Autumn arrives, and with autumn comes Fall Cleaning. Part summer grief and part holiday anticipation, Fall Cleaning is noble and important in the home of Mother Goose. Afterall, is not cleanliness next to godliness?
Here’s an amazing poem from dear Emily Dickinson to prepare our hearts for the fall cleanup:
She sweeps with many-colored brooms,
And leaves the shreds behind;
Oh, housewife in the evening west,
Come back, and dust the pond!
You dropped a purple ravelling in,
You dropped an amber thread;
And now you’ve littered all the East
With duds of emerald!
And still she plies her spotted brooms,
And still the aprons fly,
Till brooms fade softly into stars —
And then I come away.
In days gone by when Mother Goose cleaned her home, she tried to follow the rules of the Fly Lady who teaches that our homes can be divided into zones and our days can be divided into fifteen minute work segments. Fly Lady preaches well about cleaning our kitchen sinks and dressing to clean as though wearing shoes is really what matters and planning carefully what you will clean each and every day of the year. She teaches how to make and use a cleaning journal, how to organize the stuff, and how to put out a clutter fire on a flat surface such as a table or piano bench. But Mother Goose has stories to tell and has no time to clean like that anymore.
These days Mother Goose just starts cleaning wherever the biggest mess happens to be. For example, I’ve been noticing for several days how dirty my kitchen floor is, but there have been other areas that were even filthier (the bathroom, the kitty box, the mountains of dishes in the kitchen). So in prioritizing this way, things DO get washed up, but on a healthy flex schedule. Today, I wiped up the spots on the floor with a soiled wash cloth and some stinky spray antibacterial cleaner. The messy spots on the floor are gone! No, I did not completely mop the floor, nor did I swiffer the floor, nor did I even sweep the floor before wiping the gross spots. But, boy oh boy, the floor looks good enough now, and that makes Mother Goose very happy.
The same principle applies to vacuuming, of course. Only vacuum where the carpet is the hairiest, featheriest or seediest. This saves time and energy which can be better spent telling stories. And when you are in the bathroom, just grab a wet pop-up wiper and wipe down the toilet once a day. You’ll feel as accomplished as though you had spend hours scrubbing. Trust Mother Goose on this one, friends.
Cleaning in this fashion leaves us with so much more time. We have time to read and enjoy the amazing work of Emily Dickinson and Lewis Carroll and yours truly. Enjoy the important things in life today. Bee blessed!
A final word about fall cleaning — I only dust once a year, and that is usually precipitated by the imminent arrival of important guests such as sons who are on leave from the U.S. Navy.