Tracking a new-found path

Through my messy bedroom

Miranda Perkins, Staff Writer

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The first day of spring is something to be marveled at. It’s a symbol of new beginnings: the squirrels awake from the slumber, the flowers yawn awake. The bees are buzzing in new life and rebirth. Trees bloom with flowers and fruit, the air is full of the sweet aroma of pollen and peonies. The birds are building new homes for their young. As for the human race… we clean.

Marie Kondo is the new-found star of spring cleaning, thanks to her new Netflix original. Cleaning up is about “choosing joy”, and all that. I suppose I can see how having a clean house can bring joy, but the entire act of cleaning is horrendous.

Unlike many of the Earth’s creatures, we don’t hibernate. We don’t fatten up on food – I mean, we certainly do – but not to survive the cold harsh winter. And I suppose we also hold up in our rooms a lot, but it’s not out of necessity and warmth as it is of laziness. And just as bears and chipmunks alike crawl out of their dens when the early spring sun peaks over the horizon, we stumble and yawn into the new heat, before panicking that it is now the season to have company over.I have distinct memories from elementary school of coming off the school bus in my floral blouse on the first nice day of the year to my stay-at-home dad stripping the house down, room by room, scrubbing, washing, dusting, putting the room back together with less items, and moving onto the next room. His country music blared on his old stereo and he’d tell me to start stripping my bedsheets.

I learned how to use a washing machine at a very young age. I was doing my own loads of of laundry at the ripe age of six and a half, which I hear is a little outrageous. Many of my friends didn’t learn until they were 15 or 16, which is nearly neglective parenting in my opinion. Some kids my age STILL don’t know how to wash and dry their own clothes.

My dad had me and my siblings in oversized, yellow rubber cleaning gloves scrubbing the floors with Pine-Sol since we could walk. I don’t know if it’s entirely safe to expose young children to chemicals, actually. Not really sure how that affected me in the long run. Oh well.

Why is it that humans find only one time of the year to clean things? Is it enough to clean non-stop for a few days to not have to worry about cleaning for the whole rest of the year? Are normal people that well kept? If I clean my room on a Wednesday afternoon it is definitely going to look like remnants of hurricane Katrina after I return from cleaning the kitchen 45 minutes later.

I would enjoy it a little bit too much if cleanliness could be a one and done kind of thing. My laziness would be exponentially amplified. I would pig out so hard and care about literally nothing, if I knew that it would be impossible for me to make something messy until next spring. What a dream.

But alas, I have to live with my mess.

As any good family disappointment should, I can’t keep to my father’s most important principle of keeping things clean. I always get distracted with something or another. One minute I’m sorting through my pile of half clean clothes on The Chair, the next minute I’m wearing a scarf I’ve not seen since 7th grade, a beanie my grandmother made my sibling 3 years ago, and I’m playing Pokemon on my DS that has been hidden behind my bedside table for literal years.

So yeah, I can’t exactly buy into the “magic of tidying up”. Sorry Marie, I just can’t.

And so I lose myself in the piles of laundry and old books as the season of birth and rebirth fades to that of sunshine and heat. I’ll give it, oh, three weeks until my floor is entirely untraversable again. I think I’ll let my mess suffocate me until it’s time for hibernation once more. Perhaps next spring I’ll “spark joy” in my home. Perhaps next spring I’ll see humans again.