I Can't Even...
by Sara "Zarine" Jessop
… Spring Cleaning
The Spring Series continues this week with a topic near and dear to my heart: cleaning. Even though I employ many people to clean for me, I myself still receive immense joy from the physical act of sterilizing messy spaces. In fact, my housekeepers are not allowed into my private quarters as I dislike others touching my things and cleaning improperly. My rooms are organized and cleaned according to a strict regime that is only realized in my own head and therefor cannot be performed by others.
Spring is the perfect time to clean. I don't mean a simple cursory dusting and sweeping. Oh no, Dear Reader, I am speaking of actual deep and thorough cleaning of everything in both your living and work environment. All winter long buildings have been shuttered against the cold while we build roaring fires for warmth and light candles to see by. The soot from these flames permeate everything and it must be eliminated. Not to mention the germs and bacteria that has festered in your hovels from winter illnesses and filthy holiday guests.
It has been too cold for fresh air. After all, who wants to let in air that hurts your face? But that weather is behind us and warmer days are here. Windows and doors can be flung open to welcome in the warm breezes that will show you just how much dust has collected under your furniture since last it graced your home. Rugs and curtains can be taken outside and the nastiness beaten from them as if there were a misbehaved child.
“But Zarine, my house is such a mess I don't know where to start...” Don't worry loves, that is what I am here to help with. Well, not physically help with (not that I don't want to, I love cleaning other people's clutter, I simply do not have the time to do it for everyone) but rather to give you advice on how you should proceed. Below are my suggestions and tips to make it easier, more efficient, and most of all, fun!
Just start: It can be overwhelming if you are the sort to allow your home to fall into a complete and utter disaster before tackling it. The important thing isn't where you start, but simply that you start. Pick and spot and go!
One space at a time: I always a chose a small space and completely organize and sanitize it before moving on to a new space. If I find something there that needs to go elsewhere, I merely put it aside for later. Otherwise I would spend my time bouncing back and forth in some kind of attention deficit cleaning frenzy and nary a thing would get done.
Get rid of things: Can't remember the last time you used something? Get rid of it. Donate it to charity, sell it, burn it, whatever, but please, just get rid of it. (But no really, please consider donating all of your unnecessary items to charity). I myself am a sentimental person. When you grow up with nothing you tend to want to hold onto everything. But all of those things are weighing you down. That doesn't mean that you need to get rid of everything. I still have quite a few mementos that I cling to. But only keep what you have room for. Otherwise, let it go.
Move things: Literally, move stuff. Furniture and large kitchen equipment collect a plethora of dust, dirt, and grime. We may often move small pieces of furniture, but how often do you move your bed, sofa, or ice box? My guess would be never your squalid pleb. So do it now. Get some friends to help you if you must, and then help them in return.
Rugs: Rugs are disgusting hives of scum and toxcicity. They need to be cleaned thoroughly. It's an awful task, and admittedly one that I outsource to others. If you must perform this task yourself be sure to wear some kind face mask to prevent breathing in the offending filth as you beat it from the fabric. I personally find carpeting to be unsanitary and have minimized it, though there are areas where it is nice to have a soft, warm, cushion but please clean them annually and be sure to clean beneath them as well.
Draperies: Like carpets, draperies gather a lot of dust throughout the year and need to be thoroughly cleansed. The fabric is easily bleached by the sun, so every few years or so they will need to be re-dyed as well, or replaced if you can afford it. You don't want people coming into your home and seeing that your carpeting doesn't match your drapes, do you?
I could go on and on about cleaning, but alas, other duties are calling me. I will leave you with one last piece of advice: Clean up your person as well. After all of that nasty cleaning, you'll likely feel quite gross. So reward yourself with a spring makeover! Trust me, you need it.
See you next Tuesday.
Zarine is the proprietor and Madam at Alchimia Lupanar, a magic marshal approved practitioner of medicine, an award winning author, and has 36 years of experience in giving her unsolicited opinion.