Equinox Cleaning

The Equinox Cleaning

Is this like spring cleaning? Yes. Spring cleaning was a necessity in historical times when the house remained closed up all winter, gathering soot and smoke from the fireplace as well as the accumulated mess made when people are cooped up inside for long periods of time.

That being said, we all need to do a thorough cleaning now and then. I recommend doing so at the equinoxes. In fall, we’re getting ready to shut our homes up for the winter and the holidays. Friends will visit, parties will be thrown, and of course we all want to show our homes off to the best advantage. In spring, we’re driven to open our homes to the warm spring breezes.

However, let’s be honest. Very few of us have the time to strip our rooms completely one by one, washing anything that holds still for it. However, a few things can be done in a very short period of time.

First things first! Take down the curtains, carpets, and throws. Dump them in the washer and/or load them in the car for a trip to the dry cleaners. (Don’t drive off, yet!)

Now bring in three cardboard boxes or three containers. One is labeled “Keep,” another “Put Away” and the third labeled “Give Away.” Take everything off of the horizontal surfaces. Throw away anything that doesn’t fit in the box categories. Think about your knick-knacks and decorations. Are they seasonally appropriate? Do you have so many you can’t dust without causing destruction? Put some away and keep only the ones you love and are seasonally appropriate. For instance, I have a lovely ocean blue pitcher and tray in my living room. They reflect the light and sparkle all summer, but in the winter they’re horribly out of place. I’ll put them away for the winter, and replace them with a more seasonal item like my ceramic crèche come Christmas. (Yes, I said Christmas. Please, let’s be real. I may not celebrate Jesus’ birthday, but I do put up a tree and enjoy the season.)

Put the Give Away box in the car only after you’re done cleaning for the day. Put the Put Away box where it will annoy you until you do put everything away where they belong. Bag up the trash and toss.

Now that all the horizontal surfaces are cleared, dust using a lamb’s wool duster, one of the electrostatic dusters, or even a used dryer softener sheet. Please, no feather dusters. They just flick it in the air to settle back down later. What’s the point of that? Start from the top and work your way down.

Take the Keep box and clean everything you can. Wipe down every knick-knack, the sides of the potted plants, the pictures, and even the remotes. Set them out to dry.

Now vacuum anything that holds still for it. The furniture, the carpets, the tables, and whatever else is left in the room. Yes, that’s what that duster brush attachment is for. Use it. Same for the upholstery attachment. Move what furniture you can, but don’t give yourself a backache trying to move the sofa unless you can do so easily.

Now grab your keys and take the stuff to the dry cleaner, and stop by any charity box or thrift store to drop off the contents of the Give Away box. When you come home, put your reduced collection of knick-knacks back on the shelves and rest in your revitalized room.

Tomorrow/next week, you can choose another room and repeat the process. Pick up what’s clean from the dry cleaners while you’re dropping off the next load. My curtains are mostly all washable, so I only take the comforter in. However, I’ve included two opportunities for those who must dry clean their curtains.

I do the Public Areas one week, the Kitchen the next, Bathrooms, and on the last week the Bedrooms. By spreading out the dry cleaning from Week One to Week Four, I don’t faint when I see the bill! LOL!

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