Monday, March 23, 2009

Miscellany: Spring Cleaning

Spring has arrived, and that means a few things happen here at Shangrila Towers. One is fairly severe hay fever (the pollen counts in Gainesville have been uniformly high ever since March started - time to ride the pink dragon). Another is spring cleaning.

My cleaning schedule sort of fell by the wayside during my trial competition, so it feels good to reduce the clutter. Here are my favorite ways to get things in order:

1. Donate stuff: Old books that will probably never get read again? I give them to the library. Old clothes that don't fit? Straight to Goodwill. Not only are you allocating scarce physical resources efficiently, but you're helping other people out, too. It feels good knowing that if some kid wants to read the entire run of "Maison Ikkoku" but doesn't have the dough to buy the books, he or she can read them via the Alachua County Library system.

2. Be systematic: I'm not sure if other human beings are wired this way, but I like to clean up and tidy one area before moving onto the next. It's like a tide of cleanliness sweeping through my room - sort of feels like a game of "Tetris," or maybe the baryon sweep from the Star Trek episode "Starship Mine." I also carry a big trash bag while sweeping through the room so I can junk everything that can't be donated, sold, or reused.

3. Music: Mary Poppins was right - cleaning is easier when you have fun doing it. The genre doesn't matter - I've cleaned while playing everything from Jamiroquai ("Synkronized" is fantastic when you're mopping a floor, for instance) to symphonic power metal. Ambient stuff is probably suitable for the nitty-gritty work - nothing like scrubbing a bathroom tub to Indian devotional music from the musical duo Rasa.


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