Oh great, it is that time of year again. Spring! Uh oh, spring cleaning. Since winter dragged on, I procrastinated a few extra weeks, but now the sun shining throughout my humble abode highlights my shortcomings. I may have been a couch potato all winter, but my oh my, the other creatures in the household have been busy. Spiders spun webs from each corner, fingerprints divided and multiplied on every glass surface, dust bunnies reproduced like mad under the bed, and books proliferated in quadruple stacks on the shelves.
Oh woe is me. Where to begin? Spring cleaning is an insurmountable task for someone born without the clean gene. I would prefer things orderly, but my brain is so scrambled, picking up never comes naturally. I jump from one activity to the next and never finish any task for I am easily sidetracked. Books remain open half-finished by my bedside, fragments of articles cover my computer desktop, and shoes lay where they left my feet.
Last fall, when I found out that we had to start paying for garbage in Switzerland in 2013, I had the best intentions and looked at my old list of tidying up tips. Good intentions gone awry. Six months later, I stare at the mess and think where to begin?
My kids have grown and flown, yet their bedrooms remained untouched like shrines to the past. Every time I launch Operation Toss Out, I am immobilized by memories. I plan a Clean Sweep and open a closet ready to chuck games, toys, and dolls, but the sight of Beanie Babies, Little Ponies and Little Woodsies, leaves me immobilized lost in a reverie.
Instead, I open a box of books: I’ll Love You Forever, The Velveteen Rabbit, The Bunnies Get Well Soup spill out. Before you know it, I am in a rocking chair, reading Good Night Moon to my daughter’s Cabbage Patch doll perched on my knee. I drag junk out of the closets to discard and instead end up driving my son’s matchbox cars ‘round and round on a braided rug and snapping pieces together of his old Play Mobile cowboy fort.
The world is divided into pitchers and savers. Pitchers relentlessly toss items knowing that if it hasn’t been used for a year, it is no longer needed. I obey the law of inertia.
Apparently, the predisposition for this disorder is genetic. My daughter blames me for what she calls her apartment’s permanent state of entropy, “matter when left to its own devices will descend into chaos.” I am quoting a doctor here.
You would think I love living in disarray. Yet I prefer being at my sister’s house where everything is in order. You can open the frig without launching an attack of mystery meat morphed into extraterrestrials. You know precisely which drawer to open to find an envelope, a pen, and a notebook. Living in my house is like forever being on a scavenger hunt without a team to help hunt down the clues.
Realistically, our home is too big for the two of us. Downsize! But how? I am a sentimental old sod, clinging to memories of the past without a single organizing cell in my soul. If only we lived on the other side of the Big Pond, spring cleaning would be a breeze. I could own a five-car garage with one spot for my vehicle and four other places to park my treasures.