Cleaning ... Spring Cleaning, I Guess

The rumor is that it's spring. Watching the snow melt today and fill up the ponds, I'm starting to think they might be right. So you know what that means.

Spring cleaning! Yay!

What? You're not cheering along with me?

I actually started my spring cleaning this afternoon. I got home from the paper a couple of hours earlier ... and it's better than watching snow melt. (Although right up there with watching paint dry.)

Here's the plan that I'm using this year. Basically, I divide the house into three parts: main level front, main level back and basement. This makes it seem a little more manageable.

1. Organize. This is the part that I started today. I go room by room and put everything away. Things that belong in other rooms find their homes. Papers sitting out get filed. Counters get cleared off and shelves get straightened. I don't do any cleaning or floors yet. There's much left to do before that.

I also carry a notebook around with me as I go. I have a 5-second short-term memory, so I write down everything I think of as I go. Yes, some of it doesn't make sense later, but at least I have a running dialogue with myself. This list includes things I need to do later, those tasks that I can't do by myself and the things that Danny will have to help me with. Yep ... that part's pretty long. Sorry, Sweetie!

2. Cleaning. Again, room by room, I'll work from top to bottom. This is not just horizontal surfaces (floor and counters) but vertical. I couldn't believe the fingerprints on the front of the oven when the sunlight hit it today. (I couldn't believe the sunshine either, but I'm sure you understand. We just haven't seen it that much here.) In this part, you'll want to be as thorough as you can, so it may take a while in each room. Clean out cabinets, wash things and organize them as you put them back. Dust. Throw things out. Put other things in a box to donate. Clean! Clean! Clean!

3. Save the floors for last. After all that dusting and sorting, this is the time to mop and sweep. If you do it any other time, you'll just track dirt and dust around, negating everything you just tried to accomplish.

I'll keep referring back to the list, too, so I'll know if there are things I need to go buy, little tasks I can do in a few spare minutes, things like that. Then I can also cross them off and see the progress I'm making.

It's a lot of work, but I can already see the finished product in my mind. That makes me smile when I think of spring cleaning. Try it!

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