Let's go back a minute to what really inspired this cleaning binge. Perhaps the seeds were planted here, when I stood, eyes downcast, in front of the Large Family Logistics lady. I'm sure she had something to with it.
Then there were several long conversations with my friend Molly. Molly's house is bright and cheery and sun-filled and CLEAN! She is an inspiration to greater things.
Or maybe, long-lost Martha Stewart aspirations breathed a new breath. Well, I did print this one, but mostly because I thought it would look pretty in my Home Companion book. I don't really imagine doing all the things she says I must (probably because I still have a fair sense of adolescent Martha rebellion about me;-)
There are many spring cleaning checklist out there. This one is not going to be printed: there are links upon links upon links. Cleaning to the max.
Here is an interactive guide from Good Housekeeping for some virtual hand-holding. The folks at GH tell me
Congratulations! You are a member of the Take No Prisoners Housekeeping Club.
You regard housecleaning as war. You scrub the kitchen floor every night, park Dust Busters in every room, and change bath towels twice a day.
Time required to complete all of your kitchen, bathroom, and general spring-cleaning tasks: eight days.
I'm not sure if I see it as war; I much prefer the Fly Lady's image of a house blessing. But it's good to know it will take me eight days. I'd hate to have some kind of illusion about finishing in an afternoon. The frightening thing is that the quiz didn't ask me about number of children or dogs or mud puddles in the backyard. Can't help but think that makes a difference (and not a good one where time spent cleaning is concerned).
Really,the ultimate inspiration was a visit to Kimberlee's blog and the news of her new house. She wrote
I’ll never forget waking up that first morning in our new house. The sun was streaming in our bedroom windows, gleaming on the hardwood floors, Michael bringing me my fresh hot tea as always, Mozart wafting through the whole house via the Nutone. I asked Mary Rose how she liked sleeping in a real bed. “It feels like I’m in a hotel,” she sweetly replied. I know how you feel, dear.
I read that and I remembered. I remembered how our acquisition of this house was very much like how she got her new house. One very determined, optimistic dad who just knew this was the right house for his growing family, pushed forward against all odds until we were all moved in. And I remembered how awestruck I was just to wake up in this house--this house that was more than I ever imagined.
That was from where the spring cleaning resolve came. I want to reclaim the splendor of this house. I want to thank my husband again for our home and to inspire in my children a deep and abiding appreciation for the gift that is our house. Finally, I want my husband to know--this spring and every day thereafter--that he's coming home to that castle he envisioned for his family.