Musings,  This Life...

Sunday Snippet: The Spring Cleaning Edition

We spring cleaned yesterday–every room from stem to stern–and the house looks and smells so fresh and I’m very glad, but…

Is it just me or do we care less about housework as we get older? Once upon a time, Mondays and Tuesdays were my housecleaning days. I literally cleaned for two solid days, working my round butt off scrubbing floors and bathrooms, vacuuming, dusting, doing laundry. At least twice a year, I pulled everything out of the china hutch, washed every piece, and put it back in, all shiny clean. I reorganized closets and drawers four times a year, washed windows every spring and fall (I still do that!), and even got dust bunnies and leaves out from under the shelves in the garage. Was that really me?

Things have changed, I confess. For one thing, getting on my hands and knees to clean the corners of the kitchen floor with a toothbrush is pretty much out of the question because of the whole getting back up off my hands and knees thing. (If you’re anywhere north of sixty, I’m guessing you can relate.). Dishes have been known to sit in the sink from breakfast until after lunch and honestly, Husband has pretty much taken over kitchen cleanup duty anyway because–and I’m not dissing him for this, just stating the facts–I don’t load the dishwasher right. There’s a “right” way to load a dishwasher–who knew? Plus he’s taken on more of the household tasks, bless him, since he’s retired and I’m not. I haven’t cleaned my oven since before Christmas and yep, I’ve even been know to  make my bed at five p.m. (I know, I know, why bother at that point, but it’s the principle of the thing.)

And yeah, I do sometimes feel guilty that I am no longer the perfect housekeeper, but here’s what I’ve learned about housekeeping in the last 50 years–this year–of marriage. No lightning bolt comes down to strike you dead if there’s dust on the good crystal wine stems. The dust bunnies in the garage really like it there, the housekeeping sheriff doesn’t show up if you skip a week’s vacuuming, and the health department has never once knocked on my door to red-tag my kitchen floor.

Mostly what I’ve done is set myself free from all the must do in order to have a perfect house tasks to allow myself time to write and it feels fantastic. Don’t get me wrong–every so often (like yesterday), I get into a cleaning frenzy, recruit Husband, and we scrub until the house glows, but I no longer feel the need to spend two whole days a week at it. The bathrooms get cleaned regularly, the kitchen gets handled, the sheets get changed each week, laundry gets done and folded and put away all at one time (which from what I’ve read online is rather a phenomenon), and when I can write my name in the dust on the surface of the dining room table, I pull out my rags and furniture polish. I no longer feel the need to spend two whole days a week cleaning house. I’d rather write and work on editing gigs.

So, spring cleaning happened and I’m very glad, but my house is just as cozy whether I’ve dusted all the ceiling fan blades or not. That isn’t a epiphany, but it sorta feels like one.

Son’s the beardy guitar player on the left.

Gratitude for this week: We cleaned; good enough report from the cardiologist that she upped the meds, heading for the full dosages of the 4-drug protocol in the next few months; lovely lunch with friends; I bought a couple new shirts for summer and I really like them; the gardens are blooming–I’ll have lily-of-the-valley very soon. Bonus gratitude: Son’s band, Identity Crisis, had a great gig on Saturday–all went well and they had fun!

Stay well, stay safe, be kind–the world needs some kindness right now, and most of all, mes amies, stay grateful,


  • Carol Light

    Really enjoyed your post, Nan. Despite all kinds of efforts, I’ve never managed to stick to a cleaning schedule. Like Janine, I tend to do something every day…or maybe every other day. Everything looks good enough and that’s good enough for me!

  • cathy shouse

    Well, Nan, if you’d asked me I could have told you that going low-key on the housework isn’t as disastrous as one might think. 🙂 What an enjoyable message for a Sunday morning and I’m so glad your health journey is going well. (Hope that is not a strange way to say it? Editors reading my thoughts make me nervous. Ha.) Totally approve of the name of your son’s band. I love that you’re having fun in addition to all the publishing work you’re doing. Congrats on the debut of the Weaver sisters books!

    • Kimberly

      Cleaning has not been a priority for some time now. But we have company coming in 8 weeks, so time to get started.

      • Nan

        Well, I hope I provided some small amount of encouragement, Kimberly. That said, if they love you, they won’t arrive with the white gloves on. Hugs!

    • Nan

      Thanks so much for stopping by and for the good words about the new book, Cathy! And yup, the health journey is going well. Hugs!

  • Vicki Beeman

    I’m definitely in the “North of 60” group. And, I definitely relate to the getting down on hands and knees reference, with not being able to get up. Really enjoyed your post of your cleaning or not-cleaning household chores. Well, at least the parts of the things not getting done.

  • Kathleen

    Exactly, the house doesn’t have to blind you with cleanliness and sparkle. But I do need to get some ambition for spring cleaning at least. Some day. Lol.

    • Nan

      You know… some days it just hits me and I have to do it, but the hit probably doesn’t come often enough! Thanks for stopping by, Kathleen! Hugs!

  • Janine

    I have gotten the same way. I still clean something everyday and sweep up the cat litter that gets tracked around the house. But the rest of it seems to only be taken care of when it starts to look dirty. We have so much construction all around us, so dusting seems to be purposeless. It’s dusty again the next day. I consider what I do as knocking it off until the next time.

    • Nan

      I so feel you–we used to live on a US highway and we had a farm field behind us, so the dust was just unbelievable. It’s not so bad here in the ‘hood. Hugs galore!

  • Liz Flaherty

    I really love this, and I’m glad you’ve given housekeeper Nan a break and allowed those dust bunnies to live on. They’re quiet, you know, and don’t hurt anybody…

    • Nan

      Yeah, one of the Nan’s needed a break for sure… Housekeeper Nan was the easiest one to release. The bunnies are very quiet for sure. 😉 Hugs, mon amie!