Putting your house in order is one thing. Keeping it in order is another. Years ago, there was a theory that every house, no matter how well kept, how frequently swept and scrubbed, has to be turned upside down and out by the roots twice a year for the spring and fall cleaning. At those awful periods many manly men fled in terror from the devastating broom and scrub brush wielded like a sword by the woman of the family. Then these cleaning cowards snuck home in the evening to the baloney sandwich they had to fix for themselves, because the worn-out housekeeper was too tuckered out to fix a meal. That’s a good thing by the way. A man isn’t helpless in that he can’t scavenge a morsel of food for himself if need be. In some households, the man actually has taken on the role of housekeeper, or at least shares it with his dearly beloved.
The halls and stairs were most likely blocked by pails of soap suds, furniture or rolls of carpet on the way into the house. To the aged survivors of that dreaded phrase “housecleaning-time” is still enough to make a body shudder. I’ve heard it said by grandma that it lasted at weeks, although all seem to be agreed that the spring visitation was worse than the fall. Even today there are certain folks declaring that a house can’t be kept so clean that it doesn’t once in a while require a thorough going over.
In a way there’s an element of truth in their claim. Every home has nooks and crannies that aren’t in constant use, and so aren’t regularly cleaned. Closets, attics, cabinets or drawers reserved for extra bedding, clothing, furnishings, where dust mysteriously seeps, and moth and other vermin make their breeding places. At least once a year or even twice in a twelve month period, these “black pits” should be emptied, the contents looked over, beaten or dusted, the floors, walls, shelves, etc., wiped off carefully. This is the time to give away or throw away those treasured possessions no longer of any use to their owners and which may be of use elsewhere, to put aside for the next season the summer or winter clothing, hangings, and such which are not needed at the moment. So long as dirt and dust continues to exist and works themselves into the nooks and crannies, this really needs to be done.
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