Spring time is the traditional time to give your home a good declutter and clean.
It is a time of new life, right? So, why not get rid of all the stuff that no longer serves a purpose and is cluttering our lives.
After the winter chill, it’s just a nice time to open up our homes and breathe new life into them. In winter, often we simply don’t have the energy to clean – shorter days bring on sleepiness; once the days start to get longer our energy increases.
But how did the ‘spring-clean’ become an annual tradition…or should that be job? And why does it need only happen once a year?
The history of spring-cleaning is actually rooted in religious and cultural traditions, and while they may not necessarily be the same reasons why you kick start your spring clean, it is interesting to consider how it all came about.
In the Northern Hemisphere, where spring comes in our autumn, a deep clean was part of many religious customs. It has been linked to Jewish Passover, Christian families preparing for Good Friday and the lead up to Lent for those within the Greek Orthodox Church. In Iranian culture the Persian New Year falls on the first day of spring, and part of this was a traditional ritual known as ‘khooneh takouni’ meaning ‘shaking the house’. Leading up to the Chinese New Year, families would often rid their homes of negativity and lingering spirits.
Prior to electric heaters and reverse cycle air conditioners, warming the home often required indoor wood fires, oil or kerosene lamps heated with wood or coal, which would leave homes coated in soot and grime. Proper cleaning could only be done once warmer weather arrived.
Where to start on that big clean?
- First things first, make a plan. Lists are your friend when it comes to breaking down a large task. Plan your time per task and make it manageable. Whether cupboard by cupboard, room by room, try not to set yourself unrealistic goals.
- Before your kick in to cleaning mode, remove clutter. Decluttering can feel overwhelming but it can also feel rejuvenating. There are plenty of ways you can go about removing things that aren’t necessary – for example, separate into boxes what you need/use frequently, what is sentimental, and what you could do without. Make sure you have space for this task and be prepared for things to look worse before they look better. If you’re after a set process to follow, jump online to find one that works for you.
- Work out how you are going to clean and with what. Thankfully technology has made cleaning a little less time-consuming. If you are going room by room, make sure you finish one room before you move on to the next. Shut the door when you’re done and forget it.
- Should you ease into it with small and satisfying tasks first? Or jump straight into your least favourite job? Well, the answer to that is up to you, but either way, once it’s done, it’s going to be satisfying.
If like for many of us, the idea of a thorough deep spring clean or big declutter is a little overwhelming, why not adopt some regular regimes throughout the year to lessen the burden of a big task come September?
There’s no reason it all has to be done at once. Why not sort through your office space/filing at tax time – you’ll be sorting throughout paperwork then anyway. Or when the jumpers start to come out, why not sort through your wardrobe and donate any items that someone else could enjoy? Or use the visit from the in-laws as the time to deep clean your bathroom.
No-one will be judging the state of your house come the end of spring. Take your time to sort through and clean as you wish. Don’t miss all the best fun of the season to stay home and do something you may not completely enjoy.
Remember when you’re in the midst of decluttering, you’re improving the space for yourself to enjoy.