We don’t know about you, but at this time of year we certainly see a lot of people getting the urge to give their homes a thorough clean from top to bottom. We’ve passed on a few tips about this before, but we wanted to go a little deeper and look at why it is so many of us feel this impulse to give our homes a deep spring clean. It’s fascinating too – it turns out that spring cleaning has been a human ritual for as long as we have been recording history, and some wonderful traditions and beliefs have evolved around the process.
Spring Cleaning Throughout History
Take the ancient Chinese, for example. Chinese New Year occurs later than the Western calendar and for them, spring cleaning was a way of preparing the home to welcome in the new year. They wanted to get rid of all the dirt accumulated in the old year and start afresh – a clean slate, if you like! Interestingly, for the few days after the new year, the Chinese still have a ban on cleaning, in case they sweep away any of the good fortune that may have arrived with the new year.
The Persian New Year also chimes with the arrival of spring. Here, there is a ceremony called khooneh takouni, which translates to ‘shaking the house’. This is exactly what happens, and in countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran you will find women taking all the rugs and blankets outside to beat, washing the floors and walls and polishing the furniture. Only after the house has been thoroughly shaken can the New Year arrive.
Finally, the Jewish tradition has an interesting cleaning ritual around this time of year too. During the festival of Passover, which occurs during March or April, it is forbidden to have any leavened bread inside the house – not even a crumb. That means that Jewish families clean their homes from top to bottom to make sure there are no scraps of disallowed food during the festival.
Our Need to Spring Clean
With spring cleaning embedded into so many different customs across the world, it seems that there is a deeply ingrained human need for us to clean our living spaces at this time of year. This makes a lot of sense. With the days getting longer, more light is let into our homes and we start to see dust and cobwebs in corners we might have missed during the darker winter months.
Scientists also suggest there is a biological reason for our urge to clean as well. During winter, the lack of light stimulates the pineal gland, which is responsible for releasing melatonin (the hormone that makes us sleepy). When the days get longer we suddenly feel we have more energy, and those tasks closest at hand – such as our homes – are the first to benefit from this burst of energy!
It’s interesting that with the longer days being one of the main reasons for our need to give our homes a deep clean in spring, that we don’t have the same kind of ritual around a summer clean. Our take on this? Summer is for enjoying and getting out and about! Getting the tasks like a deep spring clean done early in the year means you have more time to enjoy yourself when the weather is nice enough for shorts!
Can we help?
The problem with modern life, however is time, and while we may be feeling that natural urge to clean our homes it doesn’t always happen. If that sounds familiar to you, we can help. Give us a call and we can give you a free quote for a thorough deep clean of our home.
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Give us a call today – let’s satisfy that urge for a clean, spring home!