In the dream it smelled nice too

Last night I dreamed I was cleaning. I’d wake up, turn over and find myself right back in the same place, over and over again, cleaning and cleaning.  You would think, what with me feeling about cleaning the way that I do, that this dream was more of a nightmare, but it wasn’t.  In the dream all the cleaning was that satisfying kind, you know what I mean? Not the sort of cleaning where you’re running a vacuum around and wiping a little spatter off the bathroom mirror, but the kind of cleaning that’s real change.  Like running a soft cloth over something really, really dusty, and revealing glowing wood beneath, or wiping a countertop that’s so dirty that you see a different colour when you do it.  Back when I was younger it was in vogue to sprinkle the carpet with baking soda to freshen it, and then vacuum it up. I loved it. It was the only vacuuming I’ve ever felt any affection for at all. There was something so intensely gratifying about it – the clean tracks where the vaccum had been, it was dramatic.  In this dream I was working clockwise around a room, sorting, throwing away – organizing and cleaning as I went, and I was doing nothing short of restoring order out of chaos – reducing the load.  It felt amazing.

After I woke up, I waited for the feeling to abate. It hasn’t.  I’m sitting here writing to you, and usually given a choice between blogging anything and cleaning, the anything is going to win.  Today though? I want to empty the fridge entirely, hose it down and then put everything back in neatly, throwing away the seven year old yellow mustard and that strange hot sauce we’re never going to use while I go.  I want to go into my closets and haul everything out and scrub the floors of them and send clothes to Goodwill.  I feel like it would be a great idea to dust. I want to wipe the piano keys with water and vinegar. God help me, I want to wash the stairs.  I have all this new yarn that I got in Texas (actually, I should show you all that. There will be more details tomorrow. The DFW Fiber Fest has a KILLER marketplace) and all I should want to do is knit, and instead I want to reorganize the shelves I keep yarn on to make all of that fit in a charming way. Maybe reorganize it all by weight. (With subgrouping by colour?)

I’m sure this feeling will fade, but what ever the cause, I’m going to run with it.

The urge to clean isn’t something someone like me can afford to ignore.

It must be spring.

112 thoughts on “In the dream it smelled nice too

  1. Either run with it, or perhaps from it.
    You almost make me want to leave work, go home, and scour my shower. Only almost, though!

  2. It is definitely spring, and you are so lucky to get Must Clean House as your sign of it and not Raccoons In The Garbage, like the sign I got at 4am today! Go Toronto, land of furry bandits.

  3. You have me feeling the same, but I’m at work, and I suspect the feeling will pass before I get home tonight. Roll With It!!

  4. I usually clean when the spirit moves me. Well, actually, the spirit pretty much needs to kick me in the are. But when it does, look out!

  5. I’ve been kind of feeling like that lately myself. But more on the order of: Toss everything out that I haven’t touched in 2 years and buy it again when I find I need it. It certainly would create some space, for sure. (Especially in my clothing and stash closets)

  6. I did this in my son’s room this weekend– he’s five– and it felt AMAZING!!!!!! I vowed several times to stop after finishing x, y, or z… but I couldn’t stop myself. I didn’t WANT to stop. For a moment I had a bit of a panic thinking, “Oh no, am I pregnant? Is this nesting?!” but then I realized, no, it’s not that… it’s just intense satisfaction.

  7. First time I have tried since blog changed. I love the new blog. The Tiny Tea Leaves sweater and buttons are beautiful!! Here in Southeast Ohio I say ” fart around” too. Thank you for the informative post on blogging.

  8. Yes!!
    Spring is finally in the air (instead of all those snowflakes) and it is time to clean the house!!
    I am tackling the play room today; not sure why except that I’m pretty sure it used to have a floor that was all one colour instead of the multiple shades of toys and dress up it currently is.

  9. Hey it worked!! Also I say “quit farting around” when someone is wasting time and stalling. Usually this happens when people are supposed to be CLEANING and they aren’t.

  10. Oh yes, the Spring has a hold on you BIG time! It’s wonderful when that hits.

    I think it’s more like nesting and I swear, it is a stress-reducer for me. I don’t know if it is the process that relaxes me or the mess that was stressing me out.

    Clean on Harlot!

  11. I had the same dream! so intense that I got up and made a little list in case I forgot what I wanted to do. alas, haven’t got around to it yet today but I do have all afternoon and evening to do some Spring cleaning!

  12. It’s the mild weather you experienced in Texas that has gotten you in the Spring cleaning mood. It has affected me, also, and I’m torn between shoveling out the house and working in the yard. I want to do both at the same time!

    I was a “victim” of the killer Marketplace at DFW FiberFest, too. Spent more than I had intended, but isn’t that always the case, at least for me? I’m blaming it on the yarn fumes…

  13. When the urge to clean hits me, I usually sit down with a drink and a book or my knitting until it passes. Clearly you are better person than I am. (No I don’t have a filthy house; I have a cleaning service.)

    • I WANT a cleaning service too — but they won’t touch a place that needcps them as much as the cozy condo does!
      Coincidentally, I was cleaning a closet today when DD called and needed my help on a different, more urgent cleaning project. By the time I got home, I had no cleaning mojo going. Maybe it will come back tomorrow.

  14. I completely understand! While I haven’t had this dream I do wake up every few months with nothing but a desire to clean and make my household more efficient (I do not organize, I streamline or make for efficient, but never do I organize).

    I still sprinkle baking soda on my carpets then vacuum it up…nothing more exciting than seeing all white disappear in perfect little rows. A little like knitting up self-striping yarn 🙂

  15. I wish that dream and/or urge would hit me! I usually do something else until it passes…knitting maybe? Working on Churchmouse Color Play shawl made with Kidsilk Haze stripe – yum! It’s enough to make me never clean again!

  16. I have the same Spring Fever going, though mine is focusing on opening windows and airing out the house. Since that’s just slightly unrealistic, yet, I’m itching to rearrange furniture and maybe paint some rooms…

  17. there is something really satisfying about organizing things and then looking at them all clean and nicely organized and beautiful. the need for this activity doesn’t occur often, but when it does. . . .

  18. That is so weird. I am the worst housekeeper in the history of indoor plumbing and I can’t wait to get home from work and clean. I want to wash the windows and dust every book. I also declared today that it is finally skirt weather again. If I don’t see another pair of black pants until Halloween, that’s fine with me.

  19. Curious. I had the same reaction after Stitches West. All this perfect yarn and brand new and it’s like I needed to have the perfect nest to enjoy it in.

  20. No cleaning here. Too much work work to get done. Gotta make up the $$ I spent in the marketplace and I must say it was great meeting you this past weekend at DFW Fiber Fest. And I look forward to seeing you again. The Friday night presentation was awesome.

  21. I get that feeling around this time of year, too. Funny thing is, it also coincides with my urge to go outside and get really dirty in the garden!

  22. You’re not about to give birth are you? (I kid, I kid. But that is the only time in my entire life I have ever felt such urges to clean)

  23. I’m half-way through cleaning my office. It may not get the other half if I don’t find some motivation to finish the job. Would you like to come to my house? I have enough fluffy little piles of dog hair here and there that I’m pretty sure you could spin at least a pair of mittens worth out of it.

  24. The only problem with cleaning like that is that all the people (and animals) who helped mess up the place in the first place come back and do it all again!!!

  25. If you had posted this yesterday I’d’ve been waiting for the end to be: April Fool’s!
    I’m jealous of your cleaning feeling. Maybe if it EVER stops SNOWING (yes it is, AGAIN) here in Montana I’ll get that feeling, too. Here’s hoping.
    And you GO, girl.

  26. I get it. You Have Spring Fever!
    I have it toooooooo!
    I took 4 boxes to Goodwill and 6 bags to the landfill.
    And brought 2 boxes of stuff to work and put free signs on them. Whew!
    I think I am done!

  27. HURRAH!!! As I read this I kept thinking “Spring Cleaning” but not until the last line = “It must be spring” – did I CHEER!! Having been through another CNY winter, I am so ready for this to be over – one more snowflake will send me straight over the edge – I am so looking forward to this time of year, spring cleaning and all! I’m also looking forward to seeing all of the yarn you purchased, and am so glad to hear that it found it’s way home to you! Happy Spring!

  28. Yesterday, I had a new entrance door installed and concrete dust permeating the whole apartment. I have had the whole evening to glory in the satisfying feeling of dusting, wiping, scrubbing…

  29. I’m having the same impulse. It must be this god-awful winter we’ve had here in the north-east (America) and it’s still not over. All I want to do is throw things out and get organized!

  30. I am retiring in July and I keep dreaming of the days sorting, throwing, examining, cleaning . . . I think I want the daydream to come true . . . as soon as I finish knitting all my UFOs. . . and host a bridal shower . . . and go to the the fiber retreat in Medomak . . . and . . .

  31. I’m getting that Spring Cleaning feeling too (it must be catching) but I know from experience that although I’m just itching to clean everything right now, after my 45 minute commute home from work, I’ll be wiped out and not want to anything but knit and watch re-runs of Doctor Who… At least I get knitting done that way…

  32. That must be why I haven’t cleaned my place. I’m letting it get dirty enough that I’ll get that satisfaction when I do finally clean. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with that I’d rather knit than clean almost any day of the year.

  33. Yep. That feeling? It is spring 😀 I have been having urges to clean for days. I’ve been doing a bit here and a bit there. Tonight? The egg timer is coming out and I’m doing at least a 15 minute burst in every room of the house. (and I think that will be our trend until the house is up to standard)

  34. Well, don’t start with anything big (like re-organizing the yarn storage). These fits of cleaning always abandon me in the middle of a major reorganizing of something immediately after I’ve made a HUGE mess of things…

  35. I know you’re my age, and a little beyond prime to be nesting…It IS physically possible, though (typically). Just sayin’……

  36. As I was reading, I kept thinking that spring had finally arrived. Then I read your last sentence. I guess you recognize it at that spring cleaning urge. I’ve been dealing with it as well. Unfortunately, as I clean and sort and throw away, I’m creating more chaos and I keep hoping it’s only temporary chaos.

  37. I’ve been wanting to get rid of all the extra recently as well. Haven’t been able to find time at home where i could focus on it but hoping soon…

    Also, lemon. I want everything to be clean and smell like lemon and other citrus…

  38. I too have caught the fever but it’s only out of sheer necessity. I have less than a month to turn the office/craft/i-dont-know-where-to-put-this-so-i-will-just-chuck-it-in-here-and-shut-the-door-so-i-dont-have-to-think-about-it room into a proper guest bedroom. My SIL will be staying with us during here first clinical rotation. Nothing like working under pressure

  39. It is so funny to read about cleaning out your fridge…my husband and I just did this about 7 weeks ago…we had 9 bottles of mustard, 3 jars of pickle relish (I had just purchased one the night before the big clean and my husband threw away the new jar…yikes) It is a funny thing how we buy the same item week after week!!! Have fun and if you have any energy left I could use it to clean out a Hall closet!!! (I may find a treasure in this closet)

  40. Spring comes early to the southern states and the feeling of spring is contagious and is passed quickly from one to another. If you travel from the south and return to the north then the feeling to begin spring cleaning travels with you. Good luck.

  41. Enjoy your spring cleaning – the feeling hasn’t hit here yet, but we’re due for 6-12″ of snow tomorrow. 🙁

    However, don’t try to clean/reorganize the stash – the last time you did that, you realized you had to get rid of some because there wasn’t enough room! (Looking forward to seeing photos of the pretties you acquired at DFW.)

  42. Several years ago, a coworker and friend told me on a Monday morning that she had douched her apartment that weekend.

  43. I’ve been doing that too! But we’re decluttering the house so we can list it to sell. Despite the large pile of things to go into the storage POD in the living room, it really does feel a lot better! 🙂

  44. Oh, that was lovely! And you almost got me. But no. I’d still rather knit. Slog through ALL the posts on Facebook, plus the links, and the comments on the links, and the links on the links… Twitter. Instagram. Laundry, even.
    But not cleaning.
    Thanks anyway.

  45. You have spring fever, my dear. And so do I. Suddenly Windex is transforming and I actually want to sweep my deck. We are experiencing the first double-digit Celsius temps in many months and it is soul restoring. I heard birds at 5:30am! Clean and polish and dust. Spring is finally here after a very tough winter.

  46. It certainly says spring to me. I get that way too. I want to clean out the attic. remove all the excess from my life and streamline it all.

  47. Stephanie-unrelated to this post-though here in Seattle it is Spring-lots of flowering trees out and daffy and magnolias. I noticed on your book tour everyone brought their first pair of socks. I wanted to share mine. I probably shouldn’t since they aren’t your pattern. I used Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato Heel book and instead of a pattern on the leg I just did K2P2 ribbing. They look strange off my foot, but they fit pretty well. I actually started with different yarn and needles and they were lame, so restarted with Tosh Sport yarn and size 4 needles. Finished your new book and ordered one from my Local Independent book store, Island Books, to send to a friend. Loved it. You continue to be a knitting inspiration. I’m going to try Lancelot for my 7 1/2 yr old grandson. Yikes, there are a lot of instructions. Tell me a normal human knitter can do it! Barby (hope you can open the pictures)

  48. I had the same feeling every time I went into labor. Getting ready to make a big announcement, Stephanie? LOL!

  49. If you still have this urge after getting your place in shape for a layout in Better Homes and Gardens, let me know. I’m the King of Procrastination. Right now, my place looks like it needs to be shoveled out, then washed down with bleach.

    Oh, one other thing: If you find the cat napping, remember not to vacuum, polish, wax, disinfect, etc., her. She will not take kindly to it, and may shred you or pee on your pillow.

  50. Do it for those of us who haven’t had a feeling like that in longer than we can remember! Then again, I never nested while pregnant, either.

  51. That feelin’ rose today. That urge to gather, swipe, and rid myself of winter’s accumulation, so I gathered my gardening tools, raked spent leaves into piles, and bagged the crap. I’m over it for today.

    Tomorrow I might tackle inside the house. Either that or set up a room outside.

  52. So here’s how it goes for me. I get that urge. More like stomach wiggles and, after buying daffodils, I begin. First I attack the kitchen pantry. As I am busy scrubbing shelves I see the black beans. Immediately distracted I realize I must make black bean and mango salsa because my body is craving spring food. And while I am making it I remind myself about that great gauzy dress I bought last spring. So I go unearth it. And as I hang it up I realize my closet needs cleaning. So I start that. And get hungry. So I go down to the pantry for a snack and notice its dirty. So I start to clean the pantry!! You know, if you give a woman in NH some springtime, she’s going to want black bean salsa and a gauzy dress! Apologies to the mouse and the cookie

  53. Yes, it’s spring, or at least we want it to be! Last week I finished claiming the room that used to belong to our boys (sequentially). I spackled and painted, and moved in my IKEA yarn cubbies and sewin machine. It’s like I’ve gone to heaven! I sit in the room and smile. The cleaning bug doesn’t hit me very often, so I’m making the most of it. Pictures here, if you’re curious:

  54. That is so cool that you had such a powerful dream! You’ve had so much happen to you lately that this must be your life taking a deep, cleansing breath. It’s much needed & I’m glad to hear it. Enjoy! 🙂

  55. I actually just spent about 20 minutes on the Mrs. Meyer’s website ordering cleaning supplies… It’s definately spring!

  56. I assume you aren’t pregnant, but it sounds like ‘nesting’ syndrome. 🙂 Go with it while you feel it mood!

  57. Funny, I was working from home yesterday and spent my lunch hour bleaching skirtingboards… It’s just been smelling different here in London since the non-stop rain finally gave up. Winter was mild but miserable and there’s just a different kind of air when spring arrives. Looking forward to seeing the ‘after’ photos…

  58. I have had that feeling for a week. I cannot wait for Friday when the purge begins. Go with it. It is so satisfying

  59. i realize this post is not about baking soda, but i’m so glad to read that it does work for cleaning carpets/rugs after all! i’d read about it years ago in organic housekeeping (ESandbeck), and tried it to no avail. perhaps because my wool ikea rug is probably actually made of wood chips? 🙂
    happy spring, with or without the cleaning!

  60. I have never been a great tidier up, but this year I too have had the massive urge to Clean Up…it is rather nice to not have to shift the piles of magazines in order to eat dinner, and to know what yarn is where, I took 10 boxes of stuff (inc books!!) to Oxfam last week.

    I think the urge is fine, as long as it doesn’t turn into an obsession (one – or maybe two – obsession(s) being enough…?)

  61. Why is it I never get that urge to clean?!!! I keep hearing about this sudden urge people experience in the spring but all I feel is the need to roll over to my other side.

  62. I have been riding the “spring cleaning” wave all week. I’m not a cleaner, by any means, but so far I’ve cleaned my oven, scrubbed the top of my cabinets, and pulled everything out of my top cabinets, washed the shelves, put down new liner, and then put everything away neatly. Today I’m tackling the lower cabinets, which include sorting through all the canned goods and tossing anything that’s expired (I’m looking at you, pumpkin puree that I bought before we moved in…)

  63. Why does this cleaning urge never hit men?? I’m allergic to dust and my husband seems to be allergic to the vacuum cleaner…Sigh!

  64. I need my fall knitting urge to be my spring urge this year, because I have a baby on the way whose blanket needs to make it ahead of his arrival! These spring cleaning urges are just more distractions from studying and knitting, which are all I should have time for! Why are they contagious??

  65. Yes, please send that dream this way! Ugh – so hard to motivate myself to clean. It’s always so great when it’s done, but I. Hate. It. Can’t wait to see your new yarn!

  66. I, too, have the spring cleaning urge – mostly I want to strip out the contents of the kitchen cabinets and purge stuff. But alas taxes must be filed first before I can get going on that and by then I am afraid the spirit may not be willing. Go Steph and yeah we have to run with the cleaning bug when it strikes!!

  67. It must be catching ! I rarely get Spring Cleaning Fever but it hit a couple of weeks ago. There is definitely a difference between the regular dusting and real cleaning. I finally figured out how to take down the horizontal blinds and gave one of them (the kitchen ones – icky!) a good soak and scrubbing. Every time I pass them, it feels good so know the grime is gone LOL. Also, started scrubbing the kitchen cupboards. Time is at a premium though – it’s easiest to do when hubby is not home – so hopefully the bug doesn’t disappear before I feel done.

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