I HAVE THE BEST OF
SOMEHOW, I CONFESS,
THE SPRING CLEANING
DOESN'T GET DONE.
Art By Scott Mattern
BY MARIA STIEGLITZ
don't believe in spring cleaning.
After all, if you clean your house
regularly, there's no need for a
big to-do come April. On the other
hand, if your vacuum cleaner only
gets together with the floors on
special occasions, you may have
some catching up to do.
Which is why I spent one recent
night at the supermarket buying trash
bags, paper towels, cleansers, two
packages of vacuum cleaner bags,
a sponge mop and five sponges. I
may have let things go a bit, but once
I decide to do a real cleaning, there's
no messing around.
By 10 a.m. Saturday I was ready
to begin. My purchases were lined
up before me, a kerchief covered my
hair and an old sweat shirt and jeans
covered everything else. I was ready
to begin, but where to start?
Bedrooms? Kitchen, Dining room?
Perhaps, I thought, I should ap-
proach this categorically, rather than
geographically: Windows? Floors?
Surfaces? That was it — surfaces.
Surfaces really define my cleaning
philosophy. If I can see the surface
of what's around me, all is well. It's
when magazines hide the coffee
table, jackets drape the chairs, my
dog is stretched out across my bed
and who knows what is in the sink,
that I feel something has to be done.
But which surface to uncover first?
I looked around the living room.
Throw out the newspapers, stack the
magazines on the coffee table and
vacuum the floor? Too easy. I could
do that later. The bedroom. My dog
was sleeping on the bed. She look-
ed so cute. I could vacuum later.
Maybe the kitchen. There were lots
of things on the counters, but they
were things I use every day, like the
toaster oven, or plan to use someday,
like the drain cleaner.
The dining room. Home of my