Reorganizing When I ‘Clean’
My style of spring cleaning is to be reorganizing when I ‘Clean’. I meant to be doing that in my basement during the winter Saturdays. It didn’t quite come off. Either I wasn’t feeling up to it (shingles), or I had events to be at. (funeral, AGM, etc.) But last week I really dug in and got something accomplished.
There are different kinds of housecleaning, you know.
1. The kind you do when you get a call and company will be at the door in half an hour – or less. If they have never been over before, or so long ago that they don’t remember how my place looks on ordinary days, I will roar around hiding messes, tidying up, and sweeping the floor. I know I can remind people that this is not a show home; I live and WORK here! But still… we do know we’ll be judged by how messy it all looks, right?
2. Then there’s the Saturday cleaning. Something I learned as a child from Mom’s job assignments. Usually, it was my job to sweep all the floors, starting from the room farthest from the kitchen and the door. and tidying up, as I moved the pile of dirt from room to room and added to it. When I’d cleaned that all up, I got out the wet mop and washed the floors. it all took at least half a day. (Meantime, my sister Elsie, 5 years younger, asked and usually got to do baking and cooking).
To this day I feel guilty if I don’t go through that routine on Saturdays on the main floor. In my tiny house I have only five rooms, so it doesn’t take nearly as long. I can sweep in about 10 to 15 minutes and wash all the floors in about 5-10 minutes, so I often save it for the half hour after I’ve done the supper dishes.
Okay, I confess, with doing business full-time all through the week, Monday to Friday, and not often having company visit me, and with no family member (ie. Mom-figure) reminding me until I get the cleaning done, I’ve become much more relaxed and forgiving about cleaning.
When I do resolve to do some serious cleaning, I usually tackle one room and move furniture, wash down surfaces, and put things away where they belong. Often the best way to do that is to take everything out of a cupboard, or chest of drawers and decide what now has no more value in my sight and can be got rid of, or what things are treasures I forgot I’d had, and nee to be brought into regular use again. (I found a beautiful old broach in a sewing box that way this last Saturday).
3. Spring cleaning, and sometimes before Christmas cleaning. These were big annual sessions for which Mom expected me to take several days to work very thoroughly through every room in the house. I think Gra’ma must have started her on that. I always liked the effects and the feel of the rooms when done, but I moaned and whined while doing it. Or, until I’d come across some treasures that I’d forgotten we had. That would inspire me to ‘organize’ everything afresh in that room; because that gave me a sense of pleasure and satisfaction.
Of course, I know I’m not obligated to do everything the way Mom insisted it should be done, but I bet you still do things too, the way your Mom taught you, or showed you by how she did things. That upbringing is hard to shake.
Anyway, all that as a preamble to my own goal of reorganizing when I ‘Clean’ up my basement – or “Resources Warehouse.” The last few weeks it has weighed heavily on my conscience that I’d intended to do this throughout those winter Saturdays. Last week I took action! In stages over about a week or 10 days, I had unloaded the bins and boxes that were on the shelf unit behind my clothes dryer rack.
My shelves were only 8 to 10 inches wide, and that meant the bins were sagging over them, and would eventually break. My goal now was to replace the old rungs with new ones that were 2 feet deep. But I don’t have a working saw, am not terribly handy with a hammer or electric drill. Last week Monday I had found some board in my shed that could be cut up to make new rungs on the ladders which form the
framework for that shelf unit.
I decided to try my neighbour, Joe. Sure enough, he agreed to make the ladders over again. (Declining my offered tip).
I dragged the renewed ladders downstairs, and set them up. I put my long boards, and folding door panels over them, and then – over several days, giving up an hour or so, after supper, to go through my bins, and decide which ones to put back on the shelves and which ones to empty and set aside for my planned yard sale in another week or so.
Mostly I’m giving up boxes with craft projects started, and related supplies, and two dolls, even some fabric resources… etc.
I feel pleased now when I look at that shelf unit. But what about some others that need time devoted to reorganizing when I clean there?
With spring arriving, I sense a calling to get out there to rake the front lawn and clean up the back yard to prepare for gardening. Which is an activity that will crowd out these big cleaning up sessions indoors – again. All summer and fall.