Why do we Spring Clean? – Atlanta House Cleaning Blog

Posted on April 7, 2016. Filed under: Atlanta House Cleaning | Tags: , , |



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.

Inefficient Heating

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.

Best Deep Cleaning In (Atlanta)

Raina and her crew do a fantastic job. I just knew when I spoke to her that I was working with a pro and they delivered in a big way. My house is not just clean. It sparkles! I would recommend these folks to anyone who seriously wants their house clean. They are the best from start to finish.

Cleaned Every Nook & Cranny

Walking 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!


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About the author:

Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

Read more Atlanta maid and house cleaning service customer reviews on our site.
Request a cleaning quote.

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Thanksgiving Entertaining – Your Countdown Checklist

Posted on October 31, 2014. Filed under: Entertaining Tips, Time Management | Tags: , , , |

Will you host a Thanksgiving gathering this year?  The thought of all of the work that goes into it can be overwhelming, especially if you are a first-time host.

It is possible to host the big gathering and still have enough energy to enjoy your guests, however. The key to stress-free entertaining is preparation.

Happy Thanksgiving Fine Dining Table Place Setting In Purple, Wh

Our Thanksgiving entertaining checklist gives you a few things to do each week so that entertaining isn’t an overwhelming task. (We’ve also included a downloadable PDF version). Follow our checklist and get ready to enjoy yourself!

4 Weeks

  1. Make your menu (and shopping list).
    You might already have a traditional menu. Starting early this year, however, gives you the chance to be creative.
  2. Recruit volunteers.
    Volunteers can be your children, your spouse, or friends. Ask for help now so that everyone is ready to do their part. Here are a few tasks to assign to volunteers: preparing a side dish, watching your children while you grocery shop or polishing the silverware.
  3. Make your outsourcing decisions.
    Will you handle all of the cooking or enlist the help of a caterer? Do you plan on cleaning your home yourself, or hiring a house cleaning service? Decide what you will handle, and what you will outsource.
  4. Create your guest list and send your invitations.
  5. Take stock of your home.
    Walk through your home, and take a fresh look through the eyes of your guests. Do you need to refresh the decorations in the guest bathroom? Does your lawn need sprucing? Do you need the decks cleaned? Make your list, and decide who will take care of these tasks.
  6. Take stock of your decorations, fine china and silverware.
    Your fine china hasn’t been used in several months, and your decorations have been in boxes for almost a year. Inspect them to decide what you need to clean, repair, or purchase.

3 Weeks

  1. Place your order with the caterer.
  2. Schedule your house cleaning.
    The best time to have a professional cleaning service perform a detail cleaning is the week before a holiday.  It stands to reason that this week is also the busiest time for home cleaning services. Make your appointment now to reserve your space on the schedule.
    If you decide to do the cleaning yourself, set 6 or more hours aside the weekend before to get your home in tip-top shape.
  3. Finalize your shopping list.
    If you haven’t already, it is time to finalize the shopping list. Highlight the non-perishable items that can be purchased ahead of time.

2 Weeks

  1. Shop for your non-perishables.
    Buy everything that you do not need to purchase fresh. This can include canned goods, beverages, and spices. Shopping 2-3 weeks before Thanksgiving also has the added benefit of helping you avoid the crowds.  Tip – clear space in the your pantry and refrigerator before you go shopping so that you have somewhere to store your items.
  2. Buy your decorations.
    You’ll get the best selection of decorations by buying them now.

1 Week

  1. Get your home cleaned.
    A week before is the best time to clean your home from top to bottom. If you’ve scheduled an appointment with a house cleaning service, this is a task you can easily check off your list.  If you haven’t, get your supplies and block off at least 6 hours.
  2. Prepare your food.
    Are there any dishes (or portions of dishes) that you can prepare and freeze ahead of time? Go ahead and get those out of the way.
  3. Polish your silver and wash the fine china.
    While you are getting your home cleaned, go ahead and clean your silverware and  fine china. Better yet, have your teenagers handle this task.

1 to 3 Days

  1. Decorate.
    If you do not have small children, you can probably set up your decorations several days to a week in advance.
  2. Set up your dining room.
    Get your table and service areas as close to ready as you can. This provides another opportunity for you to make certain you have enough serving dishes and utensils.
  3. Shop for perishable items (flowers, vegetables, fruit, etc.).

Thanksgiving Eve

  1. Walk-through.
    The night before Thanksgiving, walk through the areas your guests will be visiting to see if there is anything that needs to be cleaned or repaired.
  2. Prepare the food.
    This is probably when you will be preparing most of your dinner. Our tips will help you keep your kitchen clean while you are cooking.

Before your guests arrive.

  1. Prepare your last minute dishes, making sure to keep your kitchen clean as you do.
  2. Do a last minute walk-through.
  3. Relax, and get ready to enjoy your guests!

I hope this checklist comes in handy as you prepare for your Thanksgiving feast. Feel free to comment and share your entertaining tips.

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Please click here to get Sponge & Sparkle blog updates via email.

About the author:

Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

Read more Atlanta maid and house cleaning service customer reviews on our site.
Request a cleaning quote.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Steam Cleaning – The original non-toxic cleaner

Posted on February 25, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

We recently purchased a steam cleaner and have been using it on many of our detail cleanings. We love it! No chemicals are needed to clean, sanitize and deodorize.

The pressure of the steam reaches in and dislodges dirt out of cracks and crevices where cleaners and other tools can’t reach. The steam cleaner is the original green, non toxic cleaner!

We have had great success with dried-on cat food on floors, dirty baseboards, bathroom and kitchen countertops. It will even kill dust mites from any surface; beds, carpet and upholstery.

Our machine comes with a myriad of tools for all types of jobs making it very versatile. The model that we have is the McCullough Heavy Duty and we got it online from Target for $120.

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