Every Easter, between the Masters golf championship and the Easter Bunny, the Carpenter and I begin our spring-cleaning.  It is a cleansing ritual, if you will, and a rude awakening of our family’s propensity to collect crap.

This inspired me to consider a career change. I think I should be a life coach for people who want to get married and have children.  I would accomplish two very important things in this role; first, I would lower the divorce rate by creating fear of marriage and, secondly, I would ensure that those foolish enough to ignore my advice would at least be prepared and thus, would go into the spirit of matrimony with their eyes wide open, (and I do mean wide).

I would start with the issue of home décor. You see, young women today grow up with visions of style magazines and home improvement fantasies in their organized, colour-coded heads. Most of these women have been independent in their lives too, earning their own money and coming into the marriage with their own treasure chest of furniture and décor.  It may be Ikea, but it has style.

Yet these women forget that they have fallen in love with men who think nailing art to a wall can be done with a staple gun or worse, a set of tacks.  Laundry bins become bedside tables, because while they never actually stow dirty laundry, they make a great spot to store sports equipment and if you balance your coffee carefully enough, it won’t spill. The arguments start when the your dream man asks why it’s okay for you, the wife, to put out a vase full of dried flowers but he cannot put out his shot glass collection next to his ’02 Spring Break memorabilia, a bottle of tequila with the worm still in it. It’s a collectible, don’t you know?

While a young couple settles on building their nest, the compromises may go fairly smooth and this fools them into adding children to the mix. Right, because children will fit your life (giggle), you won’t fit theirs (snort), and you’ll finally have the time to organize your life while the baby naps (guffaw).

New parents don’t know that children will infiltrate every aspect of their lives, which is pretty fabulous to be honest. That’s not the hard part. No, the hard part is what happens when they infiltrate your home. Every nook and cranny is filled with stuff, from toys to clothes to seasonal toys and clothes, to future toys and clothes and the giveaway toys and clothes. Do you see the pattern?

It’s okay, though, because all new couples plan to renovate and make their home bigger, more spacious and workable. Sometime between two full time jobs and four sports, doctor’s appointments and birthday parties, you can get that reno done in a jiffy, because your bank will be vying to send you into overdraft. Right.

That one slays me. I would insist all newly married couples be banned from watching those home improvement shows, pornography for the wanna-be self-improvement generation. You know, where they completely gut a house in day and, with a budget for new appliances and a team of professionals and designers, they transform your home into your castle within a week? Such a tease. It’s cruel, really.

See? Spring-cleaning stirs up more than dust bunnies.

You can crack under the pressure or you can sort it out. Life is messy. Go ahead and get dirty.