Here in the northeast we're still waiting for spring . . . the porch isn't open yet, the daffodil leaves are just poking through the still-frozen ground, and most people I know have cabin fever. But I've found the one thing that makes this time bearable for me is . . . to spring clean!
Okay, let me clarify. There are plenty of articles out now about spring cleaning. But I have to admit, for me that doesn't necessarily mean my house is buffed and polished. Sure, there is a little bit of that. But what spring cleaning really means to me - and what makes me feel the best - is to do two things.
First, I get rid of the "stuff" that seems to be everywhere after a season of complete indoor living. So the old newspapers used to start fires in the fireplace are gone. All the unloved, unused, or broken things that accumulates in the garage are dump-bound. The leaves that bunch up around the garage doors and spend the winter under the snow are cleared.
And after most of the winter accumulation is gone? I switch my winter wardrobe to my summer and I start purging. The sweaters, pants, scarves, shoes that either weren't worn or really shouldn't live to see another season are gone. Ditto for the warmer weather things that for some reason I couldn't bear to part with last year.
And because I do some seasonal decorating in my own home (not counting of course the holidays), the same happens to my accessories. As I switch my mantels from winter to spring, those accessories that haven't been used recently go in the donation pile. The artwork I thought I just might use in the future when I put it away in the fall? Gone. The boxes of throws, decorative pillows, and bedding are sorted and purged. The shelves in the basement of accessories are edited fearlessly.
And for me, this is better than cleaning the windows or polishing the floors or wiping out all of the cabinets. Yes, I'll get to that eventually. But in the meantime, I enjoy the spacious feeling of the entire house. Even if the rooms still have the same furniture, it all feels so much more open just knowing the closets have more room and the basement and upstairs storage area are clearer. Somehow this makes even the winter cobwebs in my brain diminish. And now I'm ready to open the windows and let the fresh air come inside.
Now, about those windows . . .