A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Spring House Cleaning

Does anyone do a thorough cleaning spring and fall anymore?

 When I was a girl...we cleaned everything in sight. Those were the days of coal furnaces and things got dirty. We didn't have washers and dryers...so clothing was worn longer without laundering and needed airing. No ventilation fans in the kitchen made for a greasy wall behind the stove. We needed to clean it all. I remember my Mom wearing her house dress, a cobbler apron, and a babushka on her head and I can't forget her penny loafers. She would plan this event for spring vacation...when I was home from school. She would wake me in the early morning and we would start out by taking all the things out of the closets and hang them on the clothesline to air out. Next came the curtains and drapes. The draperies would be aired and the sheers washed and put on wooden stretchers...outside to dry. We didn't have wall to wall carpet, but big area rugs. Those would be rolled up and dragged out the door. The smaller ones were  hung on the line so I could beat the dust out of them with a rug beater. (a favorite job of mine) She would make up a batch of her own cleaner...ammonia, vinegar, and baking soda mixed with water in a bucket. Then she brought out the bottle of oil for the furniture. It was a mixture of olive oil and lemon.

 She would hand me a bucket and I would start in my bedroom. First, dust down the walls, wash the windows, dust the baseboards, dust mop the floor,clean out the closets,  make the bed with fresh bed linens and then shut the door and move on to my Mom and Dad's room. While I was doing the bedrooms...Mom was in the kitchen. Sometimes my Dad would have washed the walls before we started. Everything in the kitchen got a cleaning. The counter tops were linoleum and they were waxed. The drawers were all wiped out and the cupboards as well. Sometimes we put new shelf paper in them, but this was done after the cleanup. We would stop for a treat once in a while. Those were the days of those little coke bottles. I would get a juice glass and Mom would share her coke. I think the caffeine in the coke gave us a jump start to carry one. We had music on the radio and once in a while we stopped to hear one of Mom's soap operas. She got so wrapped up in them...you'd think that the characters were her family members.The kitchen was the hardest room to do...so many places to clean. She would save the stove and fridge for later on. We had a little lunch...my favorite would be kidney bean salad and a piece of toast and whipped jello for dessert. Sometimes we would have lunch in the living room, using the coffee table... while we sat on the floor.....listening to her radio shows. Getting back to work...we did the living room and dining room.

Our house was sparsely  furnished...so it was easy. Mom polished the tops of tables and I scooted around on my fanny, doing the legs. The windows were washed and walls dusted before we polished. Later in the day we head out to the back yard..... the sagging clothesline full of clothes.We carried the clothes in first. In those days...we didn't have the amount of clothes that our closets hold today. Just a few outfits and coats. We brought in the dried curtains and rehung them. The drapes were hung too. The throw rugs were beaten and the big rug was brought in and put on the floor.We were done...whew! We both were so tired. As I look back, I think that Mom still fixed a big meal for us on those nights. She always said, "Your Dad works hard for us...I want to make him a nice meal." These are memories of mine...as I write this post, I keep remembering more things. I grew up this way...I helped out and didn't expect any payment. It was part of living in our home...we all pitched in to keep it nice. Cleaning day was off limits to my friends. No playing that day. I know that they were  home helping out too. It's so much easier today. I seldom hear about people spring house cleaning. Just wondering...how do you keep everything clean? Do you set aside a special day for it?
I'll tell you how I do it at my house tomorrow.


Still Woods Farmhouse said...

I loved your post today! What wonderful memories. Don't you love the feeling after completing those big cleaning jobs. Satisfaction of a job well done!

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Now that is deep cleaning. My mom did that too. Now that she's not able, my sister and I try to deep clean for her at some point in the year. Last fall, we did one room each month on the main floor of their house in Sep, Oct & Nov. We lumped the kitchen/dining room together.
Their upstairs just doesn't get that kind of cleaning anymore, but it doesn't get used much either.
Since my hubby and I both work full time, we try to do one room a month so every room gets cleaned good once a year. We get to skip a couple of months like March when there's outside clean up to do. We have regular cleaning all the time, but I like to move everything and get that hidden dust and use the opportunity to get rid of stuff we don't need anymore once a year. I like to do the kitchen in early Nov so it's ready for holiday cooking! Good time to check on out of date foods and spices.

Blondie's Journal said...

Great post, Balisha. It was very different back in the day, but my mother had many of the same methods as your mother did. I don't remember so much of a big spring cleaning...just a cycle every couple of months of really thorough cleaning. She always kept our house neat as a pin so I didn't notice much difference after she went on one of her deep cleaning sprees.

I do a spring and late fall cleaning, but like my mom, decide to "take apart" a room ever now and then and clean the heck out of it!

Looking forward to your next post!


acorn hollow said...

I do spring clean we heat a lot with wood so it can get smokey and dusty through the year. I usually wait until I can open doors and windows and start from the bottom up.

Anonymous said...

Wow, THis was the best post I have read this year! Thank you for sharing in such detail. I do remember those days. I am in my 40's and can remember my grandmother and my mother doing the same type of thing-an all day, everything gets moved and scrubbed day. I remember her soap operas too:)
Teresa in Ohio

Jan said...

My main house clean always seems to happened mid-holidays. I'm especially house proud at the beginning of August!!!! Jx

Lona said...

Great post. I try to get mine done every fall and spring but sometimes do not make it into every room. Things come up.Then I start on the missing rooms on the next attempt. LOL!

Barbee' said...

I still have my mother's wooden curtain stretchers where she dried the curtains of straight lace panels. I loved those lace curtains. I wonder what she did with them. A few years ago my brother and I had to sell the farm and closed both houses belonging to two generations; I couldn't bear to leave the stretchers because of the memories such as the ones you have written about. Now, I'm wondering what to do with them.

Balisha said...

The "recipe" is:
A gal of water
a cup of vinegar
1/2 cup of ammonia
1/4 cup of baking soda
I use this for so many things...Dad used to use it to wash walls.
Hope this helps...

Balisha said...

I think that we all look for ways to make the household cleaning easier. My house isn't as kept up as it used to be. We are more interested in finding ways to cut down on the work. I don't do all this in a day...it takes me so much time to get one room done....but I still plug away at it.This "new" hobby of blogging takes a lot of my time, but I enjoy it so much.

Sharon said...

I just wrote down your recipe. That may be the answer to clean windows.