Spring into cleaning mode

Gayle Wade gets enthusiatic about the spring clean shuffle!

SPRING is here, and the pitiless rays of April sunshine pierce the indoor darkness, revealing cobwebs, a fine patina of dust and cat hairs, smeary window panes and finger marked light switches - all the half hidden chaos and disorder which the darkness of the winter months compassionately concealed.

Well, that's the picture at my house, anyway.

At this time of year, we are almost obliged to have a good old clear out; clean out the old and poke into those neglected corners where all the little jobs we didn't quite get around to or letters we meant to answer lie piled up and gathering dust.

There may be those of you who keep your houses as neat as a new pin all year round, for whom the spectre of Spring Cleaning is nothing more than carrying on with the normal routine.

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I'm told there are actually people who enjoy cleaning, that it can be rewarding, even addictive. I'm taking no chances, me. As far as I'm concerned, when it comes to housework, my motto is `Just say no'.

But help is at hand, even for the terminally undomesticated, with a USA website called Flylady.net

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The scrub-up equivalent of an evangelical crusade, Flylady spreads the word about reaching personal fulfilment through an orderly household routine. Anyone can visit the site and pick up tips to get their life back on track, starting small by following advice to get up and get dressed every day - including the shoes.

Even though I already manage to get myself dressed, and even to keep the kitchen sink clean (her other top tip) I still place myself among her target audience.

"Are YOU living in CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome)?" asks Flylady - and I must admit the answer is pretty much 'yes'.

Some of Flylady's strategies are appealing. At this time of year, her 27-Fling Boogie sounds good.

“Take a rubbish bag and walk through your home and throw away 27 items. Rule of thumb: if you have two of any item and you only need one, get rid of the least desirable. Do not stop until you have collected all 27 items. Then close the bag and throw it away without looking into it.”

The last bit of advice would be essential for me, the world's worst hoarder! If I start looking through the discard bag, I am bound to start thinking of reasons why I might need some of those useless items one day. Or at least, that I might put them up in the attic just in case . . .

The website is quite seductive actually. What harm could it do to look? "You are not going to get your home totally decluttered in one month! We have to work at it in small quantities of time and area." Sounds good to me.

You see how addictive it is? Next thing you know I'll be cleaning the house every month, not just every spring!

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