Spring has sprung

Spring cleaning is a great way to combat both physical and mental clutter.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Spring cleaning is a great way to combat both physical and mental clutter.

Savannah Dupper , Features Editor

Boxes, clothing, paper, and other clutter lay strewn about around the room. Dust clings to the furniture and to the windowsills, while mildew and grime lingers around the bathroom.

If you find yourself in a similar environment, it’s time for some spring cleaning.

The spring season symbolizes a fresh start after winter, and it beckons as a good time to clean your home for the coming year. Organizing, scrubbing, and de-cluttering is both organizationally and emotionally beneficial.

“Spring cleaning is cathartic,” San Diego-based professional organizer Miss Jennifer Raphael said. “It can be a kind of physical and mental reset. Editing our belongings, and shaking out the rugs, literally and figuratively, refreshes and brings new energy to our spaces and, by extension, to our lives.”

According to The New York Times, some researchers trace the origin of spring cleaning to the Iranian Nowruz, or the Persian New Year, which falls on the first day of spring. Other people believe it originated from the Jewish practice of cleaning the home before Passover.

Regardless of its origins, spring cleaning improves mental health and simply eliminates clutter. Here’s this season’s five best methods of spring cleaning.

1: Clean Room-By-Room

Approaching your home room-by-room is an effective way to deep-clean it. Using room checklists serves as a good motivator and keeps you from becoming overwhelmed if parts of your home have been neglected during the winter.

Instead of approaching your home or a specific space with a large goal in mind, take small steps and create individual goals to help yourself feel more accomplished and keep you from getting discouraged during the cleaning process.


2: Get Your Family Involved

Even the most unwilling helper makes a difference in the workload. The spring is a great time of year to get the family together. Throw on some music and get the work done. Giving each available family member a specific task helps cleaning go more smoothly and quickly.

“Taking the time to review our spaces and making mindful, deliberate choices about what to keep and letting go of what no longer feels useful or relevant is a mindset worth cultivating all year,” Miss Raphael said. “That mindset is great to bring to your family through cleaning.”


3: Keep Cleaning Products to a Minimum

Although store aisles are stock full of cleaning products, the variety  overwhelms even the most seasoned shopper. Buying dozens of products create more clutter in your cabinets. Stick to more basic supplies, including microfiber cloths and a good all-purpose cleaner.

Some of the best natural and necessary cleaning products include Better Life All-Purpose Cleaner, Ecover Zero Dish Soap, Truce Wood Cleaner, and White House Foods Cleaning Vinegar.


4: Spread Out the Chores

Spread out the various tasks you’re planning so that they’re more manageable or logically grouped together. You don’t want to be dealing with an overwhelming marathon of jobs.

It’s most effective to work down, so start with tidying, then continue with dusting, cleaning, then vacuuming and other deep cleaning jobs.


5: Finish What You Start!

People have a tendency to set items down expecting to return to them later, but get called away and cannot finish the cleaning they have started. Stop delaying one thing to finish something else.

“So the car keys get set down with the mail, laundry is on the floor instead of the laundry basket, sweaters and coats don’t get hung up,” Miss Raphael said. “You get the idea. Before you know it, there are growing piles here and there that eventually need our attention. I find it more calming to put things away as I go rather than waiting until later.

“But ultimately, moving through the process of spring cleaning is an opportunity to share what we no longer use, make space for new experiences and the stuff needed for a new direction our lives may be taking, and to feel truly grateful in the process.”