The cleaning bug has bitten me

Published 12:09 am Wednesday, March 4, 2009

There is a spring cleaning bug in the air. I know because it’s been buzzing around my house, even though there were snow flurries last weekend and this morning feels more like the dead of winter than the start of spring.

I’m not sure the bug infected me so much with a need to clean as it did with a desire to get rid of and to put order to things. It started with a new area rug in the living room. The old one was, well, old and starting to show it. So we found a nice bound carpet remnant that was affordable.

Of course, putting it in place meant moving most everything in the room out of place, which revealed areas where dust, lots of dust, lived in hiding. After vacuuming and returning furniture to the original placement, something just wasn’t right.

My husband and I discussed this early on a Saturday morning and decided a certain chair was the problem. It needed a new home in the room to make things flow better. That necessitated a session of rearranging and experimenting that culminated in a decision to move the chair and add more bookcases to what was now a vacant spot.

We did that and it looked nice, made the room look larger we both agreed on that. He went off to do his thing and I sat looking at the shelves wondering what to fill them with. Of course, the answer was books, and I had plenty of those.

As I lined them up in their new spots, I left openings in old spots and discovered dust, thick gray dust, lived there as well. All the moving and dusting and revisiting the books I owned convinced me it was time to let go of some of my treasures — but which ones?

After much consideration, I decided the collection of Reader’s Digest Condensed books from much earlier in my life needed to live somewhere else. I also chose a couple of paperbacks and few fiction and non-fiction selections to release from my possession, which was not an easy thing for a book addict to do.

I was proud to see that I managed to fill a large box with give-aways that my husband delivered to Goodwill for me.

The neater look of my living room inspired me to move to the closet in the bedroom. A week or so before, I let go of a bunch of clothes, that, like the books, my very helpful husband removed from the house for me. Now I set about putting order in their place, and once again met dust, a bunch of dust, hiding on and under stuff.

After shifting clothes, tossing shoes I hadn’t worn in about 10 years and moving a ton of fabric I purchased for yet-to-be-completed projects from plastic bags to neater boxes and a wicker hamper, I liked the result.

That success took me to what we call “the computer room” where there were more books begging for dusting and organizing. I spent the better part of a day doing this and inhaled enough dust to create a small human.

With all of this done, I felt contented with my efforts. Then I spotted the set of World Book Encyclopedias purchased in the 1970s. My mind tells me they are badly outdated and I realize much of the knowledge they contain is no longer accurate.

Still, they look nice sitting on that shelf; their color matches the room and I did get rid of the inch of dust on top of them. I think I’ll leave them there for now. After all it’s not officially springtime yet and that cleaning bug needs a place to live until it arrives.