What is it that we are actually doing when we do that monstrous Spring Cleaning? Is it removing bacteria and dust from all surfaces? Is that the important action? Not at all. If that were so, in this world of germophobia, our homes would never accumulate the layers of clutter and dust that is typical in most houses. But we do allow the clutter...
Until we have no freakin' idea where we've put anything.We know that there is the coat by the door, where we place our purses when we get home, normally a somewhat organized food storage system and a general idea of where to find clothing for the day. But the rest of it? The bills, letters from relatives, keepsakes from short daytrips, the new collar we bought Fido, the bag full of picture hangers because we always intended on putting up that framed photo of Grandma in the hall...it's all important, just not top priority. It gets lost in the redundancy of daily life, vanishing at the bottom of so much irrelevant mental detritus.
Until we get to clean. Sort through the debris in the horizontal filing systems, inspect the shopping bag tossed in the extra room and rediscover the collection of gifts you bought last summer at that craft show. As each room unearths its intended purpose once again, so we manage to discover and refocus on plans, goals and actually take a moment to think about what we want to accomplish next. Oh yes, the cupboard that needs to be reinstalled, the pile of clothes to go to the donation center and a reassessment of paint/repairs and other projects. If we have time to clean, we have time to work on finishing thoughts, afghans, stories and visiting friends. Spring Cleaning is in fact the equivalent of a biological reboot.
I am by no means preaching that we would all benefit from a spartan life. That would be unexciting. Boring. Predictable. However, an annual observation of that which we've collected about us is worthwhile. Otherwise, in this day and age of 90 second attention spans, how are we ever to manage to build upon those fantastic ideas we collect over time?