Have you ever needed to move your refrigerator and saw the dust, dirt, and who knows what else behind it? Then, you think back to remember when the last time was that you moved the refrigerator, and you are embarrassed to say you have no idea!
Cleaning is not something that a rigid housewife thought of to punish her children. God commanded cleanliness all throughout the Bible, especially in the book of Leviticus!
David the Psalmist said, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” (Psalm 57:1)
Where does the history of spring cleaning begin? It actually began with the Israelites preparing for Passover. All the house was cleaned, and all the yeast was purged from the house before Passover. (source)
According to dictionary.com spring cleaning is “
Today we have many modern conveniences in the United States. However, this was not always the case here, and is not the case in many other countries in the world. For example, in the Soviet Union where I grew up, we did not have vacuum cleaners. To clean a big area rug, someone would take it outside, hang it over the clothesline, and beat it with a broom (I remember this well). Of course, this was done in warm weather, not when it was 10 degrees below zero.
Why clean in the spring, though, instead of winter or summer? During the winter, most homes used to be heated by coal or wood. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you know what happens to your walls, curtains, and furniture.
There is a layer of black soot covering everything, and it actually does not wait until spring to form. It’s there within days of using the fireplace or wood stove to heat. If you open doors and windows to air it out, you defeat the purpose of heating your home. Therefore, by spring, the house desperately needs a cleaning–and possibly a painting!
In addition, there is limited daylight in the winter. To clean something well takes much sunlight, especially back before the days of modern electricity. When the sun sets at 4 or 5 pm, your time to clean is very limited, and even with the help of electricity, it’s more difficult to clean without natural sunlight.
Therefore, spring became the ideal time to clean and air the house out. Even though you have modern conveniences, consider five reasons to spring clean.
1. Germs and dirt have been in your home in the winter.
Spring is the perfect excuse to get rid of any lingering germs with a deep clean. Just think about all the germs you have brought into your home from stores, cafes, and other public places! With spring representing new life and new beginnings, germs just don’t belong in your home.
With your home extra clean, it will help your family to stay healthy. When the weather outside is beautiful, no one wants to be inside and ill. You want to be outside reading a book, riding a bicycle, taking a walk, or just enjoying the sunshine.
Think of all the dirt, sand, and salt you’ve tracked into your home over the winter months. With spring here, you and your family won’t be tracking in as much salt or sand; it’s a good time to get rid of it all so that you don’t feel as though you’re shoveling during a blizzard (cleaning when you know more sand and salt will be arriving in your home momentarily). 🙂
2. It’s finally warm enough to air out the house.
Cleaning and airing out the house just go together. You can finally open the windows for more than five minutes without freezing. If you have been suffering from headaches and just an overall feeling of drowsiness, getting fresh air inside your home can make a huge difference!
As you are airing out your home, you are removing the pollution caused by candles, cleaners, and air fresheners. Go here to learn more.
3. In the spring, the days are long enough to get much accomplished in one day!
When you set out to deep clean your home, you want to be working for at least a few hours at a time. I know when I get one project done, it’s very easy to get to the next project enthusiastically. You’re already in the mode, have your cleaning clothes on, and have your cleaning supplies organized and accessible.
When you begin cleaning the kitchen, you may notice cobwebs that you did not before. Those cobwebs may have been there for quite a while longer had you not begun your spring cleaning.
The more you clean, the more you realize what else needs to be cleaned. Then you will have an exceptionally clean house if you take the time to do it right!
4. If you have allergies, you don’t want any extra dust in the house.
Spring can already bring sneezing and watering eyes. You don’t need dust to aggravate your symptoms.
Carpets and blinds are sneaky ways for those dust mites to hide out in your house. In addition, think of all the dust behind furniture. Once you move the furniture to sweep/vacuum and clean behind it, clean the blinds, and deep clean the carpet (including edging)–you will find it much easier to breathe!
5. Your house will look brighter with clean windows.
Windows are like mirrors. Without being touched, they can become rather dirty. You’ll want clean windows so that you can take full advantage of the natural sunlight streaming in! You may even discover that you can turn the lights on later in the day or early evening!
The benefit of spring cleaning are endless. While I’ve not officially begun spring cleaning, I cleaned out a drawer and found some gift cards that still had balances! It was exciting to know I had money to spend at one of my favorite home goods stores.
Think of the refreshing feel of your home as it is all clean at one time. As the weather gets warmer, you’ll be happy to be able to work in your gardens or flower beds knowing that the house is super clean. If you try to work outside and inside at the same time, it’s more stressful.
When you walk into your home after grocery shopping, you will smell how clean everything is since you took all that time to spring clean thoroughly.
Is this your first time spring cleaning? Don’t worry – here is a quick list to get you started.
- Dust the ceiling fan and light fixture.
- Wash sheets, mattress cover, pillow cases, blankets, pillows, and curtains.
- Remove blinds and soak them in the bath tub with a mild detergent for about half an hour. Rinse, dry, and hang them back up.
- Dust all horizontal and vertical places (top, front, sides, and back of dresser, nightstand, and any other furniture).
- Clean everything you dusted.
- Move all furniture. Dust the walls, behind your headboard, and the baseboards.
- Vacuum your mattress.
- Dust above door frames.
- Clean doorknobs and doors.
- If needed, wash the walls.
- Wash the windows and window sills.
- Wash shower curtain and all rugs. Bonus: hang them outside to dry. 🙂
- Scrub the commode inside and outside (don’t use bleach; it can cause rust/stains to set in rather than to go away).
- Clean out the medicine cabinet and properly dispose of expired medication.
- Take everything out of the drawers and cabinets.
- Throw away all expired personal care items and mostly empty bottles of shampoo you know you won’t use up.
- Take off your shower head and soak it in a ziplock bag full of vinegar.
- Clean the shower/bathtub from top to bottom.
- Wash the door, door knob, and handles.
- Clean out the sink with a rag or paper towel and baking soda (you don’t need Comet).
- Do the same with the bath tub.
- Sweep the floor.
- Scrub the floor with a scrub brush (for tile, not wood) and a mild cleaning detergent that does not cause fumes.
- Use a broom with a rag on it to clean any cobwebs (you may or may not see them).
- Throw away expired food in the fridge.
- Wash all surfaces of the fridge (inside and out) with a mild biodegradable cleaner. You’ll want to move it out (with help, if need be, and vacuum the coils too.)
- Take out all drawers and wash them with above mentioned cleaner in the sink.
- Run your dishwasher with no cleaner, just a cup in the top rack filled with vinegar–on the longest and hottest cycle.
- Clean your oven–without harsh chemicals.
- Clean all knobs that turn on the stove. Remove them if possible.
- Clean behind the faucet.
- Wash the fronts of all cabinets and drawers, including the handles.
- Dust and clean the tops of your cabinets (if there is space between them and the ceiling).
- Take down and clean light fixtures.
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What is your favorite spring cleaning task? How do you organize your spring cleaning?