JANICE WELLS: Finding frames of reference and a bit of excitement in the dreaded task of fall cleaning before a Newfoundland hibernation

How come no one ever talks about fall cleaning?

Spring cleaning gets all the attention because once upon a time, a long, long time ago, every household depended on wood or coal for heating, and when spring came, there were smoke residue and even soot lurking everywhere and the walls and ceilings were almost as bad as if there were smokers in the house so everything had to be washed and aired out and it was a wonderful thing to be able to put the mats on the line and beat them.

Most of us don’t have to worry about any of that anymore (when was the last time you washed your…? I remain my case). In my world, preparing the house for winter is the most important thing. In spring, getting outside and forgetting about home is the most important thing.

Fall is the time to prepare my terrier for hibernation. It involves getting rid of things more than cleaning.


Maybe having a Toronto Blue Jays doubleheader in the background is just the inspiration columnist Janice Wells needs to finish her fall cleanup. Photo added – Photo added

The crazy way

We know our roles in this household; spring is the time for me to go away for a few days, so that Newman can clean up; Fall is Newman’s time to stay away, while I try to get rid of things that have come into the house since last fall or failed to prove their worth or to me. please in any way.

If September blesses us with good weather, this urge to purge only overwhelms me in October. Hurricane Earl really got me in the mood.

First, I make a list. It’s important because I need to be reminded of everything I want to do and then I feel guilty for what hasn’t been done and with this cycle I get to accomplish something. thing.

Yesterday, the project was to collect the grandchildren’s toys for the “Donate, Trash, Keep” exercise. It almost freed up the veranda, which is a good thing and a bad thing.

Fall, winter and spring are the best times to enjoy the veranda. In the summer it’s usually too hot, plus I’m not there most of the summer and I love it the most.


Columnist Janice Wells considers herself a bit of an executive/oholic, but swears she'll one day find a use for all the frames she's collected.  Photo added - Photo added
Columnist Janice Wells considers herself a bit of an executive/oholic, but swears she’ll one day find a use for all the frames she’s collected. Photo added – Photo added

It’s also where the kids play because it keeps them out of the living room and getting it ready for me to enjoy in the fall means putting the toys out of sight, which was impossible before I knocked them down , so that’s a good thing.

However, with the toys gone or out of sight, it’s painfully obvious how shabby the furniture is.

Now, if you’ve been to one of my mansions, you’ll know that if I notice how shabby it is, it’s gone way beyond shabby chic and the next stop is the junkyard.

But, unfazed, I turn my attention to my study. This is the room where my computer, books and painting supplies live, and the kids arts and crafts supplies. There’s a comfy loveseat and a small TV and it’s my counterpart to Newman’s Lair in the basement.

I start by rummaging through piles of frames that I buy from thrift stores because they are such beautiful frames, and one day I’ll be looking for a beautiful frame and I can’t find one. It makes me think about how little painting I do these days and I start going through messy reminders of what I started and what I haven’t finished since this time last year.

Once I’ve dragged and scattered everything in preparation for a reorganization, I’m out of breath. As I write this, there is no room on the loveseat and I cannot see the table surface.

If it weren’t for this column, my desk would be just as chaotic, but even I can’t write in a total mess, so I have little piles of stuff on the desk that also need to be skimmed through, but that look neat.

Tomorrow is a Toronto Blue Jays doubleheader. I’ll watch the afternoon game in my office while picking up, preparing my burrow.

I’m actually a little excited about it.