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.
How about you; do you have any suggestions for unusual indoor spring cleaning projects?
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David Tucker saysApril 2, 2013 at 2:59 am
I understand what you mean. As to me, spring seems to be perfect for cleaning and washing and renewing everything around me and even inside of my soul. My favorite ritual is washig the windows. I open the windows and let the sunshine and fresh air in. It's exactly what I need to awaken after the winter sleep) Thanks for this inspiring post
Kim Dalferes saysApril 2, 2013 at 12:46 pm
David, I am SO about the clean windows! But here in VA, with all the spring pollen, I have to wait until after the spring blooming season or I just end up cleaning the windows twice. However, as soon as June is here I'll be right there with you; windex in hand!
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Kat - LA Blogger Gal saysMarch 29, 2013 at 9:18 pm
My grandmother used to wash the pillows this time of year as well. How sad that I've not done any of the things you mentioned. And even sadder still that I don't see them happening anytime soon. My grandmother would be so disappointed if she knew 😉
Kim D saysMarch 30, 2013 at 9:52 am
I bet your grandmother thinks you are awesome!!! I can't put in a zipper to save my life; my grandmother, a master seamstress, would just smile, say tsk tsk, and jump in to help. Here's a hint: Target currently has a sale on pillows, no one will ever know, not even your grandmother…
Debbie Kesley saysMarch 29, 2013 at 8:52 pm
Jeeze………..just moved into an apartment ….tomorrow…..checking the Dishwasher (afraid already).
Personally I love to change the air filters no less than every 3 months.
I also make sure that my window fans are clean and ready to save energy for my power bill and for Mother Earth as long as I can as soon as pollen season passes and the warm weather is here in Georgia.
Kim Dalferes saysMarch 30, 2013 at 11:05 am
Change the air filters! I am on that today!!! Thanks for the reminder, and for stopping by.
Arla DeField - SayingNoWithoutFeelingGuilty.com saysMarch 29, 2013 at 1:44 pm
OK, I admit to following the link to clean the dishwasher. Wow, I am hoping that a good cleaning will help mine. I have noticed the dishes being not a clean as I think they should be lately. The fact that I would post a comment to that effect most likely outs me as a Virgo! I have been so focused on creating an e-course over the past month that I put blinders on so I did not see the housework! Just sent the content off to my webmaster and looked up from the computer and EEIICCKK!
BTW, the vacuum cleaner is another cleaning device that needs its own TLC love and cleaning!
Kim D saysMarch 29, 2013 at 6:46 pm
Hello Virgo Sister! I was kinda amazed what a difference it made to follow the steps for cleaning the dishwasher. Oh, and congrats on sending off the e-course contents to your webmaster – hope you can now have a nice weekend – cheers.
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Jacqueline Gates saysMarch 25, 2013 at 9:35 am
As an uber-Libra, I'm all about pretty-fying and decorating and making-sure-there's-flowers but the cleaning thing … well, let's just say I only do what I have to!
That being said, spring fever attacks all of us and I'm on a major decluttering binge.
The best part about having sold our house last November is that I get to sit on my apartment balcony and watch others do the outside spring cleaning tasks lol
Kim Dalferes saysMarch 25, 2013 at 10:06 am
Jacqueline, I forgot about your switch to rental bliss – I bet you've got flowers on the table and pretty fluffy towels hanging in the bathroom. Picturing you on the balcony right now with your coffee…
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Marion Blackwell, Jr. saysMarch 24, 2013 at 10:26 am
Ugh. I'm glad I'm a Virgo in date only. M
Kim D saysMarch 25, 2013 at 9:58 am
LOL Marion, I've seen your amazing bookshelves – you are SO a Virgo!
Nathalie Villeneuve saysMarch 23, 2013 at 12:37 pm
OK…Now you got me looking closer at my house and what needs to be done for Spring cleaning…and that's a lot! I think I'll start with cleaning my dishwasher since I've never done it…
Great share and resources…Thank you Kimba!
Kim D saysMarch 23, 2013 at 3:21 pm
Good luck Nathalie -let me know how it all turns out.
Suzie Cheel saysMarch 23, 2013 at 8:24 am
Not a virgo and i would love a virgo here to clear my clutter thanks for the inspiration
Kim D saysMarch 23, 2013 at 10:01 am
Hey Suzie, maybe I could start a new business: "Spring Cleaning by Virgo." Is it odd that I would actually enjoy helping others organize their stuff? My fear is that I would also want to write about the worst messes I come across… already thinking about titles – "Virgo Saves The World; One Kitchen Drawer at a Time."
Jean saysMarch 22, 2013 at 9:45 pm
I am definitely not a VIrgo, but did organize my junk drawer and silverware drawer last week. Love how it looks and how much easier it is to find things.
Going to have to check out the dishwasher and washing machine cleaning instructions.
Kim D saysMarch 23, 2013 at 9:56 am
Jean, I'm telling you, you will NOT regret the washing machine cleaning. And I bet those drawers look great.
Diane Marie saysMarch 22, 2013 at 6:23 pm
Sure could use some of your Virgo energy around my office. As I look at my piles (although there is a method to my madness), I wonder when I might find the time or the energy to work on this. There is always something else more important to do.
Your tips are great and thanks for sharing them. Always enjoy reading your posts!
Kim D saysMarch 23, 2013 at 9:49 am
In the interest of full disclosure, my home office is a testament to the fact that even Virgo can let the paperwork pile up! I gotta tackle my desk soon; I am sure it will take most of a full day.
Lori Rinehart saysMarch 22, 2013 at 4:35 pm
Not a Virgo – I'm a Pisces…we don't do spring cleaning! We just float around having fun. Thanks for sharing…
Kim D saysMarch 23, 2013 at 9:47 am
This Virgo needs a Pisces fix – we need to get you to the East coast!!
Jacs Henderson saysMarch 22, 2013 at 1:46 pm
I could have written this!!! Well not so well as you, but I am a Virgo ad ditto the whole lot. I've been looking through my Pinterest stream the last few days and been reading pins about pillow cleaning and cleaning appliances! (spooky) Actually, I already wash my pillows, but found lots of other springtime tips 🙂
What gets me is there's no sign of spring here round London – it's freezing, and raining most of the time 🙁
Kim D saysMarch 23, 2013 at 9:41 am
YEA! Finally, a sister Virgo that feels me. Jacs, I knew you would come through for me!
Kate Lindsay saysMarch 22, 2013 at 1:28 pm
I have never contemplated washing the machines that do the washing. It makes absolute sense now that it has been pointed out to me. I am not sure that I have a handle on the rest of the "regular" spring tasks yet though. I am not quite on to the list of bonus cleaning.
Hmmmm to be honest, I am curious and yet a little afraid to look at the dishwasher/ washing machine drains. If your Virgo self has dirty drains I can only imagine what my Gemini drains hold. And I am not keen on what I am picturing.
I do however like a well taken care of pillow.
Kim D saysMarch 23, 2013 at 9:33 am
Yeah, Kate, it is a little scary to look "up under the covers" – not sure what you will find. If you had to pick one thing on my list, I would recommend the washing machine – that was the biggest surprise for me.
Louise Edington saysMarch 22, 2013 at 11:46 am
I'm not a Virgo so can you please haul your Virgo ass over here? Seriously I did have a Virgo moment last week where I cleared out OUR junk drawer. It felt good. I am also gradually replacing our pillows as ours are beyond washing. Other than that I was exhausted by your post also lol
Kim D saysMarch 23, 2013 at 9:29 am
LMAO Louise, I'm not cheap; but I can be bought. On my way over – coffee ready?
Suzanne Michelle saysMarch 22, 2013 at 10:21 am
I have to admit, I got tired just reading how busy you have been…Ha! No, really, this post was inspiring and I think I am going to start small and begin with the kitchen junk drawer…it's so messy that it sometimes gets stuck when I try to close it. Yikes!
Kim D saysMarch 23, 2013 at 9:28 am
Starting small is good – I bet that kitchen drawer will look great and be much more useful unstuck!
Dayna Camp saysMarch 22, 2013 at 9:20 am
Oh my! Well all I can say is that I'm definitely not a Virgo. Although I love neatness and things in order, I am a messy. But what I do love is when my daughter comes in town. She LOVES to clean and organize. In fact, it will energize her late at night after she put her young children to bed. She was just here for a few days this past week. My bathroom closets are beautifully cleaned out and organized! I appreciate that trait in others so much for for me, it tires me out and makes me want to take a nap or it gives me a hot flash. Thank you for you great ideas. I will pass them along to my daughter too!
Kim D saysMarch 23, 2013 at 9:22 am
LOL Danya, glad I could inspire your daughter. I bet those bathroom closets look great.