The season of Spring is upon us! For those of you who are living in the upper Midwest, you are all about ready for spring. It’s time to put away the shovels, pack up the boots and open your windows. I myself have been living in the upper Midwest all my life and we were just recently hit with 12+ inches of snow. It’s heartbreaking because the day before it was a cool 45°F. I just got news from my parents and they are about to get hit with the same amount of snow as I was. 

It has been far too long and I am getting ready for Spring. I need to start packing away, throwing things away and organizing my belongings. I am ready for the 60°F weather and I am sure you are too! So today I want to give you some good tips on what you can do to “spring clean”. Spring cleaning can help get rid of the many things you hoarded over the winter. It can also create a welcoming hello for guests. So get your cleaning products ready and let’s clean!

I want to inform you how and why we spring clean. When informing you how to spring clean, I am going to stay away from a long list of things to check off. If you search the internet you will find many sources that give you information on how to clean your home. They will give information based on the room, material, amount of time, etc. I also want to give you a brief history of why we spring clean. This isn’t going to be a boring lecture or meeting. It’s just going to be a simply summary of why we spring clean. I mean, how many of you question what you are doing before you do it. If you don’t, you should ask yourself more before doing it.

Why Do We Spring Clean?

There are two main cultures that influenced the idea of spring cleaning for what it is today. The Jewish and Iranian cultures have similar ideas of spring cleaning that dissent to the distant past. The Iranian’s celebrated the Persian New Year (Iranian Norouz) which falls on the first day of spring. During this time they would practice "khooneh tekouni" which translates to “shaking of the house”. This is what many people believe has created the connection to spring cleaning.

Now that you have a brief history, why does our society spend so much time spring cleaning? Why do you spring clean? It could be to let in more sunlight, resulting in a boost of energy. It could be to de-clutter your house, getting rid of all the garbage you don’t need. Or maybe the idea of spring cleaning gives you the motivation to actually clean your house. There are many personal reasons why you might decide to spring clean but there is one that is believed to impact us the most.

Biology! Spring cleaning has to something to do with affecting our body. During the winter we are exposed to less sunlight, due to shorter days and more cloud coverage. When your body has a lack of sunlight, it creates more melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate the sleep cycle, too much melatonin and you feel sleepy all the time. This is why people make a connection between spring cleaning and sunlight. During the winter there is less sunlight, which makes you sleepy and too lazy to clean your home.

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How to Spring Clean?

Similar to what I said earlier, you can find numerous books, articles and websites that can give you a checklist to help you clean each individual room. I want to focus on the main areas of your house and the spots you might have missed.

Tools and Cleaners

If you are reading this article, you are more than likely going to have the right tools and cleaners to do the job. If not, I recommend buying cleaners that apply to anything such as multi-surface cleaners, all-in-one, etc. With this being said, these products can ruin different finishes to your floor, counters and windows. I don’t know if you have wooden furniture, soapstone, granite or stone furniture/countertops. It’s important to make sure these products are safe for the surfaces you are using them on. On the specific cleaner, it might tell you the surfaces that are and aren’t safe to use it on. When buying the products ask the seller if it’s alright to use this product on a certain surface. If you think it could cause damage, don’t use it!

Now you need to figure out the different tools you might need. There are no specific tools that will help you create a cleaner or easier job. It all depends on your preference and your house. If you have high ceilings, you might need a step stool or extension for your duster. If you prefer feather dusters over a Swiffer, that’s your decision.

Cleaning Basics

Each house, room, lifestyle and person is different. There isn’t a step by step guide that anyone can create for any house. However, I can give you the main tips and tricks you should know to get a majority of the job done.

-Clean top to bottom- It’s simple, dust the shelves first so it falls on the ground and then vacuum after everything else is clean.

- Dust is everywhere- Even if you clean your home once a week, there is bound to be dust somewhere. When spring cleaning, I suggest finding anywhere that could be holding dust. This could be fans, lights, walls, windowsills, baseboards, etc.

-Windows- The windows of a home are the most important thing to me. I enjoy keeping my car clean and dirty windows bother me more than anything, so I guess it translates to my home also. First you want to dust, spray and wipe down.

-Furniture and Upholstery- Use a vacuum to suck up any candy or dust from your couch or chairs. If you find any stains, a stain remover should do the trick. If not, a shampoo machine might be needed to remove it.

-Floors- First you want to start on the trim or baseboard. You can use a wet cloth to get all the dirt and dust off. Next, you want to vacuum (carpet) and use a stain remover or shampooer to remove any stains. Any other floors you might need a specific cleaner to prevent damage, again check before using it.

In Conclusion

Today I wanted to inform you why we as a society spring clean and how you can do it yourself. It’s important to spring clean because it brings in more sunlight, which keeps you awake throughout the day. There are many checklist you can follow to help clean every nook and cranny in your home. I gave you a small idea of the products to use and the areas to focus on. If you focus on these main areas your house will be clean, not perfect, but clean. When deciding on a product, make sure you find something that doesn’t hurt the surface. Remember, if you think it might damage it, don’t use it.