I happen to have grown with a mother that thought cleanliness must happen thoroughly in the spring and in the fall.
Every spring we cleaned out closets, shampooed the rugs, and took the mattresses outside to the grass to beat on them so we could “get rid of the winter dust.” The closet thing was not that bad but the mattress out of the house (especially down the stairs and onto the lawn) was hard.
The last time I remember doing this with mom was when I was in high school. I think I was a junior. Once we got the mattress to the spot where my mother indicated, we would hit it with an old tennis racket. I was a designated “hold it on its side” participant most years but this last year I got to do the beating.
What fun. Smack it on the top, smack it in the middle, smack it on the bottom and go to the other side. There were three mattresses that went through this ritual and the reason this come to mind is those mattress commercials on TV.
I can only imagine the horror on the face of the friendly mattress seller if they thought it was even possible that their little pillow-topped or sleep-number creation or adjustable mattress was going to be beat up twice a year.
Life has funny ways of teaching us lessons. We learn not to touch the stove because it hurts when you do that — never mind that we were warned beforehand. We learn not to walk on cinder walks barefoot— that’s a fast lesson.
We learn that milk left in the sun at a picnic tastes awful. But when do we learn not to save every little piece of shiny paper or sparkly button for that sometime project that seldom happens?
I don’t know this answer but I can tell you that in this year’s spring cleaning I have thrown out/given to Goodwill/foisted off on friends many boxes of this “soon to be project” stuff.
I guess the lesson of cleaning out is good for the soul and certainly good for the overall wellbeing of your home and it does feel so good when it’s done (But oh the backaches it causes). But for me … I’m done for this year and ready for company.
Just don’t bring me any presents with pretty ribbons or sparkly paper. You know I’ll have to save it.
Reach columnist Donna Lee Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.