By Karen Anderson, Club Humorist
Spring is the time when a homeowner’s thoughts turn to … cleaning. Sorry about that reminder.
There are years when I leap into spring cleaning armed to the teeth with chemicals, scrub brushes, and garbage bags. Other years, we dust the bookcases, donate some clothes, and call it done.
If you’re wondering how much effort you should put into freshening your house this year, let me help. No, not with a vacuum cleaner, but with my Spring Cleaning Scoresheet. At the very least, spending a few minutes calculating your score will let you postpone facing any actual cleaning tasks. So, grab a pen (if you can’t find one easily, score 1 point) and get started.
Spring Cleaning Scoresheet
Assign yourself points for the following household challenges:
1. Large piece of inherited furniture no one likes or uses. (1 point; 2 points if no one can remember which side of the family it came from.)
2. Door mats covered with needles from your Christmas tree. (1 point for each mat. Add 3 points if the actual tree is still in your house.)
3. Old computers, tablets, iPods, or smartphones. (1 point for each device. Double the points if you can’t remember the password you need to erase the device.)
4. Tablecloths you have never, ever, put on a table. (1 point for each; add an extra point if the unused tablecloth was a wedding gift you received more than five years ago.)
5. A closet so full of stuff you can’t open the door without things falling out. (1 point; 2 points if the closet is so full you can’t close the door in the first place.)
6. Cobwebs on light fixtures. (1 point for each fixture.)
7. Faded fabric curtains, bent mini-blinds, or torn honeycomb shades. (1 point for each damaged window covering.)
8. Windows with paw prints or fingerprints. (1 point for each window. Add 5 points if you find paw prints but have no pets – that you know of.)
9. Items in the refrigerator leftover from your holiday parties. (1 point each.)
10. Any item you purchased to give as a holiday gift but were then unable to find. (1 point. 2 points if you still can’t find it, but are sure it’s here somewhere.)
11. A pile of holiday cards you still haven’t answered. (1 point each. Add an extra point each for any unanswered cards from ex-spouses or their relatives.)
12. An appliance purchased more than 30 days ago that has not yet been installed. (1 point; 2 points if you actually expected your housemate to have installed it by now; 3 points if you promised to install it but didn’t get around to it.)
- 0-10 points: Impressive. Maybe do a little vacuuming and then take the rest of the spring off.
- 10-30 points: Tackle two or three of the major items on your scoresheet and get those off your list immediately.
- 30-60 points: Call a household meeting, assign tasks, and consider bringing in professional help for a day or two.
- 60+ points: Welcome to my house! The mop’s over there, the Windex is on the counter, and the truck from the hauling service will be here any minute.