Not too long ago, a friend asked me what I was up to over the weekend and one of the first things out of my mouth was “spring cleaning”. His laughter spoke volumes because at the time, we weren’t anywhere near spring.
The issue, as he pointed out, is that spring cleaning seems to get slipped into conversation 52 weeks of my year. He is right. If I were to promote spring cleaning, my slogan would be “spring cleaning: it’s not just for spring anymore”.
Who has time for spring cleaning in the spring?
After 4-5 months of grey skies, snow, ice and cold temperatures, we Canadians come out of our wintry shells and spend time outdoors to do something …anything!… to get away from the confines of the 4 walls we call home. As much as we may enjoy hibernating and cocooning on the couch with Netflix, ketchup chips, poutine, crispy bacon or anything involving maple syrup, when we don’t HAVE to cocoon anymore, we are outta there!
After being caged up for a season and a half, we become possessed by a heightened appetite for freedom.
When the days are getting longer, temperatures are soaring and our long underwear has been put away for the season, why would we stay home and clean? With the calendar filling with invitations to barbecues and outdoor festivals popping up every weekend, spring cleaning in spring seems so wrong on so many levels.
The season of choice for spring cleaning defies logic to a Canadian.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to be spring cleaning on a day when there is so much snow on the ground or freezing rain in the forecast that an individual wouldn’t be leaving the house? Then I guess that would make it “winter cleaning”, even though it doesn’t have that same connotation of flinging the windows wide open with a flourish, breathing in the freshly pollinated spring air and welcoming with open arms the outdoor freshness.
Winter cleaning seems to quietly whisper instead, “Open the window a crack and shut it quickly before the pipes freeze.”
But whether it is washing windows, washing drapes, cleaning in the back corners of the closet, rearranging storage areas, small household repairs or purging items I might not need anymore, there are only so many hours in a day or a week.
The simple fact is that working for a living really takes a bite out of my schedule. When you take into account the work itself, the commuting, and then preparing clothes and food for the work week, is it any wonder that even the regular chores gets done. Then, when I reserve time for family, friends, the cat, the blog and for myself, those seasonal chores tend to get pushed to the back of the closet.
Some days I fantasize that in retirement I can truly reserve my spring cleaning for spring, but as some of my recently retired colleagues have reported, they often wonder how they fit everything in while they worked, as retirement seems just as busy but with other stuff… mostly fun stuff.
Much like anything, it is a balancing act, trying to find time for the needs, the wants and the spring cleaning. But I’m not about to let spring cleaning deprive me of quality experiences among my family and friends when the weather is just starting to get nice again.
In the meantime, even if it means reserving a couple of days off for some aerobic-paced spring cleaning, I’ll just keep trying to find those perfect time slots for seasonal chores, whenever they may spring up.
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