1. Why are you considering doing this at all? Is it because your mother did it? Phooey. Most likely, your mother needed something to keep her busy. She probably didn’t have seven car pools, weight watchers meetings, hot yoga, book club, zentangles, pedicures, or exfoliating. You do.
2. Of course, experts like Martha Stewart will tell you that anyone who lets her house get so dirty that it needs to be reamed out every spring is slovenly, self- centered, probably physically unfit, and certainly unable to set a decent table. Further, Martha would ask some very caustic questions: “Have you ever heard of washing soda? Do you know what ‘chargers’ are for? Do you have shrimp forks? Is your scissors drawer organized? Have you ever lit candles during dinner so that the low light will offset the stains on the carpet?”
3. Baseboards that are white are stupid. They always look dingy. So the movement towards brown baseboards is a worthy one to join, and we must go on a crusade to rid the world of white trim. As a matter of fact, the world should be made aware of the insidious nature of the color white in any household manifestation. White sofas, white floors, white walls. Wait—number two, above: I think Martha Stewart may be culpable in this as well. Perhaps the crusade should start with her!
4. No one ever looks behind your refrigerator.
5. Cat and dog fur has protein. So if you routinely inhale it, or find it resting serenely on top of your cereal, go with it. It’s good for you. Certainly, worrying about eradicating fur balls from your home will give you needless headaches and perhaps a deep crease between your eyes, which is unsightly. Pets give us inner peace and reduce our blood pressure. So a little ingested fur is a small price to pay, don’t you think?
6. If you were born before 1970, your knees may rebel when you try to get down on them and your hands to scour things. And if you spend more than a few minutes down there on the floor with a magic eraser, you might not be able to get back up. This means that you won’t be able to go to the movies tonight. Remain upright, where the dirt is harder to see, anyway.
7. No one has ever wanted to eat anything off a floor. Despite the fact that for the past hundred years, that has been the standard used for rating how clean one’s house is. Plates, people!
8. Shelf paper?
9. If you have the time to suck things up into a vacuum cleaner on a regular basis, do that. Vacuums were sent to us from heaven. Whenever I watch Downton Abbey, I thank God that I never had to beat a rug. I feel that houses with vacuum cleaners are exempt from spring housecleaning consideration.
10. No one will ever lick your doorknobs, your remote control, or your toilet flush handle. And if your children’s noses are running and they deposit some of it around doorknobs, remotes, etc., you must remember that this is why all humans have immune systems.
11. Your mother gave up on spring cleaning in 1967.
12. If you keep your countertops clean, your bed made, vacuum (see above), and swipe the inside of your fridge on a yearly basis, you will be clean enough for your family, unannounced guests, and the general populace. Unless you are good friends with Martha Stewart. (But does she actually have any?)