Spring cleaning is a phrase that some delight in and others loathe. But, either way you look at it, it’s a chance to get a fresh start and get your house in order before another season passes you by.
Spring Cleaning, Then and Now
The origins of spring cleaning are a bit scattered, as they have roots in different traditions. The Jewish cleaned before Passover, the Greek and Orthodox nations clean before Lent and in North America, March was a good time for cleaning because the weather was warm again and people could open up the windows and get the dust out of the rooms.
In the past, when people heated their houses with coal and oil and wood, and lighted them with candles in the winter, the coming of spring signaled a welcome opportunity to make a dingy living space fresh again. On the first warm, dry day of the season, everybody in the family would come together to clean off soot and dust from not only everything in the house, but the house as well. They were coming out of the darkness of winter and into the light of spring.
Spring is a New Start
Nowadays, spring cleaning is an opportunity to shake off the doldrums of the winter and step into the newness of spring. Everything is alive and in bloom, why not bring that energy into your house? Cleaning brings a renewed sense of purpose and accomplishment to you as well!
When are spring cleaning, how much you clean is up to you. Maybe you just need to organize a bookshelf that you haven’t made time for, or maybe you really want to tackle the growing project of your overstuffed garage. Just seeing the difference of your efforts is motivation enough to get going.
Spring Cleaning and Time
Deep cleaning your house can be overwhelming. But, if you break it down and focus on one room at a time, things become more manageable. Taking a full week to accomplish your goal can give you the time you need to really clean your house. Cleaning one room at a time also helps you better see what needs to be done, as you are not scattered in your tasks.
Surface cleaning can be more minimal and done quickly, while deeper cleaning and purging can require more time and effort. Whatever extent you take your cleaning to, you are sure to experience a sense of relief and renewal. Less clutter creates less stress for your life. Read more about clearing clutter in my blog, Organize and Clear Clutter. When you look around at a clean house, there is a more room to breathe and a new energy that comes from having made decisions about your mess.
Spring Cleaning and Your Brain
Spring cleaning allows you to take your focus off of everything else and concentrate solely on what you are doing. While you are dusting or cleaning out the grime off your stove, your brain is releasing endorphins that make you feel good, not only about what you’re doing but yourself, too!
Cleaning also relieves the tension of having clutter in your space and always being that one thing in the back of your mind that you need to get done. Stress goes down and you can relax as you make progress.
Cleaning Year Round
Most people are busy enough that they don’t have enough time to deep clean continuously. Some spring cleaning tasks are designed to keep things running smoothly. For example, if you organize your closet very well, you can keep that organization going by simply putting things in their place or keeping things off of the floor.
For closets, a good way to see which clothes you actually wear, is to turn all of your hangers backwards in your closet so that you can see what you wear in the course of 6 months. Hangers are put back normally if you wear the item. Also, keeping a donation box that you empty out every month, keeps your closet free of buildup of unwanted clothing and children’s rooms free of outgrown toys.
A weekly cleaning of the entire house will keep clutter at bay and keep you feeling up to date with your to-do list. This allows you to tackle problems as they come along instead of starting with a lot of pileup to sort through.
I was featured on Good Morning Arizona where I gave great tips on spring cleaning your closet. Check out the video!
A New You, Too
A good spring cleaning can open up new opportunities as well. Maybe you have been waiting to invite over company until your living room was at its best or when those piles of paper were out of the kitchen. Perhaps you felt that your home was not good enough to have people over.
A clean home is inviting, not only to you, but to others, too. It’s more comfortable and to easier to relax in a clean environment when there’s not so much visual information to process. And, when you are relaxed, you make a more fun host for your guests!