This happens to me every March: I believe that Spring will arrive in this third month of the year. I believe that the gloomy, grey, overcast skies will transform into magical sunny clear blue warmth. I believe that I will be able to turn off the heat and go play outside in my garden and fill my planters and hanging baskets with beautiful impatiens, ivy, and geraniums. March 20th is supposed to be the official beginning of Spring, right? Well, as always, this week was my reminder that Mother Nature has a calendar, and a mind, of her own (as all women do). As my little happy welcome dance for Spring was side-lined by cold icy snow (yes, SNOW!), I found my Virgo brain contemplating:
If I can’t go outside; what can I be doing right now – indoors?
If by chance you’ve read my book , you know that I possess many crazy Virgo tendencies, including a fondness for the neat and the orderly. Marry my “Virgotitis” with good ol’ southern girl sensibilities, and you’ve got a gal who likes her living spaces tidy. Wandering through my home, I wondered what out-of-the-ordinary Spring cleaning I could tackle. There were plenty of Spring 2013 outdoor projects piling up: gutter cleaning; power washing the siding; flower bed planting, etc. But, what could I accomplish indoors? This needed to go beyond the typical house-cleaning. I wanted to be inspired.
What follows are the results of this past week’s indoor Spring cleaning throw-down. My goal was to discover areas of my house that had been truly neglected for a long, long while. If you’re not feeling this, you’re probably not a Virgo.
- Cleaning the dishwasher. I recently discovered a website that provides great how-to advice regarding all types of topics and issues: One Good Thing By Jillee. I perused the site and discovered that, much to my surprise, dishwashing machines require cleaning – who knew? Jill’s (I hope she is OK with my calling her Jill) steps for cleaning a dishwasher are fairly simple: http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/02/how-to-clean-your-dishwasher.html Here’s a tip: do NOT skip the part about examining the drain area. I discovered some extraordinary gunk up in and around the drain. Seriously gross. After following Jill’s steps the next load of dishes did seem to sparkle a little brighter.
- Cleaning the washing machine. This was another example/inspiration that I found on Jill’s site. In the interest of full disclosure, in the dozen years that I have lived in my house, I have never “cleaned” the clothes washing machine. The grime that this endeavor dislodged was truly disgusting. I’m talking NIH-should-be-notified sort of stuff. I should also note that this cleaning exercise required a bit more elbow grease than Jill had suggested, but I can’t really blame her: the machine had not been cleaned since 2001! Here is the link to Jill’s instructions. http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/04/how-to-clean-your-top-loader-washing.html
- Cleaning out the kitchen junk drawer. We all have one, that one drawer in the kitchen where we deposit all the coupons, take-out menus, pencils, notepads, magnets, and various other will-throw-this-away-later treasures. It was amazing to me how much “stuff” had been shoved into this one helpless little drawer.
After … (I’ve been looking for those grill wipes for-ev-er…)
- Utilizing the self-cleaning oven function. This one might not really count; it was just too easy. However, there was lingering Thanksgiving sweet potato pudding on the bottom of the oven which definitely needed to be eliminated.
- Washing the pillows. All pillows are not created equal. I must admit that when I took the time to really inspect the pillows in my house, some of them just had to go. Others I saved by following the instructions that I found on Apartment Therapy: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-wash-your-pillows-marth-105944
There were a few things I did not get to this past week: washing the dog (which really needs to wait until it’s warm enough to go outside); and cleaning out the winter coat closet. Maybe I’ll tackle that closet next week; or perhaps Mother Nature will have other plans.
Happy Spring everyone.