Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring Cleaning

Whenever someone asks me to explain the thinking behind a Jewish ritual - think Kosher or No Work on Sabbath - my brain heads right to Passover.  I'm not the only one., as secular as it gets, tells us this when searching for cleansing the house for Passover:
Before Passover, the house needs to be cleaned so that all chametz (leavened products) are removed. Don't forget the bag of baby crackers in your diaper bag. What about the Purim treats your 3rd grader has stashed away in her desk? Gotta lift the sofa to get all that popcorn vacuumed up. While you are at it, you might as well throw some Spring cleaning in there - get out the summer clothes and put away the winter blankets and coats.
Do you think there was Spring Cleaning in the shtetl?

Here in the desert, with a winter that lasts about 6 weeks if we are lucky, the need for quick access to lighter clothes comes suddenly.  Last week Amster froze at Mr. 6's soccer practise; today it will be in the 80's.  Suddenly those dark sweaters and corduroy pants are much less appealing.  It's time to remove the chametz of winter from the closet.

Costco had vacuum bags on sale; 14 of them in all shapes and sizes were strewn over Little Cuter's bed last winter as I carefully folded and placed t-shirts and shorts and white cotton cover-ups in neat stacks and then shrunk them to a fraction of their former size. 
This bag contains the contents of four cubby holes filled with clothes.
It fits in the corner of her closet, leaving those shelves open for the items she and SIR bring with them when they come (all too rarely) to visit.  Having empty shelves waiting for guests is a good thing. 

The garden requires spring cleaning, too.  This year I hired help; weed removal is hard for my still-gimpy-self.
Round-Up will work on killing these weeds, and I can carry the container and spray to my heart's content.  Getting the dead stalks out of the ground will require the assistance of my gardener.  Spring Cleaning was less expensive when my body did what I asked of it.

I've been using the golf cart garage (yes, they build then that way here in Tucson; the entrance is off a pathway, not the driveway) as my potting shed and, until I lost my mobility it was a usable space.  Humans could actually walk on the floor.  Now, I am embarrassed to show you this photo
I think I may wait until my offspring return.
Don't you think this is a bit much for a recovering ambulator?
It's sad, though, since my favorite pruning shears are somewhere in that mess.

Without an attic or a basement, the garage becomes the staging area for items which are on their way to the repair shop, or Amster's house, or Goodwill.
Perhaps this Spring Cleaning energy will motivate me to take the empty prescription bottles in the black bag to the homeleess shelter, and to distribute those Stroll and Roll T-shirts in the big box, and let Amster store the Hanukah platters until next year's party.  I have to decide whether to ship G'ma's dishes (in the smaller box) to a back-east-niece or to give them to Not-Kathy's UofA freshman for her next year's apartment.  And that white bag full of lids really should be dropped off at the Aveda salon (did you know that Aveda collects those lids that recycling doesn't want and reuses them to package their products?  All you have to do is drop them off at a salon which promotes Aveda products).

Will public humiliation create a cleaner living space here in the desert southwest?  Time will tell.

For now, I'm heading over to BlogHer to read the expert's advice on Spring Cleaning.  I may even enter the sweepstakes while I'm there.  C'mon over and join the fun.


  1. OK, I'm not feeling so bad with my Mt. Washmore. I literally have loads and loads of laundry to put away. I absolutely hate putting it away; so it's sitting in a huge pile on the floor in my sitting room in my bedroom. Talk about not being restful. I wake-up and it's taunting me. It annoys me and yet I don't have the patience or time to do it. I'm going to see if someone on Angies List will come and help me with this huge chore that I cannot conquer.

    There is something great about getting it all organized and cleaned-up though. We are in the process of doing that in our basement because we bought laminate last May and hubby's only done a bedroom so far. He finally realized after 11 months, he just wasn't going to get it finished. So he has agreed to pay someone. Thank goodness.

    But this has led me to get rid of loads of stuff on FreeCycle. Every time someone would Email me back and say they wanted what I was giving away, a part of me was joyous. I'm getting rid of the clutter. I hate clutter and yet with three kids, I think it's unavoidable. I even cleaned out the playroom last weekend and put two huge bags of toys on FreeCycle. Now the playroom is all picked up, my little man can play in there and I got all of the toys out of my family room. So awesome.

    Have fun spring cleaning. You will feel great afterwards.

    Megan xxx

  2. I actually love spring cleaning...I love getting rid of old and feeling good about giving a lot away and just no clutter. I'm not one to have around a lot of clutter!

  3. Ashleigh, clearly your yard is beautiful and well-tended; however, have you ever considered using more eco-friendly means to combat the weeds? Obviously, Round-up gets in the air, soil and water. You, yourself, are inhaling the toxic fumes and probably tracking it into your home. What is poison for one life form is poisonous for all. Round-up changes human cells.

    An organic garden is wonderful and allows for grandchildren to run around and enjoy the flowers and vegetables without worry.

    Just a thought.


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