Dianne McDonald: Spring cleaning – feminist style

Dianne McDonald

Birds are singing, tree leaves are blooming, windows are opening … spring is in the air. That means it’s time for spring cleaning.


I just heard some groans out there. You must agree that spring cleaning has often meant extra chores for the primary home caretaker (read: y-o-u.)

Historically, there has been a blatant and significant gender imbalance within the domestic sphere. Let’s change that history.

Admittedly, there is some kind of unique, inspirational feeling of newness that comes from clean window sills, screens and glass. I am not trying to boycott spring cleaning.

I am suggesting we enhance it – and revamp it.

Spring cleaning could be a feministically theoretical "spring" board for all females to organize and clean up our own inner junk, also known as: baggage. We women can move toward improving our own minds, bodies, schedules and goals to facilitate a happier and healthier us. We can include a revitalizing personal inventory of our womanly selves. What areas of our lives need change? Do we need to restructure our boundaries with any friends, relatives or colleagues? Do we need to alter our career paths? What about finding time for ourselves?

Yes, ladies, time for us. I hear it exists … and I am not talking about the rare trip alone to the market.

Our own personal spring cleaning can include reviewing and reinstating or revising our New Year’s resolutions. We can push ourselves to take a class on something we have an interest in but kept postponing. We can “spring” into action with volunteer or charity work. The options are limitless and the happiness pay-off is exponential.

Flowers are blossoming and the bees are buzzing. We should be buzzing, too, with excitement and enthusiasm for this new season of the year and this potentially new season of our lives.

Spring cleaning will never be the same, and neither will we.

Dianne McDonald is a working mother who lives in Marshfield with her husband and five kids