It’s spring and time to clean up and fix up

ESCANABA – Spring is in the air!

The robins have returned to their old nesting grounds. They fuss and fiddle around their favorite perches and trees, cleaning out and fixing up a place for this year’s brood.

Spring is the time of year when we to start to think about major house cleaning, painting and remodeling.

“Where does all of it come from?” and “I thought we’d never fill up this big house!” are comments likely to be heard at this time of the year.

Domestic engineers go crazy right about now, so get out of our way!

Closets, drawers, basements and entryways look out, here we come. It’s time to downsize.

Mittens and gloves are the first items on my list. If you have kids, it is amazing at how many mate-less “singles” you’ll find. After I search every coat pocket, hallway and closet, the reunited couples are washed, dried and put in the storage tote.

Hats, chooks and scarves are sorted and cleaned too. Then come the winter coats and jackets, but I never pack them too far away. You never know when we’ll get one more arctic blast.

Closets and drawers get a thorough reorganization. With growing kids in the house this is an ongoing job just to weed out the things that no longer fit.

Next, it’s time to take on the junk drawer. I know every family, no matter how neat, has a junk drawer. It’s usually that one in the far corner of the kitchen or the out of the way desk drawer. During the busy work week or when company is about to arrive, we quickly deposit little things in there just so it’s out-of-the-way.

Now it is time to backtrack. Coupons, receipts, warranties, recipes and photos need to be filed.

I have a rule if you don’t wear it, use it, or look for it for a full year, then it’s time to give it away, recycle it, or throw it away. My husband, of course, is a saver. He will keep shirts that are too shabby to wear to camp. It’s my job to make them disappear at washing time. “Oh, you want to know what happened to your favorite very faded flannel shirt.” “It got stuck in the wash machine’s wringer, I had to pitch it.” So sorry. (Doesn’t dawn on him that we haven’t had a wringer washer in years)

Next we will move on to the kitchen. The plastic wear, Tupperware and recycled containers always need re-nesting. And the ones with no lids (there must be some kind of lid monster at my house) go to recycle.

Purses, wallets, bookcases and the hutch all need a going-through, too. The house plants need sprucing up and transplanting.

Once the nest looks neat again, I can breathe a sigh of relief. I may even be able to open a window slightly and let the April fresh air in.

Then I can enjoy the robins, the rabbits and the river as they go about their springtime business.

Karen (Rose) Wils is a lifelong resident of north Escanaba. Her folksy columns appear weekly in Lifestyles.