Did you know the age-old tradition of Spring Cleaning has both cultural and religious origins?
The Washington Post says that back in the 1800’s when homes were lit with oil lamps. that things got pretty greasy and grimy inside the house.
When the weather turned warm, around springtime, it was the perfect time to open windows and let the soot out. It was also a great time to haul everything out of the house and give it a good scrubbing.
In the Jewish custom, spring cleaning is linked to Passover, which occurs in March or April.
Before the start of the holiday, a general cleaning takes place in order to remove any yeast bread, or chametz, from the home.
Apartment Therapy says in Christian custom, Catholics would clean the church altar the day before Good Friday. Also, members of the Greek Orthodox church clean house for a week leading up to Lent.
In Iran, the holiday Nowruz, or Persian New Year, coincides with the first day of spring. The 13-day celebration traditionally involves cleaning (or “shaking the house”), buying new clothes, and spending time with family and friends.
Spring Cleaning doesn’t just have cultural or religious roots though.
It probably has more to do with simple biology.
With spring comes more sunshine and longer days. When we are exposed to more sunlight, the less melatonin we produce. Less melatonin means we are more awake.
It’s possible that we spring clean simply because we are waking up from a winter-long melatonin-induced stupor and find more energy as the days grow longer upon the arrival of spring.
Or, maybe it’s just because when the sun shines through the windows, we see how gross they really are. Seeing all the dust that has accumulated during those dark winter days might also be a reason.
When Spring arrives, I want to start cleaning and organizing everything! Is that how you feel too? Then, do you get exhausted thinking about all there is to do?
I sure do!
However, I figured out how to simplify your spring cleaning and mine.
How would you like to simplify your spring cleaning? It’s not hard, I promise.
First, create a list of all the things needed to do to maintain the home and yard.
Second, prioritize the list.
- by when it needs to be done
- by what needs to be done first
Third, schedule it onto the calendar.
- Don’t just schedule for the spring either. Schedule the entire year. You can find home maintenance schedules in books and on the internet. There are lots of places to look for home maintenance schedules.
- Follow through on the schedule you have created on your calendar.
Fifth, but not really because it’s done all year long, is maintenance.
- If the schedule I have created works for me, I maintain the schedule. If not, I adjust.
Spring is here. What if I haven’t created a list yet. Where do I start?
Personally, the first thing I do is dust walls and surfaces (including the ceiling fans and the shades). Then, I have the windows washed. I then move on to the rest of the early spring cleaning. These are the things I do in early spring when the sun is shining but it’s not necessarily that warm outside.
What I like to clean in early spring are things that have hung out in the closed-up house all winter and haven’t been able to breathe. I think of the things that collect dust that we aren’t really able to see. These are the things I am going to clean or pay someone to clean in early spring. Most of them are made of some sort of fabric.
- shades and curtains
- blankets, throws, and cushions
- upholstered furniture
- carpets and throw rugs
- mattresses and pillows
- change furnace filters
That is how I simplify my spring cleaning. And how to simplify your spring cleaning as well!
Tell me in the comments below what the method to your spring cleaning madness is…