Swept and dusted sitting-room & kitchen 350 times. Filled lamps 362 times. Swept and dusted chamber & stairs 40 times.
Entry from a housewife’s diary (1864)
The Origins of the Spring Cleaning Tradition
We are a couple of weeks into spring, and many minds are turning towards spring cleaning. Spring cleaning involves cleaning your home thoroughly, from top to bottom. It also helps to throw open your windows afterwards to let in the fresh spring air.
But why do we spring clean? Who started the tradition? There are several opinions.
Before the modern era of efficient heating, spring cleaning made sense. Homes were closed up tightly in the cold winter months and smelly, dirty fuels from the fireplace, coal burning stoves, and kerosene heaters, would cover everything in the house with smoke and soot. When spring came around the house could be opened up again and walls, woodwork and rugs were given a deep cleaning.
Fortunately today we have much cleaner choices for heating our homes so they do not get nearly as dirty during the colder months. Our homes get less dirty during this time because they are closed up! So because of that we believe Fall is the best time of year for a deep cleaning; the wonderful results will last longer!
Religious or Cultural Traditions
During the Jewish religious holiday of Passover, all traces of food made with yeast (leavened) must be removed from the home. In order to do so, observant Jews would thoroughly clean the house. The night before the Passover holiday, there would be a hunt for leavened bread (chametz) crumbs by candlelight.
It is part of Greek Orthodox tradition to thoroughly clean in the week before or during the first week of Lent. The cleaning would typically take an entire week.
The Persian New Year celebration (Nouroz) occurs at the beginning of Spring. Before Nouroz begins, Persian women traditionally “shake the house.” Called khooneh takouni, this thorough cleaning even involves cleaning the ceilings!
As part of the Chinese tradition, homes must be thoroughly cleaned before the beginning of the Chinese New Year. This cleaning includes throwing out broken household items, and might also include Feng Shui.
So while we may not know exactly why we spring clean – we do know one thing. It makes us feel good!
Want to experience the benefits of spring cleaning without the drudgery? Hire a professional cleaning service like Sponge & Sparkle to handle it for you.
Here’s feedback from a few customers.
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Cleaned Every Nook & CrannyWalking into my house after Sponge & Sparkle had cleaned it was fantastic! They cleaned every nook and cranny, steamed the cabinets, got the cobwebs from our vaulted ceilings – even set my daughters doll on a pillow with a blanket. These folks care about what they do and it shows! They do a fantastic job, are reliable, honest and a pleasure to work with. My house was a mess and they fixed it!
About the author:
Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.
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