Squoo Spwing – Musings on Autumn

Okay – I am decidedly Less Busted than I’ve been these past 2 weeks – thanks for hanging in there with me!  So let’s talk about Spwing v. Autumn Cleaning, shall we? (the Squoo is because Spwing needed a friend – it’s what C’s 6yr old daughter said (‘my daddy said ‘squoo you’) in response to another kid trying to bully her.  10 years on and I still laugh!!

During the weirdest part of my recovery, where I still felt puny but couldn’t stand it another nanosecond, I started tearing each room in this little shack apart, starting with the kitchen.  I simply cannot take the sight of 320,000 pieces of vintage mixware anymore!  I de-accessioned 20% of stuff I sort of liked and 100% of what I couldn’t care less.  Went on to the cabinets and, come one howling Autumn day, I will tackle my spice cabinet.  I suspect there will be sedatives involved for that one!

I then lost my natural mind and tore apart the pantry (a 3’x4’x6′ metal cabinet)… omg.  Oatmeal.  1/3cup left in a 42oz container.  Who knew oats could turn GREEN!  El O Era frosted cereals (his, not mine) … from 2018!!!  And.. apparently my friends think I need mustards because 80% of the FOURTEEN different specialty mustards were gifts.  I see at least one chicken in mustard sauce in my future.

Lotta Mustards

I could question why I had boxes of cereal from the Jurassic era still in that pantry but I suspect the answer would just make me sad.  So we’ll move along, shall we?

March and I talked about this urge and wondered why we focus so much on Spring Cleaning; after all, Spring is the time we re-open our doors, hearts and minds to the notion of Outdoors.  With the exception of throwing open the windows and changing silk and flannel bedding for cotton, my mind is firmly fixed on the outside, which is where I’ll be until October.

But now?  We’re beginning the turn inward.  And the idea of being stuck inside a house that’s the domestic equivalent of a bear’s hibernation butt-plug is… well, it’s icky!   As we go into cooler weather the ceiling fans are turned off – and… yikes!!!  I spent the better part of Saturday morning disassembling the fans and oil-soaping the living daylights out of those things.    What was I thinking, letting them get so greasy (with that weird, furry ick attached to the grease)?  Answer:  I wasn’t.  I was outside.  Squoo them fans!  I had roses to deadhead!

It has been easier than I thought, purging a lot of stuff (I don’t need 28 dishtowels, 10 of which are stained and holey – those will make great polishing rags)… and more difficult purging other stuff (2 of the 3 self-portraits of my first DH have to stay… because they’re good).  Culling the vintage mixware was easier – even the Pyrex.  Ain’t NOBODY need 25 mixing bowls, not even me.  Actually, especially me.  As I said in an earlier post, so much of that was just trying to fill the holes in my miserable, unhappy soul – since I’m no longer miserable nor unhappy I can let all that go.  Well, okay.   Not all of it.  Some of it really makes me happy – that stuff I’ll keep.  Everything else goes.

Throwing out old pillows brought back a weird little childhood memory – I must’ve been  7? 8? and I remember being absolutely mesmerized by those Do Not Remove Under Penalty of Law tags affixed to every pillow.  ‘What would happen if I ripped that tag off?’ I wondered.  One day, I did rip the tag off – and I remember running to the window, fully expecting a squad car to come racing down Wabash Ave, sirens and lights blazing… they would bust down the door and haul my criminal ass away.

Alas, it did not happen.  So I put the pillowcase back on and vowed to test the legal limits of my young, suburban life another day.  That probably didn’t happen, either, though.  I was a pretty law-abiding kid.  But now I take off ALL the tags!!!  Because. I. Can.

So.  What about you Posse?  Do you scrub in Spring or Autumn?    Tell an Almost-Healed Musette what spurs your Cleaning Genie.  I will channel The Girl and poke a nail for a winner.

And… don’t think I’d forgotten about past winners, you patient lot!  Here ya go:


It’s Not You:



Turn,turn,turn (with Angel up there in the bathtub)




gmail your evilauntieanita with your details and I’ll get some fun stuff out to you!!!





  • Patty says:

    I’ve started on my kitchen one cabinet at a time. I only moved in here three year ago, but sheesh! I’m out of space and have a lot of stuff I do not use. And the bread baking causes me to have to get more kind of flour and those round dutch ovens to put the break in to bake it, and… well, I need more room, some other crap I don’t need has to go!

  • Dina C. says:

    Our 21 year old daughter moved away from home this past weekend. This was a long-planned move, and as we together looked through every drawer, cupboard, and closet of the house, I asked, “Is this hers?” and “Is this something of mine I could give her to help her set up her household?” So the result is that we have more breathing room in our house than we’ve had for ages! And also a little lonely. But that’s okay. So happy for this new chapter.

  • Jennifer S says:

    I hear ya on the expired foodstuffs! Just the other day I felt like some soup only to see the expiration date was June 2020. Poo! There’s a tv commercial of like a mother in law tossing things out of the fridge going…expired…expired…expired…lol! And stuff? I suffer from a poorly designed house with absolutely zero storage space so it always looks cluttered. Time some kids got movin along now and taking their ‘stuff’ with ‘em is what I say. Glad to hear you’re feeling better !

    • Musette says:

      Yeah – getting kids out and on their way is a great way to downsize!!! And just so ya know? I would’ve eaten that soup in a nanosecond – those dates are largely subjective and since you’re coming close to bringing it to a boil anyway…. well, that’s my line and I’m sticking with it! 😉 I’m a little bit more careful with dairy, though.


  • rosarita says:

    Ms A, I’m so glad you are on the mend! I hate to clean so I sell everything I can on Poshmark to pay a cleaning lady every week. When my body was in better shape, I worked for schools, so heavy cleaning got done in the summer but now it’s the fall and it’s mainly windows that get done. You should take pictures of your precious kitchen stuff, I would love to enjoy your collection vicariously.

    • Musette says:

      I’ve been trying to get myself back in shape so have been using this cleaning as one of my ‘exercises’ (luckily my body issues are mostly sloth-based so this isn’t a huge challenge).

      I can imagine that a career spent in cleaning would result in NOT wanting to deal with it at home! Love how you balance your collection with selling – and why!


  • March says:

    Fall cleaning for the win! Since I JUST moved (with a massive down-sizing) the place is pretty orderly, but I’m getting ready to pull out the fall/winter stuff I shoved into closets and my under-bed storage, and I have no doubts that some of that will be heading to thrift/consignment stores … fall is when I get the urge to do these things, for sure. And I’m going to try to stay on top of the ratio of incoming/outgoing. I’m a bit of a magpie (oh look at that pretty vase! etc.) and making those choices in our overstuffed house prior to the move was TOUGH. LOL I am pretty sure I gave you at least one of those mustards!

    • Musette says:

      LOL! You probably gave me at least 5 of them (Howard gave me another 5 and the rest were probably my own mindless purchasing!)

      Tbh, your purge was part of the impetus for my own – your fearlessness in de-accessioning was awe-inspiring!


  • Kathleen says:

    Good to hear that you are on the mend.
    I tend to clean on an ongoing basis in small ways, therefore, a big clean in either fall or spring is not really necessary. We have occasionally moved houses over the years, and this is when the big purge occurs out of necessity. Thankfully, the older I get the less clutter I can stand!

    • Musette says:

      I’m with you, Kathleen – the patience to manage all that clutter has exponentially diminished which is why I happily purged all that vintage Pyrex! xoxoxoxo

  • cinnamon says:

    Glad to hear you’re on the mend. I generally do weekly cleans as big clear-out due to move — rental house – move back home means there isn’t a lot of extraneous stuff sitting around. Big plan for autumn is getting a wardrobe build into one chimney breast in son’s room so ‘stuff’ has some place to live that isn’t the rug on the floor.

  • Portia says:

    Hey Musette,
    Sounds like you are healing so well.
    In Spring I like to do a few specific chores like drawer dust bunnies, screen doors and window fly screens, cornices, and think about the kitchen cupboards (often involving a rejig and clean).
    Because the apartment gets a pretty good going over every week it rarely needs big cleans. Things like windows and under the couch get done a few times a year. The light fitting over the dining table gets done the week before Xmas.
    I have also been shedding some stuff. There are a few sentimental things that I never use but are too good, precious and beautiful to go to goodwill. I’m finding some targets whose tastes run to such things and offering them. Only one rejection so far and PLENTY of happy buddies.
    Also, I just sold off some vintage perfumes that I have a few of. They’ll be going to homes where they will be loved and used instead of sitting in boxes awaiting their turn, or my death.
    Portia xx

    • Musette says:

      NO DEATH! At least not for a VeryVERYVERY long time. Okay?
      But I do get it – my cleaning life is similar to yours but even with that it’s astonishing how things get weird (like the ceiling fans)


  • shiva-woman says:

    I do a purge about three times a year. The fall purge is particularly important as I am canning, freezing, jamming, processing everything from olives to nuts and I need ROOM. So it’s massive eating, nibbling, tossing, feeding stuff to the dog, rearranging, and disposing (much tossing from refrigerator). The other times of year that involve deep cleaning is right before company. If a friend is coming over for an hour–that is a sign to do a mini-massive clean around the house, but if someone is STAYING (staying in our 9-cat, 1-dog household)–it is deep cleaning with bleach and scrubbers. Vacuuming to the power of ten, cleaning all blankets and throws, hiding all damnable evidence of my lax housekeeping. The refrigerators and pantries are considerably lightened. I’m very grateful to company to keep the filth at bay and preventing my living in an absolute pigsty (as long as I get a few weeks in between to just wallow…).

  • Tara C says:

    I love cleaning/purging and do it twice a year, spring and autumn. Unfortunately I can’t get rid of as much as I would like as I live with two other hoarders so it’s chockablock here all the time. But I’m in the midst of my fall cleanout right now and the only thing limiting me is space in the trash bins. Will be making a couple of trips to donate at charity shops for sure.

    • Musette says:

      I love cleaning and purging as well and now that it’s just me I can control the ingress/egress a whole lot better! I lived with an ADHD hoarder-lite (dunno if you remember the garage post… ick!) so this is a lovely change!