Renew your home this spring

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 4, 2004

By SUE ELLEN ROSS – Staff Reporter

LaPlace – The season of renewal is here. Time to plant the garden, plan the summer vacation and find those hot-weather clothes.

It’s also the time that many people dread – spring cleaning.

There is no shortage of information on this subject. On any given spring day, you can read articles and books with suggestions to organize this task, as well as listen to a neighbor’s advice on what you should do and should not do.

Since families are motivated in their own personal way to ‘clean up’ their living space, both indoor and outdoor, methods of spring cleaning vary widely.

Jim Normand grew up in a rural area in Mississippi. The Destrehan resident remembers the months of April and May very well.

“That’s how I earned my spending money, we had a lot to do on the land before the hot months,” said Normand. “We didn’t call it spring cleaning, but that’s about what it was.”

His yearly chores consisted of checking the roofs on all the buildings, their inside and outside walls, and the fences surrounding the property. “I fixed and painted whatever had to be fixed and painted. Another thing I had to do was clear out the buildings and the yard of what didn’t belong there. You would be surprised what happens in a year.”

The ‘inside’ spring cleaning was taken care of by Normand’s mother and two sisters. He remembers his mother making a to-do list for his sisters that lasted an entire week. By the end of that week, the house and its surrounding areas were in top-notch condition, and the Normand children had earned their summer spending money.

Although Jan Traynor doesn’t have a large parcel of property to spruce up, she still devotes at least a week for her spring cleaning chores. It seems her small LaPlace home seems to gather many unwanted and unnecessary items during the year, she said.

“The garage is the biggest thing,” she said. “That takes days to clean.” Both of her sons are in college and her husband works two jobs, so this traditional ‘man’s job’ fell into her lap a few years ago.

“It’s getting easier. When I do it myself, I am able to throw out things that my kids and husband forgot they owned,” she said. They can’t miss what they don’t know about, she laughingly added.

Regarding the inside of the house, Traynor makes a schedule to shampoo the carpet, wash walls and clean closets. ‘I do all this on my work vacation, so I have to plan out every day. I want at least a couple of days to myself after all the cleaning out.”

If there are multiple family members working on spring cleaning, the project won’t be such a heavy burden. But if it is undertaken by only one or two adults, it can be handled in a positive way by remembering what parents tell their children when they are presenting a non-fun request, “Someday you will thank me for this.”

As you relax in your lawn chair after all the spring cleaning is complete, you can do just that – thank yourself for a job well done.