Blog » Spring Cleaning: Why We Do It and Where to Start
The deep freeze is seemingly behind us and signs of spring are beginning to emerge. Are you ready for more daylight hours, more energy, and more sunlight? Spring is a season of renewal and its onset brings with it a desire to clean. If you thought you were alone in your spring cleaning fever, you are not. It’s all of us, everywhere.
So what is it about this season in particular that gives us the urge to clean? What are the benefits of spring cleaning?
Where should we start and what should we leave to the professionals?
The Psychology of Spring Cleaning: The “Fresh Start” Effect
Handyman Bob Vila gives it to us straight: “Biology may play a role in the human urge to spring clean. During darker winter months, the body produces more melatonin, a hormone that increases sleepiness. As days lengthen, this natural lethargy lessens and we literally feel “lighter.” With greater energy, we're more likely to want to clean our homes.” The article goes on to say that “Katherine Milkman, a professor at Penn State, hypothesizes that people ‘feel more motivated to set and execute their goals [on] socially meaningful calendar dates’ like the new year, a new semester, or the start of spring. This ‘fresh start effect’ can have measurable positive effects in the lives of individuals—and across society.”
The “fresh start effect” that takes hold over our psyche as the seasons change is what gives us that urge to clean. We want to slough off our winter skin, that winter buildup of dust, dirt, and grime. Removing the winter buildup promotes a healthier living environment as all that dust can cause allergies, respiratory problems, and other health issues.
Spring cleaning is also our way of ushering in the warmer months. As the weather gets warmer, our hobbies and lifestyle shift to include more outside time and entertaining. A clean, organized home allows us to transition into these seasonal shifts more seamlessly and lets us enjoy these activities to the fullest.
Cleaning and organizing also has a positive impact on our mental and physical health. A cluttered and disorganized space can create stress and anxiety, while a clean and organized environment promotes feelings of calm and relaxation. The act of cleaning and a clean living space reduces stress and anxiety, increases productivity and creativity, boosts your mood and energy levels, and enhances your ability to focus and gives you mental clarity.
Spring Cleaning Made Easy
● Start Small - Spring cleaning an entire home can feel intimidating. Start with smaller tasks that will make you feel like you are accomplishing your goals and building your momentum enough to keep you going.
● Hire Professionals Early - Spring cleaning is on everyone’s mind so be sure you get on your favorite cleaning company’s calendar to ensure your biggest, toughest, most important tasks get done.
● Refresh Cleaning Supplies - Nothing sets the mood better than a fresh arsenal of cleaning products. This is also a great time to make some green swaps: glass spray bottles, bulk products in sustainable packaging, etc. It’s also time to deep clean or replace your cleaning equipment. Invest in a new HEPA-certified vacuum, get that steam cleaner you’ve been eyeing, and replenish mop heads, dusters, cleaning rags, scrub brushes, and cleaning products like white vinegar, bleach, baking soda, and borax.
● Make a Schedule - Delegate tasks and schedule them out on a calendar so spring cleaning doesn’t fall on one person all at one time. Make a plan for handling the bigger projects on your list and get them on the calendar. Pick a date to drop off all donations or schedule a garage sale.
● Take Your Time - Don’t rush it. If you try to tackle too much, you’ll feel in over your head. Do a little bit every day and space out bigger cleaning projects to ensure you have enough time to finish one before moving on to the next.
● Make Cleaning Fun - Why slog through it when you can make it a positive part of your daily routine?
○ Pump up your favorite jams
○ Treat yourself and your family for your efforts. Post a list of tasks for family members to choose from. Pick a reward for each task completed. The harder the task, the better the reward.
○ Make a game out of it - you’ve heard of freeze dancing, why not freeze cleaning? “Minute to win it” but make it all about filling a donation basket; set the timer and whoever donates the most of their own stuff wins!
○ Make some cash while decluttering by selling items on second-hand websites, or schedule a garage sale. Put what you earn into a family vacation fund.
● DECLUTTER - Simplify the task by designating bins or large boxes and “donations”, “trash”, and “thinking about it.” If you have children, it’s best to keep these bins out of their view as they may derail your efforts. Do a little bit every day so the task is less daunting. Give yourself a timeframe - donate items at the end of the week or month and only consider keeping the items left in the “thinking about it” bin if they have places they can be put away. Use this length of time to organize your space in a way that functions well for you and your family.
As you declutter, focus on the dust, dirt, and grime that has accumulated all winter long. Refer to our ultimate dust cleaning guide before delving into this task.
Small But Impactful Spring Cleaning Tasks To Start With
See that fuzzy ceiling fan over there? Mhmm, the one you sleep under. And that other one you eat under. Grab your trusty step ladder and an old pillowcase. The pillowcase will wipe each blade clean while trapping the dust and keeping it from scattering all over your bed or kitchen table. Encase a fan blade in the pillowcase and wipe the top of the blade from the center to the outer edge, trapping the dust inside the case as you go. If your ceiling fan blades are left coated in a sticky residue, gently wipe them down with a microfiber cloth dampened with warm water
and a drop of dish soap. This is also the time to reverse your fan back to a counterclockwise direction to get that cool breeze during the warmer months. Fit the pillowcase around the blade, hold the ends closed, and pull toward you; then repeat with each blade.
Vacuuming the inside of your dryer is an effective way to remove any lint that collects in tiny crevices, even if you clean out the lint trap every time you use the dryer. Run a basin wash cycle on your washing machine while you're at it. Done and Done.
Some other small cleaning tasks that take minimal time and will make you feel unstoppable:
● Go on a filter replacement bender. If it has a filter, change it - water purifiers, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, the furnace, cool mist humidifiers, vacuums, etc.
● Vacuum and wipe down lampshades and lamp bases.
● Clear off and dust your mantle. Swap out decor for something fresh and minimal.
● Wash or replace throws and decorative pillows.
Spring Cleaning Projects That Require A Bit More Effort But Pack A Big Punch Take down those Christmas lights. You can do it. It’s not too late (it is).
Have you ever cleaned behind your fridge? Now’s the time. Cleaning your refrigerator vents and coils is essential to keep the temperature regulated. Clogged coils can affect the efficiency of your refrigerator. Use a vacuum with a hose attachment to clean the dust, a radiator brush to reach deeper crevices, and a damp microfiber cloth to clear away any stubborn grime.
Vacuum and wipe down window frames, sills, and screens. Wash windows with a 50/50 vinegar and water solution or a drop of dish soap in warm water. Use a microfiber cloth and soapy water to wipe down screens or hose them off outside if they can be removed.
Some other medium-ish spring cleaning projects:
● Clean inside, behind, and under your oven.
● Power wash the lawn and patio furniture.
● Clean out your car.
● Hit the baseboards with a quality mop.
Spring Cleaning Tasks to Leave to the Professionals
While deeply satisfying and beneficial in a myriad of ways, spring cleaning can also be overwhelming and time-consuming. Plus there are some cleaning projects that are best left to professionals. Professional cleaners have the expertise and experience needed to tackle even the toughest cleaning jobs. They also have the tools, skills, and know-how to get the hard-to-reach or potentially dangerous cleaning projects. They also have access to commercial-quality cleaning products and equipment that with the right touch can properly maintain and extend the life of certain surfaces and furnishings around your home.
Here are the spring cleaning projects you should leave to the professionals:
Depending on where it’s located, your carpeting may have taken a beating all winter long. They also are a hotbed of allergens, pathogens, dust, and other particles that make themselves at home even with regular vacuuming. And rugs do not come cheap. They are often investment pieces that can make a room. Because they can be comprised of wool, silk, or other natural fibers, it’s important to protect those beautiful fibers with the right products and methods. Whether in a commercial location or your home, On The Spot steams your carpets clean, extracting dirty, ground-in grime and breathing new life into high-traffic carpeted areas.
If you're like most homeowners, you probably don't think much about your air ducts. But the truth is, they play a vital role in keeping your home comfortable and your family healthy. Over time normal operation can cause dust, dirt, and other contaminants to build up in your system's ductwork, causing your entire HVAC system to work harder - and costing you more money in energy bills. After a long winter of heavy furnace use and closed windows, those air ducts are ready for proper deep cleaning. That's why it's important to have your ducts cleaned regularly by a professional service to ensure total comfort in your home.
Some other cleaning projects to hire out:
● Upper-level outward-facing windows and gutters.
● Pressure-washing siding, roof, and hardscaping.
● Water clean up and mold remediation.
Spring cleaning is an age-old tradition that is absolutely worth your while. If you have a long list of ambitious cleaning projects, it can be challenging to know where to start. Spring cleaning is not just a long list of chores to dread but an opportunity to start fresh and boost your mental and physical well-being. Just remember - start small, make it fun, and get those big cleaning projects done by a professional. Randy Spurling and his team at On The Spot Cleaners are ready to dive head-first into your Spring Cleaning bucket list.