Another reason we practice Spring Cleaning has little to do with clean.
The next in line for the Spring Cleaning ritual in our home is the bookcase area. We own enough books to fuel a small school, because we were once exactly that. You may wonder why I do not store some of them —
Let’s pretend, though, that yesterday’s scenario has aged five years, and the three imagined daughters are now 12, 10, and 7. You’ve been practicing inclusion of these girls for five years and now you are ready to tackle these bookcases. Your conversation might go like this:
Girls, help me get a couple of these bookcases done today, okay? Mary, get the dusting spray, the vacuum, and the paper towels. Hmm, I think we need this table cleared to stack the books on it. Can you take care of that, too, Mary? Thanks.
As we put the books on the table, we’ll stack them all in the same direction and then we can vacuum the tops of them all at once. Oh, yes, we should align the tops of them to make it easier. And keep them in order, so we won’t have to reorganize them. I think this will work.
Okay, let’s see if we can do two units in a half hour. Set the timer. Go!
Look at this old crocheted bookmark from Grandma—I want to clean and starch it. Set it aside for later. Someone make a note; we need to reinforce the spine on the “B” volume of this encyclopedia.
Thanks for collecting all our supplies, Mary. Can you attach the hose and the duster? Good.
Let’s hurry, here. It’s a big job. Susan, can you see the top shelf or do we need the step stool. Go get it, then, Leah. I want you two on the dusting job and I will vacuum the books. Try hard to keep the spray off the floor. It can be dangerously slick. And be sure you wipe the corners well and get all the spray wiped off.
Okay, start handing me books, in order, and I’ll restack them in their places. This is going well, time-wise, but I think we’ll stop in the middle of the second bookcase, so we don’t go overtime. No need to wear ourselves out with such heavy work.
No, I think we’d better stop short of that. There’s always tomorrow. Let’s call it done for now, and have some tea, okay? Then I want to show you all how to wash a delicate piece of crochet. Mary, you take care of the vacuum. That’s my girl.
Oh, how good it is to have all your help, girls! I don’t know what I’d do without you.
Can you see how, since the girls have received diligent training, they have become like extra arms and legs for the mom? Not only that, but also, they are learning good, quick, efficient work habits they can take with them into their futures.
In exchange for all the training you gave them before, you now are reaping great helpers. They, in return for their help, are receiving a gift many people lack: the ability to be diligent, reliable, trustworthy, hard-working members of their future worlds.
Wherever they go, whether into marriage or some other career, they will be ahead of their peers and rise quickly to betterment at every possibility.
It’s worth 30 minutes of my time.
How about you?