Spring clean, 21st century style - The Buffalo News

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Spring clean, 21st century style

Is spring cleaning trendy in addition to timely? I keep coming across features in magazines, on websites and through emails sent to me about the newest tools and time-saving tips on making our homes shine, shine, shine.

Of course, I read – or at least peruse – them. I, for one, love a clean house. Or at least the idea of a clean house. I have had conversations with people about steam mops. I keep a Swiffer duster in my desk drawer. I give bottles of Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap as hostess gifts. Pine scent in winter. Lavender in spring.

For the most part, I don’t even mind giving up some free time to clean. I enjoy seeing the results of a polished mirror, clean kitchen floor, decluttered coat closet.

So is it any wonder that on one of our only warmish winter days I cranked open the window while cleaning the kitchen? It grew into a mini spring-cleaning session, and it just felt great.

And to think it all got started with a clementine past its prime in the produce drawer. It snowballed from there.

I removed the clementine and then decided to clean all the drawers in the refrigerator. Then I moved on to the shelves and door bins, wiping down the ketchup and other bottles along the way. Then it was on to the pantry cabinet and, next, the drawer taken over by twist ties.

In the current issue of Better Homes and Gardens, designer Nate Berkus said this: “Spring for me is deep-clean mode. There’s not an inside of a drawer that’s safe.”

I think he was talking to me.

Winter has been long and cold and messy; too much time has been spent in front of the computer screen and behind the steering wheel of the car. Housework gets us moving, and the results can come fast.

Yet, it’s never ending. Unless you hire someone to do it for you, it can consume all of your free time, which is what Real Simple magazine’s Kristin van Ogtrop points out in her April editor’s note.

No fooling.

That’s where the shortcuts come in, and the issue is filled with them in its “A-to-Z Guide to Cleaning Almost Everything.”

Just one of them: To clean a lampshade, “run a lint roller over the inner and outer surfaces, then blow dust from seams with a hair dryer or a can of compressed air.”

Then, of course, there are all the products available today to make housecleaning faster and easier, from microfiber cloths to lightweight vacs. The kids can help will chores, too, as discussed in today’s Home & Style story.

Spring cleaning is hardly new, of course. I can still remember my grandmother airing the draperies outside on the clothesline in early spring while she washed all the windows and rods. My mother recalls her grandmother dragging out room-size carpets and beating them clean after a long winter.

Housekeeping has gotten easier, of course. Yet even with today’s modern conveniences – not to mention heating systems that don’t produce the grime they once did – many of us still get the itch to clean and clean some more.

Looking ahead, there will be windows to wash, mattresses to flip and winter coats to launder.

In the meantime, I think I’ll go outside and shovel the sidewalk.

email: smartin@buffnews

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