Spring Cleaning

Okay, Easter’s over, and if you didn’t get your spring cleaning done already, don’t panic. There’s still time. Step No. 1? Declutter! Get all that junk out of your house. I promise that you’ll feel as if you put your house on a diet — it will feel that much lighter and sleeker. And the best way to declutter? A yard sale. Look, it’s win-win. You clean house, you make some money, you help the economy by offering folks some bargains and you further the cause of reduce-reuse-recycle. What’s not to like? Oh, yes: The hard and boring work of putting a yard sale together. But you’re in luck, because I talked to some yard-sale veterans who passed along some no-fail yard-sale tips for a newspaper article I wrote on how to have a successful yard sale. Read it at http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20100402/ARTICLES/4025007 and get ready to have the best yard-sale ever.

And while you’re at the TimesDaily Web site, read my weekly column at http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20100402/ARTICLES/4025004, where you’ll discover the question that goes with this answer: “If your veins showing through the rip are as dark as the denim.” I promise you, this is fashion advice you will not get in Vogue.

Spring Cleaning

Seems as if everybody’s spring cleaning. Folks determinedly are clearing out closets and basements and unloading unwanted clothes, shoes (“How have I ended up with 60 pairs of shoes?” one friend said. “I don’t even like them all!”), books, furniture and unfinished (unstarted?) projects. After all, it is easier to operate from sleek and organized spaces. It helps to spring-clean your brain, too. You know all those bits and pieces of ideas and thoughts that flit through your mind and you plan to do something with but never do? I gathered up a few of those and made my weekly newspaper column out of them. Read it at http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20090417/ARTICLES/904175001.

And now my mental columns-to-write filing cabinet is alarmingly empty. Ideas, please!!!

Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaningHome-organization experts say you can tell a lot about Spring cleaningpeople by the state of their refrigerators. I hope you can tell from ours that I did a massive cleaning shortly after Christmas’s food extravaganza and have kept it in top shape ever since. I mean, this was a six-hour job — taking out and scrubbing each shelf, throwing away a whole garbage bag of expired/old/what-in-the-world-is-this food and getting into every little corner and those Spring cleaningannoying ridges in the vegetable bins. And maintaining it means constant vigilance for crumbs and that Unidentified Sticky Stuff that mysteriously shows up. I can pretty much guarantee that everything in this fridge is now fresh and edible. Before this cleaning marathon, I would have to sprint to the fridge to throw myself in front of it when folks headed in that direction — I was that embarrassed to let anybody see the disgusting chaos inside. Luckily, in my cleaning frenzy I even felt moved to attack the outside, excavating years of Post-Its and lists that dated, I’m ashamed to admit, to the previous century. I kept all the artwork and notes and doodling that had decorated the door for so long — our refrigerator had long served as a sort of guestbook for my now 20-something-daughters’ friends as they traipsed in and out of the house during the Teenage Years. But with 1-year-old grandson Capt. Adorable discovering crayons, it’s time to make room for new artwork. And food that isn’t growing food of its own. My daughters’ reactions to the clean fridge were telling: Older daughter (Capt. Adorable’s mom) said, “Mom, the refrigerator looks wonderful! Great job!” Younger daughter said, “Why did you take down all the pictures? They’d been there forever!” But I’ve already started a Refrigerator-Door Scrapbook — and I guess in another 10 years I’ll have another Fridge Spring-Cleaning.