This time of year, every year, I go a little bonkers. Christmas is over, and when I say over, I mean over. On the 26th, the tree comes down, all the decorations (such as they were this year) are boxed and shelved, and the cleaning frenzy begins. Holiday decorations after the fact are kind of like waiting for more puny fireworks after the grand finale on the Fourth of July. Take it down, get it out, move on!
My husband calls this uncontrollable, unstoppable urge to clean “gweekazao” which I think is kind of cute, but that’s besides the point. It happens with the season, and can be timed to the nadir of the year, and heaven help anyone who gets in my way. Nothing and no one is immune. All the closets are tackled, the kitchen cabinets, the storage, toys, and clothes. If it has not been used or needed in the seeable past, it’s gone! By nature, I am a thrower-away-er, and I hate piles of crap lying around, even though I have my share of them. It is probably in reaction to my mother’s penchant for collecting crap, but I cannot stand clutter and mess. To be sure, most of the year, my house can be found in the messy state all houses with little kids are in, but once a year, watch out!
The thrift stores and local charities make out from me this time of year. Do I really need Christmas dishes? Out they go! Am I really ever going to get in those jeans again? Gone! Is that toy ever actually going to get fixed? Uh, no- trash it! I am merciless, and unilateral in my swath. My things are culled even more so than my family’s things, but does my husband really need 19 baseball caps? Kiss them goodbye! Most of the things I have gotten rid of over the years no one has even noticed are gone. My one mistake was 86-ing a bunch of coffee mugs that DFM had saved over the years- (because we drink so much coffee?)- those he did notice, and while I had just initially boxed them and put them in the garage, they disappeared after that. Oops.
So once the whole house is purged and everything has a place and is in it, I feel SO good! Then I begin to clean, and I think there is a bit of “nesting” going on, even though it’s early. For a week or two, each year, my house is marvelous. Then, I fall into a big heap, and don’t do the dishes for a week, the laundry begins to creep up the basement stairs, and the cycle begins anew. But for a few short days, the smell of bleach wafts from the baths, cedar from the closets, and lemon from the kitchen and life is marvelous! Mama nirvana.