My Long-Standing, Absurd Aversion to Spring-Cleaning
Confession: I’ve always struggled a bit with authority. Not like criminal status or anything . . . I just DO NOT like being told what to do. Or how to do it. Or when to do it.
This challenging of authority began in my toddler years (I’m paying for that now with my mini-me toddler), peaked in my high school years (I was the only Honors student in my class who visited the detention hall on occasion), and it’s still going strong to this day. Of course, it’s of a more subtle nature thanks to the fact that I’m a thirty-year-old Homeschool mama of two, and am often just too plain exhausted to do much rabble-rousing these days. But make no mistake . . . I still have the fire! If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may have witnessed a spark here or there with some of my more heated posts (such as: The BIG BAD WOLF is huffing and puffing at the door of the School House, or “Belling the Cat” for 2032’s Voting Booth).
My inner inferno also shows up in super random and often unhelpful ways, too. I’ll give you an extra-absurd example:
There were parking guards at Trader Joes when we lived in the city who waved little wands to control the traffic and direct you where to park. They were somewhat adequate at their jobs, and a few of them even smiled faintly when pressured into it. But I just couldn’t stand it. None of it. It’s a good thing I’m not a pilot because . . . I do not like being wanded around, people! Especially when I’m being wanded into a parking spot in the back alley lot where I not only feel like I may have to bust out my taser at a moment’s notice, but where I’m also going to have to hike in and out two kids plus an overflowing cart of groceries. It’s just not cool.
So I have another confession: I never once parked where I was wanded. Sometimes it was even a decent spot. But I still didn’t park in it. On principle, you understand. The few times my husband was with me riding passenger side, he’d scrunch down in his seat in embarrassment as I drove right past yet another man in an orange vest frantically flapping his arms at me. I would smile and wave as I passed, saying a polite “no thanks!” every time. Because I had nothing against the Trader Joes Traffic Team! They were trying to do their job . . . with no help from me, to be sure.
But here’s the thing: I will park where I want. (I’ll also teach to MY standards, and read to our kids the books that I deem appropriate for them regardless of what the world thinks . . . but those are touchy topics for another day’s post 😀 ). And here’s why: I’m the one holding that steering wheel! Maybe I like to park in the shade. Or perhaps I have another errand one lot over and only want to park once. Or just maybe behind those back tinted windows I have two kids to lug around! So, I will drive around and around as many times as I please until I see a spot that fits my needs. I’ll be nice about it, to be sure! But I’m also not going to be pressured out of it. Why? Because I am completely capable of driving around a lot and choosing my own spot. And so should everyone else be, for that matter. If everyone were capable of thinking for themselves and were willing to be kind and courteous enough to wave in a little old lady into the spot they had their eyes on . . . well we wouldn’t need the orange-vest-team, now would we? Ok . . . ridiculous rant on parking lot peeve, over.
Not only do I struggle with authority . . . I also majorly struggle with fads. If it’s in vogue, I’m going rogue! If it’s “all the rage” . . . it just puts me in one. What can I say? I’m an against-the-stream kind of fish, my friends. I like marching to the beat of my own tom-tom, and I don’t mean maybe. Even if it’s something as innocent and straight-forward as spring-cleaning. In fact, for years I fought against the whole “Spring Cleaning” thing. After all, you can clean in any season! What’s the big deal with spring? Is it just because it *almost* rhymes? We are a nation obsessed with rhymes and jingles after all. I was convinced there wasn’t much more to it than that.
Well . . . over the past few years I’ve done a major clean-out in every season. Some of these clean-outs were due to cross-country moves (which my husband and I have done thrice together now) and others were just brought on by an urge to purge.
Looking back on all the clean-outs of the past several years, I’ve reached a conclusion . . . bringing me to my third and final confession for you today: I WAS WRONG. No, not about traffic-controlled parking lots (although maybe). No, I was wrong about spring! I must concede . . . indeed . . . I do believe SPRING to be the perfect time to clean.
6 Reasons Why (yes! I confess!) Spring is a Perfect Time to Clean!
(well . . . at least according to me)
1.) IT’S NATURE’S WAY! (a bit of a duh, I know . . . but a pretty powerful one!)
The squirrels are spitting out dead leaves from their trees . . .
the birds are chittering and restoring their nests . . .
the snow is melting and giving life to all things green . . .
animals are rousing from winter comas and clearing out their dens . . .
It’s hard to ignore nature’s season-song of renewal.
Plus, for those of us who experience a true winter . . . snow is not clean! It may start out lovely and pristine, but spring-cleaning usually means taking care of a good deal of filthy snow-season build up. Especially in the garage. And that doesn’t even touch on the topic of all that snow-gear!
2.) EVERYBODY’S DOING IT.
Ok, usually I run the other way when I hear this fav High-School-era slogan. If everyone is in, I’m often immediately out. But . . . this year I’m catching the neighborhood spring fever pretty bad, even against my will. Something about seeing all the neighbors’ garden pots on their porches again, and everyone happily sweeping, and digging, and clipping, and beating rugs in the sunshine . . . it’s like trying not to fall headlong into a cleaning spree after watching Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. I guess the truth is that spring-cleaning can offer a healthy dose of community-building . . . even if it’s just an online community. Either that or this neighborhood living is breaking my defenses down.
3.) NOBODY WANTS TO CLEAN IN SUMMER.
It’s too lovely (and often too hot) to clean in the summer. And there’s too much fun to be had! Sorting things into bins and putting them in storage can not compete with a trip to the beach, a day on the lake, or a hike in the woods.
4.) NOBODY HAS TIME TO CLEAN IN FALL.
Back to school is enough. Add to that the impending onslaught of the holidays. . . and fall, my friends, is full!
5.) NOBODY HAS ENERGY TO CLEAN IN WINTER (at least I don’t).
Winter days are short and cold and cozy and the holidays pooped us out! Like a lot. We just want to read by the fire until spring, ok? Just put that crap in the garage and we’ll deal with it later.
6.) TRIMMING DOWN OUR STUFF HELPS US TRIM DOWN OUR . . . DUFF.
It may be phycological or it may just be all that elbow-grease and heavy lifting . . . but purging our household clutter also helps us burn off unwanted junk in the trunk, if you know what I mean. And after-holidays / pre-swimsuit season makes it the perfect pairing.
Join us over the next two weeks for our 6-part Homeschool Spring-Cleaning Series:
1.) How I Finally Got CLEAN.
2.) Decluttering the Homeschool Cupboard!
3.) Decluttering the Craft Cupboard!
4.) Decluttering the Homeschool Desks!
5.)The Necessary Hoarding of Homeschooling (sorry Marie Kondo)!
6.) Spring-Clean the Homeschool Routine!
Why do YOU clean in spring? Comment below if you feel like sharing!
Thanks for reading!
Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~