Spring Cleaning??


I wish someone would have told me this was done only once a year!!  Growing up, every single Saturday was spring cleaning day.  I grew up thinking that’s what everyone did each Saturday morning…everyone.

 

 

I am the middle child out of five, and we each had our own list of chores, a very looong list.  We didn’t get to sleep in.  We didn’t get to watch cartoons or go outside to play until our chores were done. Let me tell ya, that’ll put a hustle in any kids giddy up and go.  Well maybe not now-a-days, ( I don’t think kids have chores anymore) but back then ( I’m talking the 70’s) there  was no way I was going to miss Bugs Bunny or Wile E. Coyote and then have to wait an entire week before they came back on.  Waiting isn’t an option in today’s world for anyone, let alone a child, am I right or wrong here?

How many of you had to clean the base boards through out your house every week?  None of you, really??  Come on, I feel like at least one other kid in the world had to do that besides me.  Hmmm, okay how about cleaning  the kitchen cabinets with lemon Pledge, anyone do that?  I would purposely spray a LOT of it so it would get on the floors and when my brothers or sisters walked by in their socks, they would start slipping as if they were running in place.  Kinda like Shaggy, from Scooby Doo, running through the air.  Oh geez, that was kinda fun to watch actually!  The one chore I absolutely hated and still do to this day…cleaning every surface in the bathroom, eww, I hated it. We only had one bathroom for a household of 7, try that now a days and someone might actually lose their mind.  One bathroom in a house, can you imagine the complaining and fights that would happen today?

I would try to trade chores with someone in order to get out of “spring cleaning” each Saturday.   That was allowed, you could trade chores if you had the skills to trick or convince, someone to trade with you.  Just picture that for a minute,  all 5 of us kids gathered together trying to one up each other, geez.  Hey you, I’ll dust all your furniture if you’ll wipe down all the walls for me.  No way, I’ll clean the cobwebs from the corners if you clean out the toilet.  I’ll clean the toilet if you sweep the garage floor.  We learned how to negotiate this way.  We had to do it quick though because we didn’t want to miss cartoons.

My mom was our inspector, if we did a half ass job (her words) then we would have to start all over again.  Seriously, who wants to scrub the linoleum floors again from start to finish?  There were no mops, we had a bucket and scrub brush…a brush!!  We did it right the first time, we learned that very quick.   Everything had to be in the right place too, you couldn’t leave your shoes by the door, they needed to be put away immediately in your own closet.  Everything had to be put away immediately when finished using it.  I think that part stuck with me because it drives me crazy when items do not get put away after use.

Spring cleaning was a weekly event growing up and I can make fun of it now but I really did learn some pretty good lessons with all the chores we had.  Staying neat and organized actually helps with efficiency and time management, and so does doing it right the first time.  We learned how to negotiate, how to be part of a team and how to get work done quickly so we could have our play time.  My kids had chores to complete when they were young before they could pursue their own interests, not as many as I did, but weekly chores nonetheless.   We were a family, we helped each other out. It was never just one person doing everything, the kids were involved with chores.  I wonder about kids now, do they have chores, do they understand the importance of them?  Are kids learning how to problem solve or conflict resolution, how to take care of themselves, how to become independent and responsible?   How to see something through to the end and that there are consequences for their actions?   I watch some kids who whine and complain and want everything taken care of for them and think, “Oh Lord, these are our future leaders, please help us!”

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23 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning??

  1. hahahhaha My goodness did I ever hate Saturdays!!! Mom would yell at 9am “rise and shine, breakfast is ready!” and after we would start literally doing everything we did last Saturday!!! She would scrub all the carpets with water and vinegar every other Saturday, the house smelled like we were getting ready to be pickled!!

    When she comes over she still pester me for not making my bed – sometimes I feel like I leave it undone on purpose so she can do it and mumble under her breath that she did raise me this way hahahhaha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha, that’s funny…”smelled like we were getting ready to be pickled”. Once a month my mom would put a small amount of bleach in our bath water, and I can’t stand the smell of bleach to this day because of it.

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      1. oh I cannot do bleach either… but it’s because they used to wash the floors with it at the all-day kindergarten I went to. We were intoxicated from the smell, but germ free!

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  2. Always love your writing. 🙂 bring back old memories when I tried to help my mom cleaned up the house but ended up breaking her cristal and ceramic collection (which of course I didn’t do it in purpose). After that my mom never let me help her do the cleaning again except my own room.

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    1. Thank you, I’m so glad your enjoying my writing! It’s nice to know. You gave cleaning a good shot and I’m sure she knew you didn’t break them on purpose. Memories…making new ones and remembering old…I hope there all good for you!

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  3. Beautifully written….enjoyed reading it!
    I am also a middle child out of five like you 😊…..
    But as i remember, only thing mom used to ask me to do was cleaning fridge and dishes on off days. And she used to say i am the only one who used to do it well (when she say so, i used to get more interested and try to do even more better :p)…..
    now i am away from my big family with my hubby and have to do all my chores all alone :(…. when i started staying here with hubby, after cleaning and cooking…very proudly click fotos and send to my mom and sis, saying that i did this and that ;)… now becoming an expert!

    How is your little angel doing??!

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    1. Yay another middle! Sounds like your mom really appreciated you and I’m sure she’s very proud now. Kinda sucks doing chores alone but since you’re becoming an expert I’m sure your learning tips and tricks you could share with us.
      My little angel is fantastic, I called her the other day and she ran around the house showing me everything. They just got 6 baby chicks and she had to show those off, so stinking cute!

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  4. We had weekly chore lists that rotated. Mom put out initial next to our chores for the week. We completed these on top of milking the cows and baling hay. I can totally relate to your family’s dedication to chores.

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    1. Did you live on a big farm? We had horses, cows, chickens, dogs and various cats along with a huge garden out back. I always got stuck weeding the corn section and I swear there were more bugs there than anywhere else in the garden!
      I like the idea of the list rotating!

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  5. I completely agree with you! I appreciate the way you were raised and wish I was given that much structure growing up. We have very “old school” values in our home now that I’m a parent and I also worry about the kids that don’t have that–that have everything given to them and need to be constantly entertained. Our son doesn’t get get paid per chore because he’s supposed to work with us as a team, and I don’t get paid for the housework, now do I?

    I guess I shouldn’t worry about other people’s kids so much but I still believe in “it takes a village” while most believe “it takes an app!” All I can do is my best with the one that’s mine, I guess.

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    1. “It takes an app”, that’s funny! I suppose we all have the best of intentions. Given our current choices for political parties, I guess I worry too much about future leaders but hey I could be completely senile by that time, I’m thinking it will be an easy transition 😉
      We never got paid either as kids and I’m sure your doing a fine job as a mom. It’s kinda nice having everyone work together, it gets done quicker and you have company to make it less of a chore! More laughs, more memories!

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  6. Funny -I spent a large portion of yesterday doing some serious spring cleaning! I WISH my mom and dad made us clean like that as a kid – I probably would have learned something! Many of my friends growing up had cleaning ladies, and while we didn’t, it still ingrained this belief that it was a task for someone else to do. Sad!

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    1. Ohhh you can’t be serious, no way would you have wanted our chores! And no way did we do any whining about what we did, that only added on more work to do. These days I keep the “spring cleaning” to a seasonal mode…winter,spring, summer and fall with light cleaning in between., lol Funny how some things just stick with you.
      With your wedding right around the corner how did you even fit in time to “spring clean”? A lady on a mission no doubt. I can’t wait to read more from you!

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  7. Wow, what great memories you have. Lovely story. If only kids had to do a list of chores nowadays. They would learn such a lot, as you say, besides just cleaning. And I can still imagine the smell of Lemon Pledge right now!

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    1. Thanks, we do have fun recalling stories of when we were younger, everyone seems to get a good laugh out of it now. Not so much when we were kids though, it’s kinda funny how all of us have a slightly different version of the same experience. Good times though! Thanks for stopping by

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