Have you ever wondered why we are annually seized by a sudden urge to air out the house, banish dust, organize closets, clean out cabinets, scrub floors, wash windows and organize our garages, attics and basements? It turns out that there are biological, social and psychological reasons for the spring cleaning ritual… and that’s a good thing.
In the winter time days are shorter and melatonin production (the hormone that produces drowsiness and enables us to fall asleep) is increased, making us want to relax and sleep more. We spend more time indoors. Our mood tends to be more subdued and energy levels are lower causing our housekeeping habits to slip. Various soils and contaminants begin to build-up in our homes as a result.
Then, the first day of spring comes in late March, and when it arrives most of us are ready. Days are getting progressively longer and nights are getting shorter. The additional daylight suppresses production of melatonin. The more daylight we are exposed to, the less melatonin we produce and the more alert, energetic and active we feel.
Once the winter doldrums pass, we become more aware of the less-than-ideal condition of our surroundings. The energy and optimism of spring prompts us to improve our environment. It’s easier to be enthusiastic about cleaning and organizing in the springtime.
Cleaning and organizing are tasks that have an obvious goal or conclusion.
You feel a sense of accomplishment upon completing a task. Your self-esteem increases. Endorphins are released in your body, increasing your sense of wellbeing. In addition, you feel pride of ownership when your home is clean and organized, further improving your mood.
The history of early America also provides a basis for the spring cleaning custom. In the winter, fireplaces, oil lamps and wood stoves created a fine layer of oily soot, ashes and dust on floors, walls, ceilings, rugs and windows. As temperatures increased and days got longer, use of these heat and light sources decreased. Spring became the perfect time to fling open windows and doors and clean everything. Rugs were beaten and aired out. Walls, ceilings and floors were swept and scrubbed.
Spring has always been a time of change. Americans tend to have two distinct wardrobes: one for warm weather and one for cool weather. Since closet space is limited, we often clean and organize closets this time of year. The type of work and play activities change, so we put away winter toys and tools and get out the ones for warmer weather. Now we need to clean out and organize our garages, basements and attics.
All of these biological, psychological and social reasons mean that we are basically hard-wired for spring cleaning. However, it is easy to become overwhelmed with all of the things you want to clean and organize. Don’t try to do it all by yourself.
Call an experienced cleaning company to help you with the big jobs. A reputable company can clean your carpets, upholstery and more.
Call Hansen Steam Way to learn more or schedule your next cleaning.