Spring Cleaning

Jane/Susannah/Sadie here, waiting on that first crocus…

(Reason being, in our family, whoever sees the first crocus gets to choose which ice cream place to go to–and if I win this year, I’m picking the local farm where the cream comes from their own cows and they make the ice cream on site)

Confession time: When it gets close to crocus time, I always start to feel a little guilty. You see, I don’t spring clean, but I feel like I should. I have a high tolerance for clutter and cleaning is not a big priority for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll never be featured on and episode of Hoarders–at least I hope not–but I’ve got a lot going on, ya know? In my defense, I keep the dishes done six days out of seven, I usually keep up on the laundry, the trash and recycling get taken out weekly, and I wipe up the bathroom once a week too. Other things, like picking up, dusting, mopping, and vacuuming, get done when I have time. Or when I can’t stand it anymore. Or when I’m procrastinating doing something else I really don’t want to be doing.

Some people have the clean gene. I don’t.

But the thing is, I do feel physically and mentally better when I have order around me–not to mention I am more creative and I just generally get more done when I don’t have dust and out-of-place objects sucking up my energy. So, not because it’s spring, mind you, but because I have a new writing project I want to make progress on I’ve committed to start spiffing up my environment, one area at a time, starting with my desk. My hope is that this process will get the words flowing. It’s worked before. It’ll work again–it must!

Are you a Messie or a Neatnik? Any tips for staying on top of household chores? 



43 Thoughts

  1. As a young person, I was very messy and I couldn’t climb out of the piles around me long enough to keep it at an acceptable level. Eventually, I realized I simply had too much stuff and vowed to let it all go and not bring more things in. It really does work. The less things I have, the less it can pile around me.

      1. Believe it or not, my mother knew a neighborhood family where the son-in-law killed his wife by pushing a full bookcase onto her. It worked, sadly, but he didn’t get away with it.

  2. Messie here. Life is short and people (and books) are more important than cleaning.

  3. I feel exactly the same way. When I was a kid, spring cleaning was a ritual. Now, I feel like I should. But I don’t. I’m constantly on deadline, so the killer dust bunnies populating the space under my bed are not high on the priority list until they make a break for it and drift into my living space like miniature tumbleweeds.

    I’ve gotten my clutter under control and my kitchen counter is 95% clear, so I’ll tackle the rest of it eventually.

  4. I pretty much operate like you do, Jane, although I’m picking about the kitchen counters being clean and polished. I’ll get Hugh to vacuum when the poufs of cat fur are threatening to take over or when I sneeze in my own bedroom. But another motivator is guests. Hosting ten for Easter this Sunday, including both my sons staying here (yay!), means the downstairs will be thoroughly cleaned as well as the guest rooms, one of which is my office. ;^)

    1. My kitchen counters are clean, if not always cleared of stuff (like clean dishes that are drying, LOL!). But I do try to tackle anything that piles up there at least once a week. My dining room table, though, is a never-ending battle. Company coming is perhaps the best motivator out there. Have a lovely Easter with your friends and family!

  5. I’m about in the middle. Dishes, laundry, bathroom and kitchen cleaning done in a timely manner, but….. 🙂

  6. I think I fall somewhere in the middle. Last year we moved to the other end of the state and in the process willingly downsized. It wasn’t as near as hard to dispose of a lot of “stuff” as one might thing. Kind of liberating in fact. You would think less stuff, less to do but some how that doesn’t pan out too well.

    Funny how things our parents say come out to haunt us. I can remember when we asked my Mom what she wanted for birthday, Christmas etc. she would say “Just don’t get me anything I have to dust”. Truer words were never said! I’m not near as structured as my Mom was though. Monday and Friday were clean house day for her. Me, it’s more of ok need to do that today type thing. 🙂

  7. I’m sneaking up on selling this too-big house within a few months, but then I look around and feel exhausted before I can do anything about the clutter. So I’m doing a lot of psychological sorting. Why do I have this? Because I fell in love with it? Because I inherited it? Because someone gave it to me? Or because I’m too lazy to get rid of it? Some of each, I’m sure.

    But having that cottage in Ireland has been an eye-opener. It’s small (1500sf total). I furnished it in two days of shopping at used furniture dealers. And it’s all I need. I may need a keeper to prevent me from filling it up again with “ooh, I want that!” items, but so far I’m enjoying the space and the simplicity. And remember, one of the first things I bought for it was a smiling vacuum cleaner, so I can keep the place clean.

  8. I’m more like you. The kitchen is clean, the bathroom is clean, no one’s going to come down with some horrible disease from visiting, but vacuuming and dusting? I don’t have the time or the inclination (although I’m trying to be better since The Hubby has developed pretty bad dust allergies).

  9. I’m a messy Scorpio, but had the good sense to marry a tolerant Virgo who does more than his share of picking up after me!

  10. I fall into the neatnik category when it comes to clutter. I put everything where it belongs as soon as possible. Dishes, laundry, and the like get done as soon as is needed. Dusting and vacuuming, on the other hand, have a way of getting put off for long periods of time. I dust the tables near the sofa where I spend huge amounts of time reading, and ignore the rest. My hubby, on the other hand, seems to thrive on chaos, so the dining room table is evenly divided between where we eat and where he piles lots of papers. Idon’t even go into his office. Drives me crazy, but equally share the house, so I keep my trap shut!

    1. I’m not sure why it is that the dining room table collects stuff. Probably because it’s a big flat surface that isn’t used often. We usually eat at the table in the kitchen. That’s generally clear, or can be cleared in a couple of minutes.

  11. I’m a messy, and I think I’ve gotten worse since my final roommate moved out. That would explain the stuff sitting on my kitchen table waiting for me to sort through or throw away. (Most of it is probably junk mail I can throw away.) But I’d rather be reading or working on my blog or watching TV, so it will wait until another day. The vacuuming and dusting? That didn’t happen even with roommates.

  12. You are not alone!!!!! I do well sometimes and then go for weeks looking at something and saying-I’ll get to it! I would love spotless but I am not sure if I can say it out loud anymore. Sometimes though, I get in a mood and start to clean. However, I have plenty of other things on my to do list that I would rather do! And they don’t include the bathroom!
    Sherry, I can’t visit until I am in Lowell on June! I hope someone visits before then!

    1. Been there, done that, LOL! If I ever strike it rich, the first thing I’m doing is hiring a cleaning crew; second thing is a professional organizer to help me sort through the clutter and get a system going. Or maybe it should happen in the other order? Oh, and a personal assistant a few hours a week to do all the stuff I hate.

      1. I wish we lived closer, then I could be your organizer and the money would pay for a cleaning service for me! 🙂

  13. Yes, I do the wash and the dishes regularly but I keep a spreadsheet for the cleaning. My dining room table is filled with things to go out of the house on one end and things to go upstairs on the other. I do wipe things off a lot. Meeting my friends, reading, and watching TV is more important than cleaning. Several times my dad came home and asked my mom to ride with him while making deliveries for his work. Once she left the floor half washed. They’re both gone but the floor is still here.

  14. Paper is my downfall. I definitely live with clutter. My bedroom must be orderly though. I make the bed as soon as I get up. Company is always a great motivator to put things in order. I also like to make sure my house is clean and reasonably clutter free if I’m going out of town. I don’t like to come home from a trip to a messy house. Have no clue why I can live with it other times when I’m home but want it neat when I return from a trip. lol

    1. Paper is also my nemesis. And I’m with you–I also try to leave things in relatively good order when I go away. It’s such a letdown to come home to a messy house after you’ve been somewhere not messy 🙂

  15. I am definitely messie. I stack things because I have very little storage space. When there is a holiday coming I have to clean off the loveseat so the family can sit when they come. I did clean out my clothes recently. Found out that all those times I thought I didnt have something and bought new ones, I had others hidden underneath everything else that the rest of the family had stacked on top of my clothes. Ended up getting rid of a ton of it, but it is being donated so that is good. I always say why clean when it just gets dirty. Dust protects what it sits on so no need to clean that off. And when you do clean, if it is really a mess you can really see the difference, lol

  16. I’m a neatnik for a few weeks after I do I big clean/de-cluttering. Everything is so nice & spacious for those few weeks & then things go back to my normal level of messiness.

  17. Hmm I used to be a neatnik but at the moment I am a messie (seems when my pain levels really elevate the tidiness goes to Hades in a Handcart!) – have you looked at the KonMarie method of clearing? and of course FLYlady!

  18. In Alaska, now the sun is coming through the windows, I can see dust everywhere and ugly drip marks on the stainless steel appliances. It makes me nuts. So I look the other way. LOL!

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