Tag Archives: spring cleaning

The Life-Changing Magic of Giving Up

Oh, early spring. Isn’t it lovely? That magical time of year where you can kick the melting, dirty, gray snow out of your path with your new flip-flops while walking in an unrelenting downpour of freezing rain. Mmm…so life affirming.

Ugh. Oh, how I hate this time of year. So much. It’s dumb and the weather sucks and there are no good holidays unless you count St. Patrick’s Day, which I don’t anymore because I have small children who don’t understand the importance of day-drinking OR green beer OR making an idiot out of yourself.

For all these reasons, I should be hunkered down in a blanket fort binge-watching the world’s most depressing show, “The Killing,” on Netflix. Just biding my time during this bleak and desolate season until May when I can once again blind innocent bystanders with the glare coming off my pale calves.

But what am I doing instead? Making yet another half-hearted attempt at spring cleaning. Because I hate myself.

It never fails. Every year at this time I feel an overwhelming urge to get my house in order. To organize. To scale down. To have one of those minimalist living spaces where you don’t feel like if you fall you’ll be buried under a stack of Bust magazines from the early aughts and no one will ever find you and the last image you ever see is Margaret Cho smirking at you.

Or, barring all that, even just finally wiping off the blades of the ceiling fan that have literally started to bend under the weight of dust and dog hair and dead bug carcasses.

And yet, every year it ends the same way: My husband wrestling the matches out of my hand as I repeatedly scream “BURN IT! BURN IT ALL!”

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It always starts out great. I’m motivated. So motivated. Manic, almost. Because I will get everything done and I will do it all RIGHT NOW. So, I run around the house and [play the “Flight of the Bumblebee” in your head as you read this next part]…

Shove any and all clothes that no longer fit into trash bags for donation, regardless of whether anyone is still wearing them at the moment. That is until I get distracted and realize I need to…

Go through all the kitchen cabinets and finally throw out the canned goods lurking in the back that have been there since the Clinton administration, which I do until I remember I still need to…

Break down all the Amazon Prime boxes piled up in the attic that are leftover from Christmas, which I do until I realize I hate breaking down boxes so I move onto…

Finally cleaning out my gigantic make-up bag, where I will throw out exactly one red lipstick, which looks like the 27 other red lipsticks I own, before getting frustrated and…

Decide to organize my massive book collection, but actually I just sit on the floor and start reading each book I pull down but it doesn’t matter because…

The kids have by now woken up from their naps and so I go and retrieve the red lipstick I threw away from the trash can and put it back in my makeup bag because you never know when you need a 28th perfect red lipstick and…

I get the kids up and curse my messy, chaotic house.

Maybe I need a plan of attack. A tried-and-true cleaning and organizing method. I mean, I tried that crap where I held stuff to see if it brought me joy. Unfortunately I started in the kitchen by the wine rack. The good news is that every single bottle did indeed bring me joy. The bad news is that nothing else got done except an angry, error-and-typo-filled email sent to Amazon customer service about the canceling of the show “Good Girls Revolt.”

I’ve also thought about how I should probably start addressing this problem from a different front, stopping it before it gets to this point, maybe. Do one of those “don’t buy anything new for a year” crap that people always blog about.

Except there is the issue of my book hoarding. I have more books than I know what to do with and I can’t stop buying them and my husband is the worst kind of literary enabler.

Get a Kindle, you say? Well, I hope you die and burn in hell for all eternity, is my response to that.

Sorry. That was a bit harsh. I apologize. E-readers are a great invention. And who knows? Maybe I’ll break down and get a Kindle one day. The day they invent one that gives off that old book smell. And has actual turn-able pages. And is heavy. And is made of trees.

It’s not just me though. My husband loves collecting comic books and graphic novels. My toddler son has a fierce and unbreakable bond to every single toy he has ever gotten. Even that broken yellow crayon stub. DON’T YOU TOUCH THAT BROKEN YELLOW CRAYON STUB! Ever. It’s his most treasured possession. Well, that and the gigantic kitchen set he has never, ever used and takes up 35 percent of the real estate in his room.

Even the baby is a budding hoarder. No one, regardless of age, needs that many empty water bottles to chew on.

And it’s for all these reasons that I always give up pretty much before I even get started.

Which is why I’m just going to go out and buy one of those stupid decorative signs that says “Please excuse the mess, the children are making memories” and hang it prominently somewhere and call it a day.

Season three of “The Killing” ain’t gonna to watch itself.

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Spring Cleaning for Lazy Dummies

Guys.

Guys.

GUYS.

Spring officially arrived this morning. And not that manic-depressive spring we’ve been having that’s been passive-aggressively toying with our emotions because it wasn’t hugged enough as a child by Father Winter.

No, I’m talking about stable because it’s happily hopped up on pills and booze spring.

Or at least it has in my neck of the woods. Sunny, breezy, mid-60’s perfect spring. For the first time in MONTHS I was able to open the windows, letting out the stench of cooped up dog and overcooked Christmas ham.

The birds are chirping. The neighborhood kids are outside playing (and/or reenacting scenes from “Lord of the Flies”). The random dudes who are somehow related to my landlord and store their stuff in the garage are in my driveway working on their RV or possibly building a meth lab in their RV.

Yes, it’s a beautiful day.

So beautiful that when I got out of the shower, I half expected a bunch of birds to fly in, towel me off and throw a bright pink Disney princess dress over my head that floated down and fit me perfectly. And then some happy squirrels would intricately lace a bunch of flowers in my hair. And then my dog would come running in and eat them all.

In fact, this weather has put me in such a good mood I actually cleaned. Better yet, I even went to the store beforehand to buy ACTUAL CLEANING PRODUCTS instead of wiping off the counter with leftover dog shampoo and my husband’s Green Lantern T-shirt.

Like, I scrubbed the TOILET. I mopped. I finally threw out the aforementioned Christmas ham that had been hanging out, possibly gaining consciousness, in the fridge.

I even made the bed (and by “made the bed” I mean picked the sheets up off the floor, since my husband and I are those kind of sleepers who thrash around violently in our REM cycles, and then haphazardly laid them back on the bed).

Yes, I hate to be this person, considering I didn’t get to where I am in my writing career (underpaid and underemployed) by being positive and non-sarcastic, but this weather has definitely brought back a spring in my step (pun COMPLETELY intended…also, sorry).

And guys, this could just be the vitamin D talking here, but it’s enough to make a girl think that everything is going to be OK.