Spring Cleaning

Almost every spring since I was a child I’ve been involved one way or another with spring cleaning.  My mother thought that spring cleaning had to include a complete change of curtains on all of the windows in the house where I grew up.  She would take them all down, carefully launder1 them, and then tell me to dust all of the slats2 at the windows, which we called Venetian blinds3.  That was a job I thoroughly hated, so needless to say, I have none of those blinds and very few curtains in my house.


Still, there are spring cleaning chores4 which I always do, and which I have been doing recently.  I like to go through our clothing, decide what I think we will not wear again, put those items in a very large plastic bag, and then take them to the Pella Clothing Bank5.  At the Clothing Bank people can obtain needed clothing items for a very small amount of money, or even free, if they really have no money to spend.  The Clothing Bank does not try to make any money, but just provide clothing for needy6 individuals.  I have gone through several closets7 and we have taken about four large bags of clothing to the Clothing Bank.  I always feel good about that.


I have also gone through our many shelves of books and found some books that I was able to part with8.  It is difficult for me to part with my books, but there are some I know I really won’t want to keep for any important reason, so these books we put in a box and took to the Pella Public Library9.  Several times a year the library has a book sale. Many people donate books to be sold there at very cheap prices, and the money goes for items that the library needs, like extra book shelves, computer paper etc.  As usual, I found some books that we really could part with, so Don carried a box of books to the library and left them to be sold at the book sale two weeks ago.


Pella also has what we call our Food Shelf10.  This is a place where townspeople bring canned and boxed food items that can be given to people in need of food.  For many people their contributions11 to the Food Shelf are given through the church they attend.  Once a month we go through our pantry12 and take food items or personal items such as soap and tooth paste to our church to be given to the Food Bank.  That is a year round type of “cleaning” for me.13


Last week my cleaning lady and I made a thorough spring cleaning of my spice cupboard14.  We checked all of the things in it, decided what spices were no longer fresh enough to use etc.  The unwanted items were thrown away; they wouldn’t be good for anyone.  However, I feel very good about that job because now I know what I have and also feel that everything is really fresh.


Today I am cleaning another kitchen cupboard.  In it I keep many small plastic food storage containers15.  These containers are useful but take up a lot of space.  Their lids also get misplaced16.  Don and I have decided on a different way to store the containers after I have gone through them.  Perhaps I won’t lose so many lids this way.  Wish me luck!




1. launder: wash and iron clothes, sheets etc. (洗熨).

2. slats: thin flat pieces of wood, plastic etc. used especially in furniture (板条).

3. Venetian blinds: 百叶窗帘

4. chores: jobs which must be done regularly (日常琐事).

5. Pella Clothing Bank: a room in a city building where used clothing in good condition for further wear can be left, and which is then either sold for a minimal cost, or given to people who need it (派拉旧衣库,用来放置还可以继续穿的旧衣服以便低价出售或送给需要的人).

6. needy:  having very little food or money (穷困的).

7. closets: cupboards built into the walls of a house from the floor to the ceiling for the storage of clothing (壁橱).

8. part with: give something to someone else (给别人).

9. Pella Public Library: 派拉公共图书馆

10. food shelf: an area in the city where food may be collected and made available to needy families (食品架,收集食品的地方,并将这些食品送给贫困的家庭).  It is free on an honor system in which those who say they are in need of food are permitted to take a certain amount of food without cost, each week.

11. contributions: items given voluntarily (贡献出来的东西).

12. pantry: 食品储藏室

13. That is a year round type of cleaning for me:这就是我每年搞一次的清理。

14. spice cupboard: 调料橱柜

15. plastic food storage containers: plastic containers of varied size and shapes which may be used to store food temporarily (塑料食品盒).

16. get misplaced: 被放错了地方

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