Spring Cleaning Guide: How to Spring Clean Your Whole House
Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition with deep cultural, religious, and historical roots. Whether you and your household personally subscribe to the beliefs and practices that underpin this centuries-old tradition, your drive to spring clean taps into a time-tested, passed-down custom.
Spring cleaning also ties back to the history of keeping winter houses warm and lit with fires and kerosene. These methods filled houses with soot and grime that was an inevitability as people stayed shut in against the cold winter, but that eventually (needless to say) had to be cleaned. Warm weather and longer days meant being able to stop generating all that soot and that windows could be opened to air out the house as residents scrubbed all that literal darkness away.
These days, the practice of spring cleaning is so ingrained in our heritage that even if we don’t follow the practice because of a long winter of burning coal, we feel that pull to throw open our windows and remove all the long-settled dust and dirt from our home environments. As we welcome warmer days and the golden rays of sun that tease buds from barren branches, we want a new start, too. Spring cleaning gives it to us.
Why is Spring Cleaning Important?
Spring cleaning is a chance to reset everything in your home. It’s a chance to catch up on all the cleaning tasks you’ve been meaning to get to or to do the ones that niggle at you. Instead of laying awake wondering when you last cleaned your mattress, for instance, spring cleaning is the nudge you need to get it done and get the idea out of your head. In addition, deep cleaning once a year staves off bigger problems, like a mold takeover of your grout. You can clear dust and grime from areas that hardly ever see the nozzle of a vacuum cleaner attachment. By the time spring cleaning is finished, your home will feel so fresh and clean—a state of habitation that will serve you well, both in mind and body. Spring cleaning is also a good opportunity to make sure that certain maintenance chores that only need to be done once or a few times a year get checked off the list. When these types of tasks are tied to spring cleaning, it’s more likely you remember to do them. Some of these tasks make a big difference in the longevity, usefulness, and look of your home, such as polishing and sealing granite. Others, such as cleaning out your dryer, are a safety issue.
When Should You Start Spring Cleaning?
There are two ways to answer this question: Subjectively, you should start spring cleaning when you sense that new-start spring freshness start to come in on the warm afternoon breezes. When you start feeling like you want to throw open the windows and begin to wonder how the deck furniture is doing under its covers, you know spring cleaning is around the corner. Tapping into the feeling of newness that ushers in the season grounds you in the uplifting spirit of rebirth that will help you clean with purpose and momentum.
Objectively, you should start spring cleaning when you can clear out a solid day or two in your schedule to devote to the task. For many, this may be the weekend. Keep the weekend or your day clear and dedicate it to giving your home the love and care it deserves so it can love and care for you. Although you may be tempted to spread out spring cleaning tasks over a longer period of time, keeping the project more concentrated focuses your efforts and pays off with that squeaky-clean-house feeling that only spring cleaning gives.
How Do I Start Spring Cleaning my House?
Spring cleaning is a wonderful concept, but it’s not going to happen in your house unless you do it. Making that leap from “that’s a great idea; I should do that” to actually spring cleaning involves a few stepping stones. First, decide that you are going to spring clean and tell someone so you’re accountable. This can be your spouse, housemate, mother who lives across the country, you Facebook friends, whatever. But publicizing your commitment will help you keep it.
Next, make a plan. The details don’t matter when it comes to galvanizing you into action. But having a rough outline of what you’ll do, whether it’s a room-by-room list of what needs to get done or a whole-house checklist of tasks you want to accomplish brings substance to your goals and functions like a map that will get you where you want to go: a spring cleaned (past tense) house.
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