Spring Cleaning

Backroad Ramblings

Although you can’t tell by the weather, the calendar tells us it is spring. This is the time of year when many people like to do spring cleaning. That is, if we ever get two really nice days in a row. One nice day doesn’t count because we all just want to enjoy it before it turns cold again.

At any rate, I was thinking about doing some spring cleaning the other day and ran across an article on how to do it. It gave tips on how to clean and organize your whole house, room by room. In the kitchen pantry, for example, it said to take everything out and clean the shelves. Then assess the things you took out and throw away all the unopened boxes or cans that are more than six months old. So far, so good. Usually after I throw away all the old stuff there is so much room I can stop right there.

But then it got bizarre. The article continued, “As you begin putting things back into the cupboard, group similar items together: cereals with grains, canned goods with other canned goods, and glassware with dishware. This will make finding everything much easier. Get in the habit of placing all the food labels facing front and lining up glassware and dishes in neat rows and stacks.”

Are you kidding? Assuming someone actually did this, in most households it would last all of 12 seconds before someone was rummaging through it, moving cans and knocking over boxes. People who raid pantries don’t care much about whether the cereal is beside the green beans, they just want something to eat.

If I were writing a household-hint column it would go like this: Throw away unopened (and opened) boxes or cans that are more than six months old. Then assess all the extra space you have. Ask yourself one important question: Can they find my chocolate stash?

Every woman knows that a chocolate stash is essential to good health, so when you clean out the pantry don’t reveal your stash or it can be hazardous to the health of everyone in your house.

The next thing in the cleaning article was to organize your clothes closet. But again, I don’t think this stuff is written for regular people. It said get rid of anything you haven’t worn for a year. Okay, no problem, but what about the stuff I haven’t worn for six years because I really want to lose enough weight to wear them again? What about the fancy stuff that I really like and that actually fit but I never have anywhere to wear? Do you close your eyes and toss it into the sack for the Goodwill, or do you let it hang there a couple more years? Writers of articles like this never give you advice about these important things.

But anyway, it doesn’t look like I’ll be doing much spring cleaning this year, because although the calendar says it’s spring, the weather says “Deep Winter in Minnesota.” And as long as we only get one nice day in a row, I’m sure not going to spend it cleaning out my closet. 


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