We received an email from Nancy asking how to get Fall and Spring cleaning done like her mom used to do. She said it was hard enough just to get regular cleaning done.
Originally when people did Fall and Spring cleaning they had no choice but to do it. They had used wood or coal burning stoves all winter. Their wood stoves weren’t like the air tight ones we have today so there would be black soot everywhere and on everything. There would be soot on the windows, curtains, walls, baseboards, knick knacks, rugs and furniture.
They would also use this time to prepare for the next season. For example, wool rugs would be rolled up and put away for the summer or taken out for the winter. Windows were washed one last time before winter set in or cleaned from the soot that had accumulated on them from the winter.
We don’t notice such drastic seasonal changes in our homes now with thermostats, which provide almost the same temperatures all year round, and air filters, which give us a dust free environment, but old habits die hard.
I have never really done one or two days of heavy cleaning each season because, like you, I didn’t have the time. What worked best for me was cleaning something each week that would normally be done at Spring cleaning time.
For example, one week when I am vacuuming if I see that the baseboards are getting dusty, I will dust them. If I notice my kitchen curtains need washing, I will toss them in with a load of laundry. If there is one wall the looks dirty in the bathroom, I will clean it on the day I clean the tub.
Anything that is broken down into smaller sections is easier to do. It seems to be easier to find 10 minutes to dust the baseboards than to find one or two days to clean everything.
If you like lists, you could make a list of things which need to be done and pick one or two from the list to do each week. There are 52 weeks in a year. That means you could have a list of 104 things to do and at two per week, you could get most things done easily.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t do a little deep cleaning now and then but usually it is only because I want to and not because I have to. I don’t know if it is some ancient thing built into me or what but I get the urge to start nesting this time of year. I have a strong desire to clean, pull out the winter bedding, clean my closet and get out next seasons clothes.
I want to get my home winterized and ready for the cold so that, when the first snow comes, I can curl up with a good book and read guilt free.
photo by: redjar