How did the tradition of spring cleaning start, and why are we doing it?
What is spring cleaning and how did it start?
For those of us who have not encountered the four seasons in our home countries, this could be our first time to witness these phenomena. If you believe that spring cleaning involves the general cleaning of one’s home after the winter is over, you’re right. Spring cleaning is exactly that and more. It is often known to be a tradition rooted in history, theology, and also our genetics.
Spring cleaning traditions
In the early 1800s, general cleaning in the spring was important because households were coated with soot from the sources of heating they used during the winter. Families ignited lamps fueled by kerosene or whale oil and burned coal or wood in their fireplaces during the cold season. So when the air was colder, people scrubbed, dusted, and cleaned everything in their homes to keep the grime and the soot out of their homes. We don’t have to compete with soot and grime now with the introduction of central heating. But we also do the cleaning during spring because it’s safe to air our homes and minimize the dust that’s gathered in the winter. And, since we have a lot of sunshine in the spring, we get more involved and energized. Scientists believe that with longer daylight, our bodies contain less melatonin, a hormone that triggers sleep. That’s why we’re more likely to do more jobs in warmer months.
Spring cleaning is often associated with many cultural and religious values. For eg, in Jewish tradition, it is connected to the Passover, which is a memorial of the emancipation of the Jews from slavery. It is encountered in March or April and is used for general cleaning of the home to eliminate any residue of yeast or yeast bread (Jewish slaves in Egypt survived on unleavened bread so eating any food with yeast is not considered Kosher). In the same way, certain Christian faiths practice a cleaning ritual before Lent, which involves cleaning their houses, particularly their altars on Monday before Good Friday.
In Iranian culture, the New Year of Nowruz or Persian occurs on the first day of spring. This holiday involves a rigorous house cleaning called khooneh takouni means “shaking the house.” The Chinese also clean their houses the day before their new year (also called the Spring Festival) to get rid of bad luck, so there’s more room for good fortune.
Spring cleaning tips:
Inspired to do some spring cleaning on your own? Here are a few tips:
- Divide the work
General cleaning can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You should clean up the environment on a phased schedule. Plus, you don’t have to do it all by yourself. Over the spring break, the children should clean their quarters. Assign an extra space for older ones to clean up, for example, a den or living room, and they’re the ones who would need it a lot more anyway.
- Prioritize areas where moisture can build-up
Clean places like the washroom, basement, and kitchen sink thoroughly. The mold will grow where the moisture is. It may cause asthma, sinus infection, or respiratory issues, not to mention the development of an unpleasant musty smell. If you suspect your home has mold, buy a mold test kit from any hardware store, or call a specialist.
- Remove allergens
The most popular allergens within your home are dust mites, dander (if you have a pet), and pollen from plants and flowers. Make sure you have vacuum carpets and rugs as well as sofas and sofas (be sure to get the hard-to-reach places like the corners and under the cushion if they are removable). Wash or replace the mattress. Clean dust from cupboards, cabinets, windows, and other surfaces using a damp cloth. Be careful to open your windows in mid-spring, particularly if a family member has allergies. This is the moment when the wind will hold a significant number of plant spores or pollen. The Weather Network has a regular forecast of pollen. Check for updates on whether you or another family member has allergies.
Time to keep winter clothing like skates, skis, winter coats, and so on. Make sure you store them in your wardrobe correctly. You might need to re-arrange your wardrobe to allow room. This makes it the right time to search if you have clothing, shoes, and other accessories that you no longer need and donate them to anyone in need.
- Get your backyard ready
Clear out your backyard and garden of branches, leaves, and other debris. You may need to rake out the soil or take out weeds from your lawn. This may inspire you to start a garden this year! It’s the best time to prepare the area, choose what plants you like and start working on your garden.