I suppose I should start by saying that I hate cleaning, period. I would gladly pass off the household chores to someone else, and I often do. Spring cleaning, however, is the worst. Each year, like a dragon of folklore, it rears its ugly head, refusing to back down until I suit up and attack it with all my might. I usually get burned in the process.
Here are the top three reasons I hate Spring cleaning:
1. It creates a bigger mess than was there in the first place.
My office is a prime example of this. I call it my office, but really it is a junk room with a computer in it. All manner of things that have no place or have yet to be put away find their way to this room. A laundry basket full of unmated socks sits in one corner. Boxes of junk mail, student papers from several semesters ago, and other items to be shredded sit in another. I decided to tackle these yesterday and quickly realized that I needed an industrial size machine.
Putting three to four sheets through at a time and having to stop every ten minutes to empty the canister, the work was slow. I soon filled one standard size trash bag and had to upgrade to the large ones the man of the house uses for whatever it is he does. It didn’t take too long to fill that one either. Ever ready with a solution to any problem, the man came in with the vacuum to suck out the excess air and compress the load. Thus, I was able to squeeze a few more in there. Of course, the vacuum was also needed to get the shreds that inevitably made their way to the floor in the transfer. At the end of the job, what once was three boxes in a corner had turned into two much larger bags and an assortment of vacuum parts scattered about the room. If I had actually had a mythical dragon on the premises, it would have been easier just to let it torch the boxes.
2. It reminds me how disorganized I am.
How does the saying go? A place for everything and everything in its place? Not in my house. From time to time, I attempt to put a system into place to deal with the clutter. Just recently, I devised a plan to deal with the disaster area that is my older child’s room. Coloring books, puzzles, card games, and other items littered the shelf below her window (and the floor underneath). I don’t have a large budget to work with, so I decided to use what I have on hand to deal with this problem. I’m actually quite proud of the solution I came up with.
Over the years we have collected various canvas bags. These are perfect to hold small items of the type that create the chaos and confusion often seen in my daughter’s room. So, I grabbed several and began sorting the stuff into categories: coloring books, activity books, crayons/markers (which have lived on the top of a shelf in — you guessed it — my office), games, and puzzles. Some cardboard, scrapbook paper, Mod Podge, and ribbon gave me all I needed for signs to label each bag. Then, it was off to the store to buy some hooks to hang on the wall behind her door. A simple, ingenious solution. Of course, the problem in my house is much larger than a cluttered shelf in my daughter’s room. There are many more shelves, drawers, and corners to sort through. Which brings me back to reason #1 I hate Spring cleaning.
3. It gives me reason to think I might belong on an episode of Hoarders.
Let’s revisit the office/junk room. Why do I have a laundry basket full of unmated socks? Am I hoping their mates will suddenly reappear from wherever it is lost socks go? What about the shoe in the bottom of my closet that has inexplicably lost its mate? Or the clothes I should just admit I will never fit into again? With each room of the house, the list continues. CDs that are too scratched to play, old cell phones with no hope of being revived, broken gaming equipment, books we don’t read, games we don’t play, toy sets with missing pieces, old Halloween and Christmas decorations, etc. Why do I not clear these things out? Oh yeah, reason #1.
Despite all my reasons to the contrary, I know what must be done. I’m going to have to bite the bullet, get my hands dirty, and whatever other clichés one uses to tackle a big job. This dragon is not going to slay itself.