Early Spring Cleaning

Contributed by Rachel Stever, I think spring cleaning should happen before spring actually begins. I don’t know anyone who wants to spend the first nice weekend of the season inside scrubbing floors and washing curtains. Of course in Arizona the lines between the seasons are a bit blurrier than much of the country and spring starts a bit earlier. So I’ve started my spring cleaning by making a to-do list of all the little things that need to be done around the house, reorganizing my kitchen, and clearing out my file cabinet.

The to-do list is pretty basic. I have some burned out light bulbs I need to need to take care of but have been putting off since my fear of heights extends to a two-foot step stool.  I need to take the dogs to the groomer and the sofa slipcovers to the cleaner, preferably on the same day, and try out a couple of apps to catalog my books.   The books are the only part of my home inventory that is incomplete and it has been nagging at me for a while. Most of the books I’ve purchased in the last couple of years have been digital but my bookcases are still full and I have accidentally brought home duplicates.  Entering a large number of books into a spreadsheet or catalog can be tedious and I’ve abandoned the attempt a few times but I found a couple of apps that just use a picture of the barcode and I am hopeful I will have a complete list soon.

I’ve also been thinking about how I use my kitchen more efficiently over the past couple of months.  I tend to store bulky ovenware like my roasting pan and cupcake tins in the oven and was wondering if I should try to find a better spot or if my already limited cabinet space was stretched far enough. I was over at my parents’ house last weekend and as my sister was preheating the oven I asked her if she had made sure there was nothing in it. She hadn’t and there was. My grandmother started laughing and said her mother also stored dishes in the oven and now she did, too. I might change things up if I find something that works better, but for now who am I to argue with a hundred years of family tradition, right?

Finally, I turned my attention to my file cabinet. All my current files and bills are paperless to the extent possible. I make sure to scan and shred paper monthly so I am not swimming in piles of files in my little home office. I have ignored the old file cabinet in the corner of that little office.  I bought it when I first moved out of my parents’ house and after a few moves took it back and put it in their garage. A few years ago my mother told me to come and pick it up or she was going to throw it out. I brought it home and told myself I would deal with it later. Well, later has come and now I need to deal with the old electric bills and bank statements I carefully filed away before paperless billing ever became an option. This one might take a while. It can all probably be shredded but I don’t want to burn my shredder out in one day so I will be doing a bit each day. Hopefully clearing out ten-plus years of old papers will enforce good paper management going forward and I will meet this spring a little more organized.

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