March 24, 2019
Spring Cleaning, the tradition of thoroughly deep cleaning our homes at the onset of the spring season (mid March to Mid June) has been around since time immemorial. As the period approaches, you’ll find homeowners prepping their homes and garages for cleaning, stocking up on cleaning supplies, and scouring the internet for cleaning tips and strategies.
This all makes sense given that the majority of Americans skimp on cleaning duties during the freezing winter weather. The return of the warm weather combined with the busy nature of the ensuing sunny seasons make the onset of spring an excellent opportunity to perform a thorough cleanup.
But, have you ever asked yourself where the tradition came from? When people first felt the need for Spring Cleaning?
Let’s look at popular theories on the subject to get a better understanding of why different communities and Americans in general observe the tradition so keenly.
Possibly the longest standing theory, Jewish people have always cleansed their homes in anticipation of the Passover. One of the most important dates in the Jewish calendar is Passover. It is a time when the community commemorates how Moses saved them from slavery in Egypt and eventually led them to the Promised Land.
A defining practice of the Passover is strict prohibition against eating or drinking fermented food. To meet this requirement, leading up to Passover, every Jewish home is thoroughly cleaned. This is done to wash away any traces of chametz (leavened food). In the modern day, this is achieved through Spring Cleaning.
The Chinese believe that the end of the year is a time to freshen up, flush out any bad omen, and prepare the home for the fortunes of a new year. Among other things, they sweep the floors, clean the walls, and find ways to dust the ceiling. Also, they must clean items as appropriate so as not to carry any ill luck into the new year. After this regular cleaning, good fortune is welcomed and preserved by refraining from sweeping for a period of time at the start of the new year. Today, the Chinese freshen up their homes for the new year through spring cleaning.
Iranians celebrate the holiday season with festivals, rituals, and symbolism, festivities that climax on March 21 when they observe Now Rouz (the Persia New Year). A busy two-week festival that signifies renewal, Now Rouz is characterized by symbols of burning and planting both at home and on the streets.
To prepare for a renewing Now Rouz celebration, Iranians spend the time before March 21 doing thorough cleaning. This tradition is known as khooneh takouni (meaning shaking up the house). It starts with everyone buying new cloths to usher in new beginnings. Thereafter, every corner of the house is scoured. From floor to ceiling and bedding to every little item in the home, thorough washing ensues. Only after that can Now Rouz celebrations commence.
Most people don’t clean up much during winter, and it’s not our liking. Scientific studies show that humans tend to be less motivated to work in low temperatures. Similar to how cold blooded animals behave in cold weather. We aren’t enthusiastic about taking on daily chores. Even when we ultimately get up to do something, the energy levels are notably low.
Combine this with other hallmarks of winter weather such as shorter daylight and increased darkness and the conditions really can get to us. Reduced exposure to daylight leads to increased production of melatonin. A hormone found in the brain, melatonin is responsible for inducing sleepiness. More melatonin therefore means more sleep or laxity. This explains why many people spend winter days curled up in warm blankets.
This laxity often leads to very little cleaning in winter, necessitating some form of deep cleaning as soon as the warm weather returns. That’s where scheduled spring cleaning comes in!
Although a popular tradition, many people still struggle with the demands of spring cleaning. A good number don’t know where to begin and many others consistently miss common dirt spots.
EuroMaids is here to help you do actual deep cleaning this spring. We have a comprehensive spring cleaning checklist to help wash out the toughest stains. Our team has also compiled tips and tricks to get the work done in record time.
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