Nooks & Crannies

by Julianna Squicciarini

There are two words almost guaranteed to strike fear into the hearts of your average housewife. Spring. Cleaning. It’s overwhelming, exhausting, time-consuming. It’s the big, black cloud overshadowing the beauty of spring. Right? Well, not in our house. 😛

In preparation for the celebration of Passover, we rid our entire house of leaven and leavened products. That means no yeast, baking powder, baking soda, or anything that has those things in them. Like bread. Crackers, unbelievably enough. Most cereals. The list can get pretty long. Fortunately, with our gluten-free lifestyle, this is not a very huge deal.

Anyway, we also use this time as a golden opportunity sent straight from the hand of G-d Himself to clean our house top to bottom. This year, we set aside Tuesday morning to deep-clean the downstairs. Each room (and we have five or six in our downstairs) got a list. It included items like vacuuming top to bottom, ceilings, baseboards, blinds, curtains; treating wood furniture with that special oily stuff; shampooing spots on the carpet; cleaning windows and mirrors; pulling the furniture away from the walls and vacuuming all the surface areas; erasing marks on the walls; swiffering wood floors. In my experience, there’s nothing like a good list to get a job done quickly and well.

I’ll give you the secret to dispel the gathering gloom of spring cleaning: teamwork. If you try to tackle your entire home by yourself, you will have anxiety, depression, and possibly a complete breakdown. Unless you’re one of those interestingly weird people who likes to clean all the time. If you’re like most of us, though – teamwork. My mom and sisters and I laughed about the future, possibly setting up days when everyone could go to one person’s house at a time, and we could all help each other spring clean. Now THAT sounds fun. My mind takes another step…perhaps having a contest as to whose house was dirtiest – and having that person buy everyone else lunch after we’re finished, or something like that. Incentives are important.

This year was also the first year I did my own personal cleaning. I reorganized and cleaned out under my bed. I have many, many bins. And I won’t need to buy yarn 2037. I also did a big cleaning job on the inside of my car. <whisper> I have never done that before. And I’ve had the car for <quieter whisper> almost two years. That’s only because I usually have Mary clean it. I know what you’re thinking. You can stop thinking it. I pay her, for goodness’ sake. But this time, I decided that it would be more meaningful for me to clean it out myself. And boy, it is *sparkling*. Anyone want a ride? <grin>

So here’s to cleaning – now’s the perfect time to do it! Put on the music, open the windows, and start dusting. It’s not as bad as you may think. 😀

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3 thoughts on “Nooks & Crannies

  1. Cooking and cleaning!!!! I would ask the guys to submit resume’s. And weed out the ones who don’t measure up to these standards you have set.

  2. Amen to that!
    I think, as we were cleaning, we all agreed that one of the most comforting and fulfilling sounds is the sound of the vacuum cleaner (which is my mom’s favorite tool) sucking up little bits of debris. You always know it’s picking things up like dirt and dust, but when you can *hear* the sound of it going up into the vacuum… that is when you really feel like you’re getting something accomplished.

  3. Haha, I agree with cndllighter! I feel like I’m accomplishing something when I actually hear those wicked crumbs being devoured by the vacuum! 🙂

    Did you ever have it happen… where you’re cleaning and cleaning for Passover and then half-way through the seder or a few days into Unleaved Bread jump up and realize there’s something really obvious that you overlooked? I guarantee it, EVERY year there’s one thing for us!

    On year it was the Smart Balance container! We completely forgot that the knives that spread the margarine on the bread usually went back into the container for a second helping… transferring crumbs! Same thing with the jam container!

    And last year… we totally forgot about our Challah plate! It had a neat wooden grate on top that’s removable… well we found it in the cupboard, little almost-microscopic crumbs under that grate. OOH Boy… makes me wonder what we’ll find THIS year.

    Have a great Seder tonight!

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