Marian Carcache: Trying to differentiate between what fits and what sparks joy

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Apparently, a lot of my friends and family took advantage of a long weekend to do spring cleaning.  I’ve heard of spring cleaning my whole life. Mama used to beat the rugs with a broom, wax the hardwood floors with Johnson’s Paste Wax, and open all the windows to air the house when spring finally sprung after our long, wet Alabama winters. She would also break greenery to bring inside for arrangements that made the whole house feel more alive.

I never thought too much about the yearly ritual as a child. But it is interesting to learn all these years later that although we aren’t exactly sure of the origin of spring cleaning, there are interesting possibilities.

Some stories connect it to Persian New Year, which takes place the first day of spring and during which Iranians clean their homes from top to bottom. There is also an ancient Jewish practice of cleaning homes thoroughly to prepare for the springtime Passover festival. Within the Christian religion, Roman Catholic churches traditionally clean the church altar the day before Good Friday.




Regardless of where the tradition comes from, it seems that many of us are hardwired to start cleaning out closets, drawers, and cabinets at the first hint of warmer weather.

Because I am still trying to follow Marie Kondo’s advice in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, it seems that I will greet spring still sifting through the contents of four closets, trying desperately to differentiate between “what still fits” and what actually “sparks joy.”  

Best of luck to my fellow comrades in tidying up.  It isn’t as easy for some of us to part with things that have memories attached as it is for others.

Marian Carcache welcomes 

comments at carcamm@auburn.edu.