Paul E. Anna: High Points |

Paul E. Anna: High Points

Paul E. Anna
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

That’s the smell of Lysol, Easy Off, Windex, Pine-Sol, Pledge and more. And hear that sound? That’s the sound of a squeaking squeegee, a sucking vacuum and a wet mop getting squeezed. Yes, it’s the time of year to get into spring cleaning.

Now I know that for most of you, spring cleaning sounds like the last thing you want to think about on the warm, summer-like afternoons that have hovered over the valley these last few weeks. But I bet if you take a good look around your casa, you’ll see that there are a number of things that could use a little tidying up. And this weekend the weather may take a turn, making it the perfect time to take care of the house.

There are two categories of spring-cleaning. The first is organizational. You know, getting your ski gear washed and put into bins for summer, getting the camping equipment and tents out of the garage and taking the bikes in for a tune. These are the rituals that mark the change of season and are necessary if you want to get in the groove for the summer ahead. This is also a good time to get rid of those things that are nothing but clutter – the old magazines, the T-shirts that you never wear. Maybe take out the old wine bottles for recycling. This stuff is so basic that just about everyone does it in drips and drabs.

The second kind of spring cleaning is a bit more intense. This is the kind where you mop the floors, peel the grease out of the oven, submerge the crusty drawers from the fridge in a bubbling bath, put the Kaboom (product of the year!) in the toilets, wipe down the walls and countertops, wash the windows… you get the picture. This could take all day and maybe even all weekend.

While it may be tedious, time consuming and boring, and while it may involve the inhalation of chemicals that are as likely to clean your lungs as they are the grease in your oven, and while it may seem like you’re never going get things back to their shiny original state, there is satisfaction in taking care of the place where you live. They say cleanliness is next to godliness, and while I don’t know who “they” are and what that means, I kinda get that life is better in a clean house.

For some, spring cleaning means picking up the cell phone and calling the cleaning folks, the pool guy, the window washers and the gardeners and letting them have at it. Write a check and all is good. But there are others who don’t have the financial wherewithal to call the “Clean It Up Army” and have to get down and dirty in the trenches themselves.

It may sound crazy, perhaps a little Paul E. Anna-ish, but I think the do it yourself-ers actually have the better lot in life. I mean if your home is your castle, then you’ll appreciate it more if you put a little elbow grease into its appearance and upkeep. Not that cleaning is fun, but the end result can give a sense of contentment and, at the end of the day – when you fire up that pristine oven, look out your clean windows and walk across your polished floors – you’ll feel better for having taken the time to do it yourself.

Or not.

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