Saturday, May 2, 2015

Signs It’s Time for Spring Cleaning

We’re expecting houseguests from overseas in about three weeks, which has me assessing the cleaning needs in our condo. I’ve never claimed to be a Suzy Homemaker and the current state of our home shows it. I did answer to Suzy Potts at one time, however.

That was a nickname from my parents. At least, I thought it was until sometime in my twenties. Turns out they were saying “you’re crazy” in the Italian dialect of my mother’s family. I misunderstood and they chose not to disabuse me of the idea that it was a term of endearment. I signed cards to them “Love, Suzy Potts” even after I learned the truth. But I digress. Back to house cleaning. (See, I even resist writing about it.)

I dust everything and clean the floors at least twice a year. (Don’t panic. The sinks and toilets get regular scrubbings.) After decades of dealing with this on a seasonal basis, I’ve collected some wisdom on the topic. To prove that I’m not totally without knowledge of this subject, I’m sharing it with you. You know it’s time for spring cleaning when…

You can write your name on every horizontal surface, discover a spelling error, and rewrite in the same place to correct it. That’s a lot of dust, my friends.

You realize that your cats, which are mostly white, are suddenly gray instead. Sadly, I no longer have this visual barometer of the need to clean. I’m considering wearing white socks around the house so I’ll have a similar indicator in my tool kit.

You take off your house shoes when you leave the condo so you don’t track dirt outside. (Think about that one a minute.)

The bathroom mirror has more toothpaste splatter than your face has age spots. Or maybe those are meal tidbits that got trapped in your caps and were liberated by dental floss. Apologizes if this is TMI for some of you.

You invite people to visit so you’re forced to finally clean. I probably shouldn’t admit to this. The next time I invite folks over, they’re likely to be offended at being used like that.

You don’t need your glasses to see the dust balls on the floor. I’m talking about when you’re just walking around the place, not when you’re down on your hands and knees, inspecting for areas that might need special attention.

You’re refilling your allergy pills at least once a week and the pollen season isn’t even here yet. It’s amazing the havoc dust can wreak on one’s sinuses.

You’re buying the large size bottles of saline nasal spray and you have one in every bathroom in your house. This makes the perfect companion to allergy pills, by the way.

You can see your breath when you exhale, but not because it’s so cold in your house. They’re called “dust clouds” and they’re especially visible in the sunlight that streams through your ceiling-high living room windows.

When you do your floor exercises in the morning, your body leaves an imprint like a snow angel in the dust buildup. (You shouldn’t have donated that yoga mat when you downsized.)

There you have it. Ten things that clue me in that it’s time to clean the house. When I see a confluence of four or more of them, I put the task on my iCal with an intrusive audio reminder. When the count reaches six, I stop using the “remind me again in xx minutes” feature. Of course, when guests are coming, I’m forced to face the job before they’re due to arrive. Which means I’m getting out the vacuum as soon as I finish this post, but please don’t call me Suzy Homemaker.

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