As daylight hours gradually increase, temperatures rise and colourful blooms begin to appear, are you feeling an urge to open up and get the house cleaning done applying a good spring clean?
If so, you are not alone and following a popular domestic tradition that dates back thousands of years.
No one is quite sure where or when the practice of spring-cleaning homes with the change of seasons began.
Throughout the world, there are varying cultural versions of this tradition, and, although timing may differ according to location, a common theme prevails-Seasonal changes, commonly winter to spring, heralds in rituals, designed to refresh and renew the home.
In Iranian culture, ‘khooneh takan’ (which literally translates as ‘shaking’ the house), is a vigorous spring-cleaning ritual, which involves scouring and cleaning every corner of the home, so that nothing is missed. Once the house has been ‘shaken’, spring can arrive once again.
Another ritual that may explain the origins of the practice, is the ancient Jewish custom of house cleaning thoroughly before the memorial feast of Passover. This is one of the most important festivals in the Jewish religious calendar, which takes place in spring.
The Chinese believe spring -cleaning, in preparation for the lunar New Year, brings good fortune. At the end of the year, Chinese homes are cleaned from top to bottom in order to remove any bad luck and misfortune that may have gathered there during the year.
Some others suggest the urge to spring clean at this time of the year is actually part of our basic biological make-up, dating back to our ancient ancestors.
During the long cold dark months of winter, with less sunlight and lower levels of melatonin, ancient humans were slower and had less energy. However, with a change of season and increased exposure to sunlight, energy levels increased and our ancestors were ready to tackle the dirt and dust accumulated over winter in their huts and caves.
These days, as we much as we love the concept of giving our a house a thorough spring clean and are possibly biologically inclined to do so, it can seem like a daunting task.
However, if you follow this check list, as adopted by professional cleaning companies, you’ll have a refreshed, renewed and healthy home in no time:
In the Kitchen: Clean the inside and out of all appliances, including the oven, range, refrigerator before moving on to smaller appliances: microwave, coffee machine toaster etc. Wipe down cupboards and drawers, both inside and out. De-clutter and wipe out your pantry, discarding any items that have passed their shelf life.
In the Living Room: Polish hard wood floors, or have the carpet cleaning done professionally. Thoroughly clean out the fireplace, including the chimney. Clean and polish leather furniture and steam -clean upholstered furniture. Oil and polish wooden furniture. Thoroughly wash and sanitise pet bedding or replace if necessary.
In the Bedroom: Thoroughly wash and, where necessary, dry clean, all bedding. Have mattresses professionally cleaned.
In the Bathroom: Thoroughly clean mirrors, countertops, sinks, toilets and showers. Steam clean tiles, paying particular attention to grout. Clear out draws and cupboards, discarding any out-of date cosmetics and medicines.
Throughout the House: Clean air conditioning filters, window cleaning, blinds and screens (both inside and out) a thorough clean. Have any curtains professionally cleaned. Clean skirting boards and remove spider webs from ceilings and doorways.
Finally, fill every room with vases of flowers, The scent of fragrant blooms wafting throughout the house is guaranteed to clear the air of any stale, winter odours and welcome spring in.