Whichever part of the world you live in, with the arrival of spring comes the urge to fling open your doors and windows, let fresh airflow through your home, and give the place a good “spring clean”.
What is “Spring Cleaning”?
Spring cleaning is a thorough deep clean of your home. It may be both literal and metaphorical – in terms of simplifying and reinvigorating your home, your life, and your mind.
In English, the term “spring cleaning” dates to the mid-1800s. During the 1800s, homes were coated over the winter in soot and grime from fireplaces and oil or kerosene lamps. Cleaning this required opening all windows, and warmer weather was necessary to do this – spring being ideal.
The practice of spring cleaning has occurred for many hundreds or even thousands of years:
- Iranians celebrate Persian New Year at the vernal (spring) equinox on March 21st. This time signifies renewal and optimism, and the custom of khooneh takouni or “shaking the house” is a vigorous cleaning ritual of the entire home.
- The ancient Hebrews and modern Jews ritually and thoroughly clean the home before Passover, an important religious festival which occurs in the northern spring around the Christian and Pagan Easter celebrations.
- The Chinese believe that thorough cleaning in preparation for the Lunar New Year (which occurs at the beginning of the northern spring) will bring good fortune.
- Catholic and Orthodox observers traditionally clean in the lead up to Lent.
The ancients also understood the importance of cleaning in spring as a tool for health and survival. With the coming of spring, warmth, and more hours of sunlight, energy levels rose, the weather was better, and it was a great time to clear homes of dirt, grime, dust, and the germs that resulted from spending the season inside.
It was also important to do this before warmer temperatures encouraged bacteria and mould to grow.
Is Spring Cleaning Necessary?
While modern homes are likely cleaner than those of our ancestors were (as most of us have a regular cleaning schedule) it’s still a great idea to embrace spring cleaning. Spring cleaning is very therapeutic and wonderful for the mind.
Spring Cleaning is Good for you Because:
- It lets you reset; you’ll find things and be more organized, hence more productive.
- Your home will be healthier – removing dust and other allergens, letting in the fresh air, and eliminating dirt and germs.
- You’ll feel happy, satisfied, and your mood will lift for greater motivation.
- Spring cleaning is a stress-buster – cleaning itself is therapeutic and you’ll feel calmer in a clean, tidy, and fresh home.
- You will be more focused – a clean, uncluttered home translates to a clear mind.
When Should I Start Spring Cleaning?
Spring cleaning is ideally done in March (northern hemisphere) or September (southern hemisphere). The weather is warming up and very pleasant for opening windows and doors, letting in the fresh air and eliminating dust, but not yet too hot or likely to have insects as an issue as they will come later in spring.
Top 10 Spring Cleaning Tips
Spring cleaning can be as intensive as you wish. We could list 50 tasks or even more – but here are our top 10 to get you on the right track:
1. Approach your Cleaning Room by Room.
- This makes the overall job less overwhelming; you’ll be more organized, get more done, and feel extreme satisfaction as you tick each room off as complete.
- It will be much easier to clean once there is less “junk” lying around. Put everything away in its proper place and get rid of what no longer serves you.
2. Cleaning of Floor Coverings.
If you have carpets or rugs, have these deep cleaned every spring to remove dirt, dust, pet hair and dander, and the microscopic critters that reside in there and cause allergies. Sweep, vacuum, and mop hard floor surfaces. You may even get a professional carpet cleaner to clean all your carpeted areas.
3. Using Organic Cleaners.
Make your own organic, Eco-friendly cleaning solution using hot water, white vinegar, and some lemon juice or drops of essential oil of eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint, orange, or lemon.
4. General Cleaning and Dusting.
Clean architraves, skirting boards, ceiling fans, power switch plates, and light switches throughout your home, as well as windows, windowsills, and shutters. Use mold destroyer if there is mold or mildew build-up on these from the winter months.
5. Dust all furniture.
Consider rearranging furniture and decor for fresher energy, a change in appearance, and a different feel to your room.
6. Clean your kitchen from top to bottom.
Including your drawers, pantry, bin, refrigerator, microwave, and oven. This will mean emptying each and cleaning it thoroughly, as well as wiping down items before they are replaced. Throw out anything that’s out of date or broken.
7. Deep clean your bathroom and laundry.
Bleach and remove mold and mildew and clean out cabinets as per the above kitchen instructions. Clean your dryer and washing machine lint filters and run a deep cleaning hot wash with a cup of white vinegar in your empty washing machine.
8. Throw open windows throughout your home.
Strip beds and wash all linens and let them line-dry in the sunshine. Vacuum mattresses after sprinkling with bicarbonate of soda and leaving for a few hours (this will deodorize the mattress). Wash or replace pillows.
9. Organize your wardrobe/closet.
Take everything out; make sure nothing is soiled (launder it if so) and decide what to keep, what to donate, and what to toss. If you have off-season clothing, pack it away until next autumn.
There’s little more satisfying than having a fresh, deep cleaned home all in one go, especially when you can also let the balmy breezes of spring flow through your home. You don’t need to wait for spring to do spring cleaning! If your home needs a good clean, or you’re simply feeling the urge, go ahead – no matter what time of the year it is! You will be very happy you did and you’ll get so much more pleasure out of your home – after all, it is your haven from the world.