Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall Housecleaning

Photo courtesy Flickr


"SPRING HOUSECLEANING. I PREFER PESTILENCE."
EMILY DICKINSON

When April rolls around, comfort yourself with procrastination. The warm light of spring no longer reveals an interior besmirched by the soot of gas light. It makes more sense to clean in the fall when the windows and doors are closed, and the kids aren’t running in and out.

Clearing a room to clean it breeds impatience, the engine of maintenance, and this is a good time to de-junk. Think of the house as a vehicle. Organize for speed and good mileage.

About twice a year, when the seasons change from warm to cool and back, I cruise the property fence to fence, ridgepole to sump, assessing what’s working, what isn’t, and what needs attention. There’s a minor or major thrash moving this and that here and there, and then some not-so-heavy cleaning and fast food to support the changes. This is not a big deal. It’s not much more than organizing my side bag every evening.

That’s all it takes. The main thing is to keep an eye on what’s happening in the physical household and make sure that inventory is not deteriorating while unattended. Make sure no one’s eating the books, the linens are dry, the roof’s in good shape, and the sump pump ready for the rains of October.

A household is not an end in itself, it’s a means to an end, and each of us has a slightly different mission.

-30-

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