The ritual of spring cleaning has been around for centuries. It’s the practice of giving your home a deep cleaning when the weather gets warmer. While we’ve had a reasonably mild winter here in the Phoenix area, anyway, it’s still a great time to get into some heavy duty cleaning. To get you in the spirit, we’re bringing you a history of the tradition and some tips on how to really get down and dirty in order to get your home squeaky clean!
The History of Spring Cleaning
Researchers have traced the potential origins of spring cleaning to the ancient Jewish practice of thoroughly cleaning the home in preparation for Passover, the celebration of the Israelites’ liberation from slavery and their exodus from Egypt nearly 3,000 years ago. As part of the tradition, all traces of chametz or leavened bread are removed from the home before the holiday begins.
Another potential origin story for the tradition comes from the Iranian practice of “khooneh tekouni,” which translates as “shaking the house.” The Persian new year starts on the first day of spring, and the first day of the year lends itself to cleaning out the dust and making a fresh start. The timing of spring cleaning continues today in Europe and North America thanks to its practical value. Before the advent of modern cleaning products and appliances, the first break in the cold weather was the best time to open windows and doors in order to dust out the home.
Some Great Spring Cleaning Tips for Today
Clean out the Closets. Getting rid of old, unwanted clothes and taking them to a donation center is a great way to feel lighter and more organized every time you get dressed in the morning.
Hit the Fixtures. Especially in dusty climates like ours, lights, ceiling fans and skylights can get pretty saturated in dirt. A few minutes on a stepladder and some cleaner will give new light to your life.
Wash the Walls and Baseboards. While it often goes unnoticed, getting rid of the layer of dust on the walls and baseboards makes a world of difference. Use a sponge and a gentle dishwashing soap to knock it out.
Check the Air Filters. This is a great time to check the status of your air filter, especially since your central cooling system is about to go back to work for the summer.