Ahhhhh... Spring! That time of year when the birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, and you have that itch in your soul to start the new season with a sparkling clean home.

          My husband and I recently completed a deep (and I mean DEEP) spring cleaning of our house. I highly recommend that couples do this together, but only if your marriage is on stable ground. If your relationship is solid, the worst that can happen is that you may question why you ever married said person. If your relationship is shaky, one of you may end up in the emergency room.

          That being said, there are a few things I’ve learned as a result of this joint cleaning effort:

          1. There are treasures galore waiting for you hidden deep beneath your sofa and chair cushions, especially if you have small children or grandchildren. Crayons, stale popcorn, raisins, Thomas the Train stickers, two quarters and a nickel, a Lightning McQueen racecar, and a lost earring you couldn’t find anywhere so you threw away the matching one.

           2. Men will think up ANY excuse to stop cleaning when they decide they’ve had enough for the day.

          “Oh, look! The Yankees game is in a rain delay!” 

          “I’m going to WalMart to get milk.” (Even though there are three gallons in the fridge.)

         And my personal favorite: “I’m going to get the mail.”  I found my husband thirty minutes later sitting in the rocking chair on our front porch, browsing the newest edition of Golf Magazine.

             3. Don’t forget to go through the pockets of your jackets and coats when cleaning out your closets. That $20 bill I found came in handy when I could barely move at the end of the second day and we ordered out. Take-out lasagna from our local pizza parlor never tasted so good.

           4. Men cannot multi-task.

           5. An ex-military man or one with an obsessive personality WILL go back and re-vacuum the shutters and window sills you just cleaned to make sure they were “done right.”  Like there’s a wrong way to suck up dust bunnies and dead ladybugs?

          6. Those magic wall and scuff mark erasers are amazing. No more paint touch-ups!

          7. A special note to ladies here: Do not—I repeat, DO NOT—burst into uncontrolled laughter when your husband holds up an old prom photo and asks, “Wasn’t that a great mullet?” Just bite down really hard on the inside of your cheek and walk away.

          8. Even if the tags say "Dry Cleaning Only," throw those dusty drapes and comforters into the dryer on high for 30 minutes and remove promptly. Like new.

          9. Some truly volatile arguments can start from asking your spouse a simple question such as, “Can we throw out this old picture of you and your high school football team?” And men, I highly suggest that you do not ask the question, “How long are you going to keep your old wedding gown? You haven’t been able to squeeze into that thing in years!”

          And last but certainly not least:

         10. Resign yourself to the fact that after tackling the kitchen cabinets, you WILL end up with either too many plastic containers and not enough lids, or too many lids and not enough containers.

          I hope these spring cleaning tips have been useful. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to apply another ice pack to my husband’s black eye.

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