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Patty Craig: A Slice of Time

Our spring weather came early this year. For me, spring means cleaning. I normally clean my house in May and June. Cleaning my house and my yard helps me to say goodbye to winter and to get a fresh start for summer.

I’m sure some people begin cleaning and continue until they finish. I don’t work that way. I spring clean one day a week until it’s done, and usually only get one or two rooms done that day. Spring cleaning takes me a few weeks. I think my methods are pretty typical. I start at the top – the ceiling – and end at the bottom – the floor, cleaning or dusting almost every surface in the room.

Internet articles have some helpful spring cleaning tips:
•    Light fixtures: In addition to cleaning the outside of the light fixture, make sure to wipe down the insides of light fixtures, especially if you have a dust allergy.
•    Windows: Make sure to clean the whole window--inside and outside.
•    Mattress: Take the mattress off the box-spring and run a handheld vacuum over both of them.
•    Faucet heads: To clean, apply a little lemon or vinegar on an old toothbrush and scrub residue away.
•    Bathroom cabinet: Get rid of products you're not using. Toss out bottles of medicine and sunblock that are beyond their expiration dates.
•    Washing machine: Run super-hot water into the washing machine, add a bleach product, then run the machine through a cycle.
•    Junk piles: Purge all the clothes that you never (or can no longer) wear, the housewares you don't ever use, and the piles of papers you haven't touched in months.
•    Air vents: Pull the grate off and vacuum the vent. This is also a good time to change filters as well.
•    Garage floor: Sweep the garage floor to get rid of the dirt that came in on your vehicle tires or was blown into your garage.

Many of us have spring yard work to do, too. My roses, peonies, mums, hosta, lilies, and iris are all experiencing growth. Cleaning away dead leaves and stems helps the new growth to stand out. One pot of petunias has come back, too. And, the shrubs will soon need trimming. Rosebushes may also be pruned annually – usually around the time forsythia is in bloom, but old-fashioned ramblers should be pruned in June, after flowering. My mom advises pruning trees in February and October. I enjoy yard work, but I don’t take care of my yard alone. I am blessed with family members who do more than I.

Spring provides a great opportunity to ‘sweep away the cobwebs’ and start again. My favorite part of spring cleaning is the pleasant feeling of accomplishment on the last day. But remember, housework and yard work are things that nobody really notices until you don't do them. 

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