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The peril of spring cleaning

Burt's Eye View

The great philosopher William Morris once advised: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

This is probably why the two most dreaded words in the English language for me are “spring cleaning.” I never know if I’m going to make the cut.

There are other dangers to spring cleaning, such as filling yet another box full of cords and cables that MIGHT go to something you still have; doubling your collection of bits of string and bread twist ties; and wondering what’s about to collapse considering all the random screws you found lying around. It’s nerve-wracking.

So while my wife scribbles her list of everything that can go, I’m staying out of sight compiling the collected wisdom of the great philosophers on the menace of spring cleaning.

“Spring cleaning: When we throw out family heirlooms, but keep 36 different kinds of tea.”

— Robert Knop

“The key to spring cleaning is to be ruthless! Throw out anything and everything you never use. (Or that may be incriminating. Burn, if necessary, but remember if using gasoline, those fires should be contained in a nonflammable container.)”

— Josie Brown

“If you want to get rid of stuff, you can always do a good spring cleaning. Or you can do what I do. Move.”

— Ellen DeGeneres

“Has it been over 300 days since I last put off spring cleaning?”

— Anonymous

“‘Fantasia’ gave me unrealistic expectations of how much cleaning a bucket and mop would be motivated to do.”

— The Alex Nevil

“The trick to spring cleaning is to keep moving things to different rooms until your wife gets tired and gives up.”

— Robert Knop

“Housework can’t kill you, but why take a chance?”

— Phyllis Diller

“One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.”

— A.A. Milne

“Cleaning is just putting stuff in less obvious places.”

— Anonymous

“Dust is a protective coating for fine furniture.”

— Mario Buatta

“I’m 18 years behind in my ironing. There’s no use doing it now, it doesn’t fit anybody I know.”

— Phyllis Diller

“A man thinks all dust stays outdoors.”

— Ernest Vincent Wright

“Have you ever looked at the last few loads of laundry and considered just throwing them away?”

— Anonymous

“My theory on housework is, if the item doesn’t multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you?”

— Erma Bombeck

“I clean when I’m frustrated. So if you show up unannounced and our house is clean … you might want to reconsider your visit.”

— Anonymous

“Just got done with a deep cleaning of my kitchen, so no one will be eating, drinking or even standing in here for the next 10 years.”

— Sarcastic Mommy

“If your house is really a mess and a stranger comes to the door, greet him with, “Who could have done this? We have no enemies.”

— Phyllis Diller

“You have got to clean your own house first before you tell other people that they aren’t doing it right.”

— Dan Webster

“A bright person can always think of something better to do than housework.

— Ruby Lou Barnhill

— Spruce up with Cole at burtseyeview@tribtoday.com, the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or at www.burtonwcole.com.

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