Getting rid of the cobwebs
Mild temperatures bring on thoughts of spring cleaning

by Anne-Marie Jennings
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 03/98) - As a layer of water slowly starts to form on top of the ice, Yellowknifers' thoughts turn to the layer of clutter in their closets.

It's time once again for spring cleaning.

For many people it's an annual ritual of cleaning house and home so as soon as the grass rears its head again the chore will be done and you can finally be where you want to be -- outside.

But where does the "junk" end up?

Jeannie Rocher at the Second Hand Swap Shop in Yellowknife said that there is an increase in their business in the spring -- but not just because people are into spring cleaning.

"It's income tax refund time," Rocher said.

She added that customers are interested in both selling and buying furniture.

"A lot of people are wanting to decorate," Rocher explained. "They trade in the furniture they do have because they want a new look for their home. "There are also a lot of garage sales at this time of year."

But the welcome change in weather and its effect on people is not limited to simply sweeping out the dirt from underneath the area rug. In some cases, spring cleaning also leads to redecorating.

Dan Halldorson, owner of Woodland Interiors, said that spring does bring a lot of thought to renovations, but fairly little in the way of action.

"People do a lot of pricing, but not a lot of people follow through," Halldorson said. "I'd say about 80 percent of the people who call for an estimate will either not follow through or do the work themselves."

Halldorson added that the age of a structure can also directly influence the need for redecoration. For example, if a home is sporting two-year-old paint, the owners are likely to ask for an estimate and go no further.

But if a house is sporting paint which has been on the wall longer than six years, there will almost certainly be a new coat of paint applied.

And as for his prediction on this year's spring business:

"There's not as much cash flow this year," he said. "But I find while there are a lot of people shopping, there aren't a lot of people buying."

With spring just finally beginning to rear its head in Yellowknife, Halldorson said that the adventure for many would-be renovators has only begun.

"People are just starting to think about it."

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