For me, “cleaning house” conjures up something completely different. It may seem old-fashioned but, at the first hint of spring, I can picture my mother, and my grandmother before her, standing on a step-stool, with a wad of paper towel in one hand, and a spray bottle of Windex in the other, merrily cleaning the windows. And given that I was born with the same cleaning gene, I carry on the twice-a-year, deep-cleaning ritual known as either “Spring Cleaning,” or “Fall Cleaning.”
It’s been unusually cold here in New England, so I have not yet begun what I call “the Big Clean.” This activity usually takes a week or so and goes way beyond vacuuming, dusting, or keeping on top of the weekly laundry. For the Big Clean, I take out the spin brushes that give the bathroom tile a dazzling sheen. I wash the baseboards and the chair railings with just the right mixture of lukewarm water, white vinegar, and a gentle wood cleanser. I rotate the mattress, launder the quilts and blankets, and change over the closet with the appropriate clothes of the season. And yes, I wash all the windows.
Perhaps you don’t feel the same way I do. Which is fine. Maybe you’re content if there are no dirty dishes in the sink, and there’s a fresh roll of toilet paper in your powder room. But I like when my ordinarily clean and orderly house is positively sparkling, and every room smells like fresh laundry, with a hint of citrus. I’m satisfied when all my ducks are in a row.