Spring is rapidly approaching, and we want our homes to reflect the freshness and beauty of the season. Spring cleaning is a traditional way of making this happen.
Concept of Spring Cleaning
Spring cleaning is not a new concept. According to Wikipedia spring cleaning dates back to more than 3000 years B.C.
Examples are the ancient Iranian Festival of Nowruz that is still practiced and the ancient Jewish custom of cleaning the house in preparation for the springtime feast of Passover.
In the northern hemisphere, springtime weather is warm enough to open the house and still cool enough to keep out insects. During the 1800s the annual spring cleaning took place because homes were coated with soot and grime due to oil and kerosene lamps and heating with coal and wood.
And even now we want to do something to get rid of those 40 pounds of dust that accumulates in a year (in a six room home – according to Asthma for Dummies). Once the days start getting longer and we have more sunlight streaming through our windows we start to see some of that dust.
Clean Homes Reduce Stress
A cleaner, brighter home boosts our spirits and less clutter reduces our stress. We feel more energy and are more productive if our home is clean and decluttered.
So, of course, we should do spring cleaning!
But I don’t.
The Zone Plan
I put spring cleaning in that same bracket as daylight savings time. It was once a good idea, but times have changed.
I do believe that our homes should have a complete decluttering, deep cleaning, and reorganization once a year. I just don’t want to do the marathon style in the spring. I want to spend more time outside enjoying this lovely weather rather than doing a complete spring clean.
I divide my home into zones and tackle a zone each month. During that month I clean and touch everything in that zone. I revisit my vision for each zone and eliminate what no longer serves my vision. I deep clean.
By the end of the year, I have touched everything in my home and cleaned it all.
Everyone is different. And we all have our styles of cleaning. So, do a marathon session in the spring and have it done with, or zone it out over the year, or hire it out. Just make your plan and follow it.
If you want help or just some accountability in working your organizational plan join Diane Quintana and me in our Clear Space For You clutter support group.
Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, award-winning author, as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients tackle the toughest organizational issues. Jonda does hands on organizing and virtual organizing. For more of Jonda’s tips connect with her on Facebook.
40 pounds of dust collect in a year? Wow! That’s quite the amazing statistic!!! I love your Zone Cleaning concept and remember you writing about it before. It’s so smart because it’s an ongoing, less stressful way to handle home maintenance. I tend to keep things clean year round, but am motivated to attend to ‘special’ projects especially when we have events here. I also love having events because it motivates me AND my husband to attend to things that he doesn’t always get to. We enjoy the benefit of getting to home projects and filling our house with our loved ones. A win-win.
I’ve never really been a spring cleaning person, but have to admit that when I’ve done it, it feels amazing to have everything fresh and clean at once – especially if you’re able to do it with windows open!
Ha! I wasn’t sure where you were going with this, but I’m with you! With the exception that I don’t know how I’d manage these days without my once-a-month housecleaner. She doesn’t declutter my posessions for me — that’s my job — but she does focus on certain tasks in rotation (baseboards, for example, are only cleaned once a year).
I like your conclusion. We all do our own thing. I do think that a deep clean is a good idea, but there are many ways to get that done. I am more like you, and prefer to work my way through the home in zones over a longer period of time rather than trying to do it all at once. I am this way with most aspects of life, not only cleaning. I am more a tortoise than a hare…
This is a great approach to the deep cleaning that needs to get done in the home. I have to laugh because as a military spouse, I don’t really do a deep cleaning until we move. The constant moves force me to reconcile every single item in our home whether I want to or not! Similarly, packing up and cleaning out homes every 2 years is the norm, so I admit I’ve become lazy about doing those yearly deep cleans. I’m sure one day when we have a home in the same place I will adopt an approach similar to what you have outlined here. Thank you for your different perspective and approach to spring cleaning.
I appreciate your zone approach. I have an apartment with only a few rooms. You’d have to get REALLY granular to even come up with six zones in my space. In lieu of cleaning at springtime, I deep-clean/purge in the lead up for the new year (which is easily done when you don’t celebrate Christmas). It’s just three or so months earlier, but it helps me face the coming year with no excuses that anything is blocking my chi. 😉