How to Rid Your Home of Your Adult Children’s Stuff

I blame Star Wars for halting my annual cleaning spree. Confronted in the attic with boxes of 1980s-era toys, from Darth Vader figures to a Millennium Falcon spacecraft, I called my son to tell him I was going to throw them out. Stunned silence. He lives in a small New York City apartment, so he’s not able to store the toys — but he couldn’t imagine tossing them either. Those Star Wars figures are just one roadblock to my efforts …

Spring Cleaning Cheapskate Style

Several years ago I resigned myself to the fact that we live in the kind of house that’s better cleaned with an heavy duty wet/dry vac than a traditional vacuum cleaner like most folks use. If you live in a semirural, ultra-muddy area and heat your home primarily with woodstoves like we do, then you know what I mean. By late winter, much of our house looks more like a barn or sawmill. With the crocuses, daffodils, and forsythia in …

Spring Cleaning: What Treasures Did You Find?

I’m one of those kind of people who actually enjoys spring cleaning. Sure, part of it is that it’s refreshing to change things up around the house, and start to be able to once again make use of outside spaces like decks and patios. But – being a notorious cheapskate – I’ll also admit that part of my enthusiasm for a rigorous round of spring cleaning is that it always seems to make me some money and save me even …