Semiannually: have household appliances checked and reconditioned where necessary. Wash mattress covers. Clean draperies. ~Housewife’s Handbook, 1953
The spring cleaning ads are starting to appear in the newspaper. For some, it is a dreaded chore that turns everything upside down and makes them cranky. For others, it is a ritual that welcomes spring.
The unnamed author of Housewife’s Handbook tells us that we can eliminate most of the chores associated with spring cleaning. She (you know it has to be a “she” because the advice is so practical) encourages us to spread the chores out throughout the year. She writes,
There are two possible procedures that make semiannual house cleaning unnecessary and spread the work throughout the year. The first is to do one or more [tasks] in several rooms on the same day….Use of the same tools and routines in several rooms at stated intervals will ensure doing the same amount of cleaning in a year.
The second method is to thoroughly clean one room at a time, including the basement and storeroom in the the schedule.
For a thorough clean, The Handbook tells us to: brush window shades or venetian blinds, or wipe blinds, brush curtains, draperies, walls and wood trim, or wash them if necessary; wipe pictures, wipe or wash windows; clean box springs and mattress, clean underside of rug and floor beneath it; clean closets and drawers, polish wood furniture; clean upholstered furniture where soiled.
As I look at the list, however, I can see how some of these things can be included in my weekly cleaning of each room on a rotating basis. I don’t have to do everything on the list every week but if I incorporate one thing each week, then my “spring” and “fall” cleaning will be quite minimal. And, with modern appliances, these tasks can be completed in a flash.
On a final note, I second the advice, quoted above, to have appliances checked on a regular basis and serviced, if necessary. In trying to save some money, you run the risk of being “penny wise but pound foolish.” Our landlord has not had our heating and air conditioning system serviced in at least five years. Today, he is paying for it. The heating guy is here doing a major repair that could have been avoided if it had been serviced sooner.
Do you embrace spring cleaning? Or, have any advice on how to accomplish it quickly?
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