Spring – it certainly has sprung here in the UK! The tulips and daffodils are out, the sun is shining (at least where I live on the east coast) and the earth is warm to the touch. The birds have changed their song to ones of sunlight and warmth, of nesting and mating, of the months ahead and the lengthening days. The foxes are creating an almighty ruckus at night, and the lizards are coming out to bask in the sun.
It’s time for spring-cleaning in my home – really cleaning the house from top to bottom, doing the floors and dusting the blinds, washing the windows and cleaning every nook, cranny and crevice. It’s amazing how great the house feels after a good cleaning. Every autumn and every spring I do a Big Clean, getting ready for the months ahead. I feel I am overdue for my spring cleaning.
The chores of housework can seem daunting to some, boring or tedious to others. To me they are a delight. Really, I hear you say? Really?
I used to hate housework as a child – we had our daily chores of trying (and in my case failing) to keep our rooms and closets in order. We also had our chores every Saturday when my Mom got the house clean – I cleaned the bathroom, my sister dusted the living room and my parent’s room, my brother tidied the boot rack (to this day, I believe he got off too easily…) while my Mom did laundry and cleaned the kitchen. Dad was usually outside doing gardening in the summer or gone to work in the winter. Every Saturday morning, I dreaded the drudgery of chores when I’d rather be watching cartoons, reading or playing outside.
As such, my room and closet were always a mess, and I may not have done as good a job as I could have in the bathroom. It’s funny how much a person can change though. I hate living in a messy place these days. I find that it depresses me, makes me sluggish and feeling just plain lazy. When the house is clean, the dishes are done and the floors swept there is a different energy in the house. It smells clean. It feels clean. The energy seems to move easier, flowing with ease where it might otherwise become stuck on a stack on dirty plates, or picking up bits of cat fur from the “dustbunnies” on the floor (oh Spring, for anyone with a pet – you know what I mean in the shedding season!).
Doing the work is just as rewarding as having the clean house at the end. It can be enjoyable. I can stop thinking about all my other jobs that are waiting – the essay due, the proofs of the next book, getting my dance class organised, arranging diary dates, thinking about upcoming workshops, retreats and speaking engagements. I can simply focus on the task and let my mind rest while my body works. It’s marvellous.
Really taking time and care can also help you to get back in touch with your home. Really picking up each item you dust, looking at it, feeling the surface that it sits on. Feeling the dishes and warm water on your hands in the sink- washing dishes is lovely in the winter, when my hands are so often cold. It’s so nice to sink them into warm water and let them do their work.
I love housework. I love laundry. I love dishes. I love cleaning the toilet. I love dusting. I never, ever thought I would say that.
Now, I must turn that way of thinking towards all the chores – I mean delights, waiting in my garden!