Along with businesses that are preparing to re-open, it seems everyone is looking forward to a breath of fresh air this spring. The task of spring cleaning suddenly seems, dare we say, exciting! More than just cleaning our homes, a cleanup of our lives feels in order; an urge to air out not just stuffiness and dust, but negative thoughts and energy too. The concept of “out with the old, in with the new” forms the basis of this annual ritual that has been around since ancient times. Here are some unique takes and tips on how to spring-clean your home in style.
Origins of Spring Cleaning
Spring cleaning dates back to at least 3000 BC, and has appeared in almost every human culture in some form. It seems to be an intrinsic part of human nature and may even be rooted in our very biology. All living creatures are affected by a predictable schedule of day and night, as well as the change of seasons. In low-light seasons our brains produce more melatonin, a chemical that promotes sleepiness. As daylight increases and we spend more time outdoors, melatonin levels are reduced and allow us to “wake up” from our winter sleep.
Many cultural holidays have been associated with spring cleaning, such as the Festival of Nowruz at the spring equinox, where “khooneh tekouni” or “shaking the house” is practiced. The custom of cleaning house to prepare for Passover has similar origins, and the Chinese have Ninyabaat – where bad luck is swept out along with the trash and clutter just before Chinese New Year. In colder parts of the world, spring was simply the first opportunity to clean out the dust, soot and ashes accumulated during the shuttered winter months.
Green and Clean – Natural Cleaning Hacks from Yesteryear
The current eco-friendly trend in home design and furnishings can extend to cleaning them as well. There are many plant-based and chemical free cleaning products on the market today, and are a good place to start in creating a healthier home. For a cheaper alternative, a 50-50 mix of water and vinegar has always been a staple of DIY cleaning liquids, as well as common household items like lemon juice, baking soda and salt. Using actual lemons in times gone by is completely responsible for the continuing popularity of lemon-scented cleaning products. Try using a water-vinegar or lemon juice mix for cleaning windows, and a castoff cotton tee shirt for leaving a streak-free shine on mirror and glass surfaces.
High Tech Toys meet Low Tech Care
Did you know you can clean your microwave with water and fruit? Heat one cup of water mixed with diced citrus fruit or plain vinegar on high until it boils. The resulting steam loosens stuck-on soil, and the microwave wipes clean with a sponge. Keep your dishwasher sparkling clean and running smoothly by running a hot cycle with only a few cups of white vinegar added.
Our media screens, whether stunning 4K TVs or breathtaking laser projector screens, are bigger and better than ever, but collect dust and fingerprints just the same. To clean them without the risk of scratching or leaving streaks, gently run an ordinary coffee filter over the surface. You’ll be amazed, and it works just as well on mobile screens too!
Set a New Tone This Spring
While there are simple, inexpensive and healthy ways to clean your home for spring, cleaning is still work! Put your newly-shined TV or Projector system to work alongside you, and tune in this recommended YouTube spring cleaning playlist to get in your spring-cleaning groove!