In the Eye of the Beholder

By Rose Ann Sinay

According to the domestic divas, spring cleaning is a big deal. There are many articles with tips, tutorials and printable checklists for all (and I mean all) aspects of this periodic cleansing as the winter cold dwindles, and warm, spring breezes blow fresh, sweet smelling air through our homes. I start to feel seasonally renewed until I read an essay in a magazine, by a homemaking guru, saying that the enjoyment comes only after the work is done.

Spring cleaning is not an event that I look forward to. Organized purging does not come easily to me. My idea of a tidy house is a far cry from the Martha Stewart image of clean and green. I don’t remember to wipe the shower stall down after each use, and the detergents I scrub the tiles with are neither natural nor homemade. Stacks of things to be put away (later) tend to accumulate in the closet and laundry room and, if I must confess, on top of the loveseat in the bedroom. Unfortunately, it only takes a good book sitting on my table or a story clunking around in my head (that needs to be put on paper) to make me forget those ever-growing piles and the water beads depositing their mineral content on my shower walls.

Spring cleaning enthusiasts think of this cyclical, deep cleaning ritual as a cathartic exercise. They insist scrubbing forgotten corners of accumulated dirt and grime with a toothbrush, releases endorphins akin to eating chocolate. I can emphatically say that I have NEVER had that particular experience.

This season, I am determined to be successful. I will be methodical in my approach to conquering clutter and grime. I actually read those articles by experts in the field and print out their formidable checklist. Armed with strategic guidelines and a cup of coffee, I sit down to plan my attack.

1. Enlist your family members. Hahahaha. This is all I have to say about that.

2. Declutter. This second step could take a few days; however, I am in luck. The consensus of several professionals is that this job should take about a week, give or take a few (weeks that is).

3. Assemble the right cleansers for the job. The articles suggest that I may want to make my own cleansers and polishes – I think you may have already guessed my views on this point.

There is controversy in the cleanser debate. Does vinegar and water clean your windows better than the non-green, canned sprays? Should you use old newspapers, paper towels or recycled rags? Will lemon effectively cut the built up grease on my stove top? What product really removes that soapy film from the shower door? After all these years, I still don’t have the definitive answers to these questions.

4. Dust – start from the top and work downward. Dust bunny, a lovely name for the byproduct of dusting negligence, is a conglomeration of debris, hair, spider webs, dead skin cells and live arachnids. (I didn’t know that – it looks so…well…fluffy and benign!)

Last week I evicted all those fluffy dust bunnies that live under my bed and couch, but I know it won’t be long until their children come to visit.

5. Vacuum. This step should be done often. Did you know that sand wears down the fiber of your carpets faster than most other substances?

I have a continual supply of the gritty, white stuff, brought in on the bottoms and creases of golf shoes. The perpetrator of the mini indoor sand bunkers wears the innocent, Who – Me? look on his face. As with a multitude of other things, it gets blamed on the dog. Ever faithful to his master, the dog takes it in stride, buries his head under his paws and looks suitably remorseful. In the end, his selflessness is rewarded with a treat that leaves a trail of crumbs, all the way to his doggy bed.

To me, spring cleaning is as exhilarating as climbing a mountain, going on a diet or plucking my eye brows. I have experienced the cleaning fever – the desire to vaporize the clutter, to make my windows sparkle like diamonds and obliterate the furry dust that outlines the blades of my ceiling fans. It is the commitment to the execution of these labor intensive steps that is the deal breaker.

As I sit here typing, a much needed break from re-sorting and vacuuming, I notice that dust has texturized the surface of my smooth, white blinds into interesting patterns. In the corner of my living room, gossamer strands of a spider’s web shimmer in the afternoon sunlight. I am struck by the beauty of it and decide that, perhaps, I should delay my dusting to another day. One could consider this natural phenomenon as art, for no two are alike…or, wait, is that a snowflake?

I may not steam clean my wood floors, and I’m sure to miss some grimy corners, but I don’t mind if you walk into my house with wet shoes. It’s easily wiped up. And, I invite you to throw your sweater over the banister; it can keep my husband’s golf jacket company. Did you track in a little bit of mud? Don’t worry about it. Come in…relax…enjoy my masterpieces.

About this writer

  • Rose Ann Sinay Rose Ann Sinay is a freelance writer typing away in sunny North Carolina. Her articles/stories have been published in The Carolinas Today, The Oddville Press and The Brunswick Beacon.

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9 Responses to “In the Eye of the Beholder”

  1. Colleen Wenthen says:

    Loved it!

  2. Sandy Grundy says:

    I loved it. A women after my own heart.

  3. Stacy Maki says:

    This story made me laugh out loud. Sounds like you and I have the same feelings toward Spring Cleaning!

  4. Tammy Rohlf says:

    Now that is the way Spring Cleaning should be!

  5. Ida Konow says:

    She writes in a manner that I am transported into her home and can see what she writes about. It brought a smile to my face. I look forward to reading more of her stories.

  6. Jeanette Corsaletti says:

    I loved the story, makes you stop and think life is to short to worry about going crazy cleaning…you rock RosaAnn

  7. Sue Fretwell says:

    My sentiments EXACTLY! Loved this piece… so well expresses my own view of housework in general!

  8. Rose Ann Sinay says:

    Thank you so much, ladies, for all your comments. It’s so nice to know I am not alone in my less than perfectly kept home!

  9. Jane Balmer says:

    Nicely said, . Your home is lovely and as welcoming as you. No one could possibly notice a few spots, specs or dustbunnies. Besides creative minds have better things to do than to clean.

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