When my husband and I surveyed our messy kitchen the other day, I joked, “Too bad one of us isn’t compulsively neat.” No matter our good intentions, magazines, envelopes, boxes from Amazon, and do-dads accumulate.

Springtime in the Skagit Valley, WA.

Springtime in the Skagit Valley, WA.

Spring has officially made her appearance! Already? It’s dark this morning, but I hear pairs of chickadees and robins outside twittering. Yet I’m not in the mood to tidy our nest. Are you? Didn’t think so. It can take quite a while to get into the spring cleaning mood, but once we do, there’s never anything stopping us from fixing up our homes to their full glory. This spring cleaning season, you may want to invest in some new gear that can make your cleaning easier than ever. For example, you could open sales page of a company like Bissell so that you can get yourself a brand new vacuum or steam cleaner.

Bald Eagles return to the nest for some serious Spring Cleaning!

Bald Eagles return to the nest for some serious Spring Cleaning!

I think of the Amish, who keep their flower gardens and homes meticulously neat. When company is expected, especially if the home will serve as a meeting place for their church district’s Sunday worship, a wedding, or other occasion, rugs are hung out and beat with a broom (no vacuums or electrical appliances), floors are swept, and scrubbed, along with walls and ceilings. In Lancaster County, PA, if English (any non-Amish person) cleaning products are desired they can be purchased at Walmart.

For the most part, our house has a shoes-off policy, which drastically helps reduce the amount of dirt tracked in. When our sons lived at home, they and their friends knew to kick off their shoes and leave them by the door. I’ve always wanted a mudroom for that purpose, but unlike Amish farmhouses, few homes in Seattle were built with them in spite of our vast amounts of rain. Fear not should you visit us; we don’t require visitors except workmen to remove their boots.

How are you welcoming the arrival of spring? Last week, my sister felt inspired and brought out much of her warm-weather clothes, then told me she was freezing. Our nights are still dipping to the upper 30s. But I got the urge to root through the clothing I didn’t wear all winter (not once!) and force myself to make the difficult decision whether to hang on to them for next winter or give them away.

Kate in the dreaded broom closet.

Kate in the kitchen broom closet; most cleaning products are in the basement.

Do you sort through your winter clothing in the spring? There are some items I might only wear once or twice a year, such as to a wedding. Amish friends would laugh if they saw how many clothes and hats I own.

What does Spring Cleaning mean to you? Do you spend the whole day scrubbing your house until it shines? Where do you start? Do you have a system I could borrow? Or are you someone that leaves the spring cleaning to professionals like as Sparkle and Shine? Whatever your method is for cleaning your house, I want to know how everybody else goes about the spring cleaning process.

44” Amish-made table runner from Lancaster County, PA.

44” Amish-made table runner from Lancaster County, PA.

Please leave a comment and enter to win this beautiful 44″ Amish-made table runner from Lancaster County, PA, plus a signed book from The Legacy of Lancaster Trilogy: either Leaving Lancaster, its sequel Pennsylvania Patchwork, or Forever Amish! Winner has three days to respond. USA and Canada.

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