Monday, May 09, 2011

Spring cleaning: I don't do windows

I know there are those among you who consider me a neatnik, but, believe me, my brand of cleaning is nothing compared to the way my mom (and her cleaning woman) cleaned the house when I was a kid.

There was weekly dusting that involved the removal of anything that wasn't glued down and moving most of the furniture. An electric broom deployed daily in addition to weekly vacuuming. Bathroom floors (tile) scrubbed on hands and knees with sudsy ammonia. (Just the thought if that last one makes me stop breathing.)

And seasonally my mom would clean out every closet and cabinet in the house, replacing the shelf-liners and draw-liners. Each spring, blankets and sweaters were washed (and occasionally shrunk beyond recognition), aired, and stored with mothballs (again with the breathing) in massive steamer trunks and padded, quilted garment bags of a sort that can no longer be purchased (and neither can the mothballs, thank gods).

These days my spring cleaning consists of sending a bunch of winter sweaters and wool coats out for dry cleaning and throwing the down and fleece clothing into the washer and dryer. Once the stuff is clean, I store it in labeled boxes in the attic along with packets of some herbal moth-discourager.

My big splurge is having all the windows cleaned by a fellow who's insured if he falls off the ladder into my rhodies. After he's done, we haul the screens out various storage nooks and install them. Ready for summer!

I used to take my car in to be detailed every May, but that's no longer urgent because my mom no longer comes out to Seattle for the summer. So the car's exterior is gray-on-gray and the back seat is full of needles from the evergreens I bought at the garden center two months ago. Shhh! I think I can live with it.

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