Spring Cleaning in Winter

Image Courtesy New York Public LibraryThe cousins are coming! The Cousins are coming! For the first time since, um, 1992, there are to be guests in the house whom I actually like. Now, ordinarily we’d just leave the house in the mess (read: disaster zone) that it is, but since we haven’t cleaned any of our homes thoroughly since about 1992 (we’ve just shifted piles of junk into boxes, then from house to house and even country to country) we figured it was about time.

So, over the past week or two, Intrepid Elder Sibling Samir and I have been trying to look through the hundreds of boxes and piles of things that litter the house in order to reduce them somewhat.


We’ve found a whole lot of books, hundreds of which have been bought over the past five years on various trips to India, and almost none of which have been read yet. If I just took one a day, photographed the cover and wrote fifty words about what I think the book is about, I’d have about three or four years of blog posts right there.

Don’t even begin to ask about the hundreds of books that are safely stored in boxes from before 2002. No, I wouldn’t get rid of most of them. Yes, I have seen that lovely 25 shelf bookcase in IKEA, and when the dust settles you can bet I’ll be forking over $200 for one.

Make that three.

So currently the house looks like a disaster zone. It seems that for every trunkload of old newspapers and plastics that go off to the recycler, no volume is lost from the pile of stuff in the house itself. Stuff expands to fill the space it’s in.

But today I’m leaving the books and the old He-Man action figures and the suddenly rediscovered drawings from when we were 5 to Samir, because today I’m going to lock myself in the kitchen and not come out until I figure out what every single bottle of arcane masala and every single funny looking utensil my mother had was used for, and neatly rearrange it.

Wish me luck.