First and foremost, before I delve into my yearly Spring Cleaning preparations, I must make this disclaimer: It gives me joy. This is an essential element to understanding how I go about my spring cleaning. Because frankly, in today’s world, spring cleaning need not be extensive, nor is it actually necessary. So you have to know that all this puttering and futzing I do is because I enjoy it. Here’s last year’s rundown: https://rhinestoneworld.wordpress.com/2009/04/06/rubbity-scrubbity-sweepity/.

That said, it’s kind of interesting to note why spring cleaning is such a grand tradition. Back in the olden days, people used to heat their homes with coal which produced a sooty residue on furniture, walls, and linens during the cold months of the winter. When warmer weather arrived, houses required a full scrubdown to get rid of all the soot and grime. Since we use much cleaner heat, we don’t have to worry about this sort of thing. But there is that end of winter feeling to contend with. Everybody sits around, windows shut, breathing all over everybody. paraffin residue from candles, dust, dirt tramped in from outside, salt. As clean as our heat may be, nothing feels or smells better than that first day of spring where you can throw open the windows and air that shit out! Truly, fresh air is a dust mite’s worst enemy.

Since last year, my essential oil collection has grown, as has my natural cleaning recipe collection. I definitely have learned what I like best. New additions to this year’s cleaning kit include beeswax, turpentine, and linseed oil. (Thanks Blick Art Supplies!) I don’t think it’s coincidental that I buy much of my cleaning paraphernalia at art supply stores. Truly, there is an art to housekeeping. Am I good at it? Nope. But I am fascinated by it.

Over the next few days, I am going to provide a sort of Spring Cleaning 101 with pictures, lists, and recipes among other things like my favorite resources, and of course, the ubiquitous Movie and TV lists, and maybe even an Ipod mix.

Part 1 will be The Kit

Part 2 will be The Recipes

Part 3 will be The Plan

A word on the slippery slope of housekeeping and being a staunch feminist:

Again, I bring you the word the Joy and I remove from all conversation the word Obligation. My home is important to me, and making it a place for me and Will to relax and feel comforted gives me such a kick. Finding ways to use limited apartment space also is a little thrilling for me. (Using a suggestion from a decorating magazine, I came up with the little mini-office setup in our living room this weekend that made my damn day.) I love aprons, and cooking, and herbs and essential oils. I get this from my Mom. I also love the history of it. Much of what I love about homes goes way back to the ways of the wise woman before the unwashed made her into a “witch.” Truly, that’s where a lot of this rings for me. So in my own way, I’m gettin’ down and Mother Goddess with the spring cleaning. When I say I love the four seasons, I mean that in a visceral way. I like to bring in the seasons in a ritualistic manner, and in Spring, this is what I do. In Fall, I like to cook things with root vegetables, and read up on spooky things, and immerse myself in color. Winter is about yuletide and Christmas and spices, and summer is about the outdoors and family and fun and adventure.

So as I get older, feminism is about both the future and the past. I revel in new opportunities for women (expect a Nancy Pelosi: Hero post soon). In the past, I think it’s folly to throw out age-old feminine wisdom along with the overdue removal of bad policy. What I mean is, while we can stop the oppression of days past and choose a more enlightened way, we do our foremothers a huge disservice by getting rid of their traditions, too.

It’s dark and deep, I know. Of course, when it comes down to it, it’s a flick of the broom and a scrub of the floor. But it’s rooted in much deeper and more sacred practices that go all the way back to the Beginning, whatever the Beginning was.

So there it is from my weird little world. Tomorrow: The Kit!


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