I’ve always loved the idea of spring cleaning, of throwing open the windows and airing out the house, of turning out every closet and drawer, of washing and waxing and polishing everything to a gleam.
According to one of my favorite books, “Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House” by Cheryl Mendelson, spring cleaning should take no more than two, three days max. “During this period you should plan on having no guests and doing only light cooking,” advises Mendelson.
“Trying to clean the house while the children are still growing is like trying to shovel the walk while the snow is still falling,” advises Phyllis Diller.
There was no spring cleaning accomplished during spring break. (Although, with two growing children in the house, I did engage in light cooking about 10 times a day.)
There are still crumbs in my kitchen drawers.
There are still mysterious brown sticky blobs on the wall above the kitchen sink.
There is still dust on my bookshelves. Every six months or so, I will pack up a box of books to donate to the library, and yet the bookshelves fill right back up again. I think there is a portal to another universe hidden behind the books somewhere.
There is still graffiti written in glow-in-the-dark marker in the stairwell. (And they thought I wouldn’t notice.)
There is still a handprint on the ceiling in the den. It is smack in the middle of the ceiling, and I cannot figure out how it got there. No one will cop to it. There is no furniture directly underneath the handprint. It might have been caused by an object the height of, say, an 11-year-old boy, launched from the sofa at a trajectory of 55 degrees on a course heading slightly east-northeast, but this hypothesis remains unproven.
The oven still needs cleaning. The last time I cleaned the oven, I tried to use the self-cleaning cycle, but the oven overheated and blew a fuse. Getting to the blown fuse required that the oven be removed from the wall. It is a very heavy double oven, which required not just one but two repairmen to lift it.
Which is how I spent $200 to replace a $1 fuse.
I think I shall put off spring cleaning for a little while longer . . . until, you know, it actually feels like spring.
Or until I can find the ladder.
Contact Lisa Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.