Saturday, 26 April 2014

Spring cleaning.

Years ago, today would have been just the kind of day to start one's Spring Cleaning.   I remember it well from my childhood.   All the furniture that it was possible to move would be dragged outside the back door.   The carpet would be taken up and draped across the clothes line.   The curtains would be taken down and washed.   Then the whole room would be cleaned.

Fitted carpets were unheard of, so there would have been either a wooden or a lino surround.   This would be scrubbed and then polished.   All the walls would be wiped down (my mother always tied a clean tea towel over a long-handled brush), and the ceiling, not forgetting to take down and wash the lamp shade (do you remember those bowls, which used to collect dead flies?)

Before it was put back the carpet would be beaten within an inch of its life.   Then all the furniture would be wiped with a wash leather wrung out in vinegary water, dried and then polished with 'proper' polish.   Paintwork, windows, skirtings and picture rails - all would be washed.  Curtains ironed and re-hung.

By the end of the day the room would be straight again if the housewife had chosen a warm, breezy day on which to do her Spring cleaning.   The smell of wallflowers in the garden always brings back to me the remembrance of a Spring cleaning day - because my mother's last act would be to pick a vase full of wallflowers from the garden and stand them in the centre of the newly polished table.   Then should would shut the door, sit down and have a cup of tea.   But every few minutes she would get up, open the door and peep in - just to give herself the satisfaction of seeing a job well done.



Me?  Life goes on.  My cleaning lady comes every Monday morning.  The window cleaner comes once a month.  About twice a year the farmer cleans the inside windows.  Once a year I send the curtains to the dry cleaners.  Does the house look or seem any dirtier?   I don't know.   I am too busy blogging to look around that much! 

Stop Press**  Female pheasant is sitting on the eggs outside the front door.

14 comments:

A Heron's View said...

I well recall Spring Cleaning time. As the day when Father and I would quietly remove ourselves to yacht and leave dear Mother to direct the housekeeper & maid in what had to be done.
In the evening we would return to a gleaming house smelling of
lavender polish.

acornmoon said...

Spring cleaning, what a lot of work! I remember my mum beating carpets and rugs over the washing line.
I haven't seen any wall flowers for ages and yet my garden used to be full of them. Now there is a conundrum?

Woman Seeking Center said...

LOL I've just come in to read your posts and a bit of a rest from pulling all the couch cushions for a full brushing and airing and tidy-up beneath (Spring cleaning)!

I do it in bits these days - one task or two a day as time, weather and mood moves :-)

No where near what my grandmum or mum did but a bit of a spring 'refresh'.

Oddly I do more cleaning in the fall before I'm trapped in for the winter! (odd I know)

As you say, I don't look too closely any time of year - lots of other far more interesting things to do with the hours of a day!

Issy

simplesuffolksmallholder said...

Cleanliness is next to Godliness is what they used to say I think! Makes me a hopeless case in the eyes of the almighty!
I reckon It was the coal fires that made the mess. although our wood fires make plenty of dust I'd rather have our free heat for as long as we can manage. SOOO many more interesting things to do than cleaning.

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

If I had less to do outside I MIGHT do more inside. I often think I would like to have a cleaner, but I would have to clean up before she arrived.
I think I am more likely to spring clean in winter, when there is less to do in the garden and with the animals.
I well remember Spring Cleaning with my mother, though she used to work, unlike all the other women in the street and would blitz the house over several days.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I love spring cleaning - the satisfaction and the shiny house. your comment about being too busy blogging to look around made me chuckle. Today I started the spring clean up on the deck - washed down the frames of the deck chairs and the tables - organized pots for planting some new flowers I got - and tomorrow I use the electric leaf blower to get the twigs and leftover leaves off the deck - spring weather is coming - I think I'll make a pot of iced tea.

Arija said...

Ah those were the days . . . I remember, we children had to shake out the dust from the blankets, each holding two corners. We always ended up in a laughing heap.
Now, I keep my house as clean as I can and enjoy life the more.

Cro Magnon said...

My dear wife 'Hoovered' a well-loved carpet before she went off on her travels recently. A couple of days ago I thought perhaps I'd better do the same. I found the Hoover completely full and the end bit completely blocked with dog hair. I think all her Hoovering for the last year must have been 100% ineffective.

Hildred said...

Oh yes, spring cleaning. I took it all very seriously when first married and even had lists. All pictures and glassware, woodwork and cupboards and drawers and closets, etc. etc. I know how your Mum must have felt when she placed the vase of flowers in the sparkling clean room and closed the door, - and had a cup of tea! I am not nearly as serious about the whole thing now, - have a cleaner twice a month and the rest of the time just keep everything up as time passes.

Hildred said...

Oh yes, spring cleaning. I took it all very seriously when first married and even had lists. All pictures and glassware, woodwork and cupboards and drawers and closets, etc. etc. I know how your Mum must have felt when she placed the vase of flowers in the sparkling clean room and closed the door, - and had a cup of tea! I am not nearly as serious about the whole thing now, - have a cleaner twice a month and the rest of the time just keep everything up as time passes.

Heather said...

I'm so pleased the pheasant eggs haven't been abandoned. Your reminiscences of spring cleaning take me back to my childhood and describes the activities in my grandmother's house perfectly. So far I have managed to clear out two smallish cupboards and brush a few ceilings with the cobweb brush. Must try harder!! I wash the paintwork around door handles on a weekly basis as my husband leaves a trail of dirt wherever he goes!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for visiting.

German Zollinger said...

Spring cleaning is one of the most anticipated activities every year. Isn't it fun to reorganize your furniture, clean your wall corners, and accessorize your house? Heh. Kidding aside, I hope you're still checking the work of your cleaners to ensure that your home is really dust-free. You should check their cleaning materials too!

German Zollinger

Bo Tolbert said...

Good luck with spring cleaning. There are lots of ways you can go around, say, wiping your floors in ways that you haven't previously contemplated. There are tools that are at your disposal, which can make that possible. Pick one that will work most extensively for you.

Bo Tolbert @ HJS Supply Company