Time for Spring Cleaning!

If you’ve ever wondered where spring cleaning came from, or why we get the urge each year, perhaps you can blame ancient Rome. Since I do not know the ancient ritual, I will offer you my own.

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac,

February came from the Latin word februa, “to cleanse.” The month was named after the Roman Februalia, which was a month-long festival of purification and atonement.

I have a room or two in my home to tackle this Spring. The Laundry room is piled high with decades old craft projects in boxes (some started, some not), mending to be scheduled, laundry and ironing in the urgent queue, old Halloween costumes, a dress form mannequin and, of course, the sewing machine. If I weren’t focused on laundry and ironing I might be overwhelmed. Now the task is scheduled, and I have to do what a Homemaker does and tackle the tough job (or find someone who can).

This time the whole caboodle sits squarely in my purview, and I cannot flinch. The advice given to me as a young bride is helpful because it is a system that is easy to remember in two simple steps. 1- Work clockwise around the room from the doorway. 2- Start at the top and work down.

In practicality it looks like this for a regular room (not kitchen or bath):

1-Cobwebs 2-spot clean walls, windows, doors & jambs 3- tidy and dust horizontal surfaces 4- vacuum and/or sweep & steamer floor.

Obviously, the time-suck is hiding in #3 on that list. Think about how long you would expect a professional house cleaning service to take to clean the room. Even though you are likely to be more thorough as a homemaker, for a regular cleaning give yourself less than an hour to do the whole room (see Axiom#1).

If you are doing a Spring style deep-cleaning & organizing I highly recommend your own version of releasing with gratitude any material object that does not bring utility and joy. Plan a week or more for the project if you need to, but stick to it! Perseverance pays!

Since it is possible that this deep cleaning project could take longer than a few hours, especially if inspired to paint, install shelving, or otherwise decorate, by working clockwise from the doorway, you will know where you began. When you come back to the room, maintain that clean area first to keep up with the progress you’ve already made, and continue on from there.

This is my official plan. We will see what Life has on the big list… Who knows, it could be the only room I get through this year, but at least it is a start!

Feb 1st is St. Brigid’s Day. Also known as Bride, she was keeper of the hearth. St. Brigid, bless us today.


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