Tag Archive for: Spring Cleaning

Clicking Our Heels – Spring Cleaning

It’s time to think about spring cleaning and what we might consider getting rid of. Anything you put at the top of your list for spring cleaning?

Dru Ann Love   I do year-round cleaning, but with spring I do a thorough purging of items.

Donnell Ann Bell – Yes! Please! I welcome anyone who wants to come and help me.:)

Robin Hillyer-Miles I spring clean after the biggest dump of pollen has fallen. I start with the back patio since outside is my favorite.

Saralyn Richard – I believe in “spring” cleaning all year long. The change of seasons isn’t as important as the act of getting rid of unused things. I start with cleaning out old emails, spam folders, and computer files.

Gay Yellen – Non-perishable food that has been neglected in the pantry either gets donated or eaten (at last).

Kathryn Lane Spring cleaning? Never heard of it!

Lois Winston – Since we moved 800+ miles not quite two years ago, I took care of all my spring cleaning for the next decade when we got our NJ house ready to go on the market. The only items that made the move with us to TN were ones we routinely use. Everything else was donated.

Lynn McPherson – I love de-cluttering. The first thing to go is always clothing. I like to think donating things I no longer wear will make someone happy and give the clothes another run.

Linda Rodriguez – Winter’s clutter. I can’t clean if there’s too much stuff in the way.

Barbara Eikmeier –  I don’t keep most books I read so in the spring I donate a box of books to the Friends of the Library annual sale. Then I go to the sale and buy more books. Sigh.

Mary Lee Ashford – I love spring cleaning and generally approach it with great enthusiasm. Now, whether that momentum lasts or not is another thing. But in any case, the first thing that I start with is the master bedroom closet. Are there items that I thought I’d wear but as it turns out I just keep ignoring? If so, maybe someone else would love them and they go straight into the donation box. (Once the donation box is relatively full it goes to the car and I drive around with it in my car for a month or two, but eventually it gets to one of my favorite thrift shops.) From the closet, I move onto the bedroom and cleaning out drawers, washing and storing heavy blankets, etc.

Shari Randall/Meri Allen – I generally clean BCCO –  before company comes over. The first thing to go has to be the inevitable stack of mail order catalogs.

Anita Carter I love spring cleaning! I tackle all the closets and end up making a few trips to the local donation drop-offs.

Bethany Maines I do believe in Spring cleaning but usually that’s because I can’t take it anymore.  The first thing that has to go is all of my family’s accumulated crap. My crap is fine, but why are there so many bits of their things EVERYWHERE???

T.K. Thorne – I don’t believe in cleaning; I just do it when I have to.

Debra H. Goldstein – I’ve always been a sporadic rather than seasonal cleaner. I things seem like utter chaos or I’m in need of a distraction and can’t think of anything else to do, I clean my desk, drawers, and closets. Luckily, it doesn’t take much for me to things are straightened or to find another distraction.

Spring Cleaning: Hoarders versus Non-Hoarders

Is there any better feeling than throwing stuff out? Am I the only person who feels this way? (Show of hands, please.) The whole spring cleaning exercise started this year when my teenage daughter, whose bedroom had last been decorated when Clinton was in his first term of office—before the blue dress, before we used the word “impeach,” before Hillary grew her bangs out—protested that she was too old for pink, Laura Ashley wallpaper and flowered bed linens. I took a look around at the sad, drooping wallpaper, and the flowered comforter on the bed with the grape juice stain, and had to agree. It was time for a change. And a major cleaning.

But as anyone with teenagers knows, they have a lot of stuff. (With thanks to my idol, George Carlin, for his extended riff on the stuff we have and collect.) So, to get things started, we had a conversation that went something like this:

Me: I’ll redo your room but you have to clean it out.

Her: I will.

Me: No—I mean really clean it out.

Her: I WILL.

Me: Let me be clear: everything that comes out is not going back in.

Her: IT WON’T. Please leave me alone.

That went well.

But the momentum gained from the cleaning out of her room was unexpected and welcomed by me, a Non-hoarder. Once we tackled her room, we moved onto my son’s room or as we call it, The Land of the Lost Action Hero. We moved the bed, the bookcase, the desk. I took the back off of his dresser and fixed the two drawers that were broken. We were on a roll. We found shorts that hadn’t fit him in two years and bagged everything up for the used clothing bin. We were very happy.

Since we were doing so well, I then made a proclamation that we would next turn our attention to duh, duh, duh…the attic. Let’s be fair. Although it is technically an attic, our attic is akin to what most people have in their homes called a basement. That is, it’s a catch-all room: it is home to my 5’ x 5’ office, a family room/television area, and a play section that holds all of the toys that aren’t found in my son’s room. But it is also home to several decades worth of sports equipment (five baseball mitts anyone?), the magazine from 1988 that has a picture of my wedding gown in it (why would you keep that?), several hundred baseball cards, and close to a thousand—conservative estimate—comic books. And let’s not forget the videos from toddler-hoods gone by and the tween and teen detritus.

In other words, it’s a mess.

Which brings us to the real purpose of this blog entry: hoarders versus non-hoarders. I’m a non-hoarder living with a bunch of hoarders. I will admit to keeping any piece of preschool artwork with the word “I Love My Mommy” on it but I will throw anything else out that isn’t bolted to the floor. Haven’t looked at that signed Bobby Orr puck since you got it? Gone. So’s the stack of ‘45’s that you can’t play anymore because we don’t have a record player. And make sure you don’t look for that stack of Power Rangers videos—they were donated in ’99 to the preschool tag sale. So, needless to say, when I brought my family of hoarders upstairs, the fur flew, so to speak. I picked up a bunch of Nerf-ish ammunition from the floor, little orange Styrofoam darts that I was sure my son used to torture my daughter.

Me: What are these?

The Hoarders: Those are the pellets to the Nerf Super Blaster.

Me: (holding aloft a black plastic garbage bag) Say goodbye.

The Hoarders: NO!

And so it went. I would create a little mound on the floor and to be fair, would give the Hoarders a chance to take a look before bagging up the items in the great pile. There was a great deal of consternation as things proclaimed “favorites” that hadn’t been played with in years, or items that all of sudden became “special,” found their way into the garbage bags. It was an endless, emotional process that left all of us drained. And not just a little bit angry at one another—me because of the collecting, and them for my lack of sentimentality or recognition of the special nature that each item held.

I had had enough. I was tired of working in an area that looked like the set from “Sanford and Son.” But they had worn me down. I was done. I couldn’t battle to get another Wonder Woman action figure (missing a leg, no less) into the garbage bag and they couldn’t hold me down long enough or distract me for any length of time to go through the bags. As I lay on the floor, exhausted from the cleaning and the fighting, a thought dawned on me:

In two days, they would go back to school. And we live two miles from a Good Will Donation Center.

The skies parted and the angels sang and I left the attic. The Hoarders were more than a little suspicious but confident that they had worn me down.

I had a very nice chat with the ladies at the Good Will Donation Center this week, who were more than happy to hold the door when I arrived, boxes in tow, with all things “special” and “favorite.” Bless you, ladies. May someone else—a Hoarder in training, maybe?—enjoy the fruits of my cleaning labor.