  leads me to wonder, do any of you actually spring clean? 

I tackle heavier cleaning jobs throughout the year whenever things get out of hand, but I can't recall ever spending hours spring cleaning. Nor do I remember seeing my mom do so, not even during her "June Cleaver" years. Sorry to out you there, Ma.

Although, come to think of it, my aversion to spring cleaning may just be another way of trying to block out the horror that was my experience as an au pair. For Americans unfamiliar with the au pair concept, it's really just a way of getting cheap slave labor and childcare. In other words, I don't recommend it. Now those people could have given Martha Stewart a run for her money. Walls, baseboards, doorknobs and floors had to be washed every week. Cupboards and the fridge were to be emptied and washed monthly. Three times a week I had to dust, vacuum and clean the bathrooms. THREE. TIMES. A. WEEK. I failed my first week because they found dust in between the stairway spindles. I shit you not. On the upside, I now clean things that would never have occurred to me without that experience.

So the moral of the story is, drop the mop and go outside dammit!


  1. "On the upside, I now clean things that would never have occurred to me without that experience."
    This is an upside?

    DH seems to have gotten a spring cleaning bug. Actually I think he's just stressed out about his work and since I can't eat wheat there's not much point in baking which is the other thing he does when work is stressing him.

  2. When spring comes, I pretty much live outside. If we do any "spring cleaning", it's usually yard work or house reno's. For us, big cleaning is best done in the summer when we have little choice to stay inside or fry in 110 degrees lol!

    But I'd love to hear more about these areas you learned to clean from your (crazy) au pair job!

  3. Hmmm... it's sort of hard to say if I "spring clean" or not, since I tend to avoid cleaning in general. But I do get excited when it's warm enough to shake out all of the throw rugs, give them a thorough beating & let them air out in the sun. And I do tend to wash all of the bedding every spring because it's finally warm enough to hang it all out to dry... plus I like to wash the comforters and extra blankets before I put them into storage for the season. I guess I tend to notice the dirt & grime more just in general, as we get longer days and more sunlight... so I tend to clean more for that reason.

    So maybe I do actually spring clean... that's sort of a horrifying thought!

    BTW - Au pair sounds a lot like torture to me...

  4. Funny, I just did my version of spring cleaning last weekend, which would probably be most other people's ideas of regular cleaning. (Dusting, vacuuming, bathrooms, kitchen...generally these get done on a piecemeal as-needed basis.) I can't imagine vacuuming or cleaning bathrooms three times a week. How dirty can they possibly get in two days??

  5. Holy cow, no wonder you don't spring clean! After a job like that I may never clean again!! I have to say that I do usually do a spring cleaning ~ things that I don't bother with any other time of the year! Walls get washed, ditto with moldings, wash curtains ~ stuff like that. It gives me a sense of starting fresh, I usually love it. This year, however, I'm not feeling it. House feels clean enough for me. I'd rather be out in the garden. ;)


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