Is Spring Cleaning necessary in Brisbane and what are the benefits?

Ever wondered how the tradition to do a Spring Clean came to be? Coming from an archipelago where the sun always shines even during monsoon months, I never could understand the fuss about Spring Cleans. I know it’s supposed to be done after months of snow and ice but hey – I live in the tropical city of Brisbane where it never snows!

So I set out to learn about the origins of this cleaning tradition.

The tradition of spring cleaning dates back centuries and is a hallmark of Jewish, Iranian and Chinese cultures.

In ancient Jewish tradition, they would clean their home to prepare for Passover, in part to remove all leavened bread. By thoroughly cleaning the entire house, including all crumbs, they could be ensured no remnants remained.

In the Iranian culture, the Persian new year falls on the first day of Spring and includes a ritual known as “khooneh takouni” which means “shaking the house,” entailing a thorough house cleaning.

Chinese New Year preparations incorporate a spring housecleaning called Little New Year, or Xiaonian, designed to symbolically rid their home of any negativity and any lingering spirits.

These days, the annual spring clean is offered as a professional cleaning service by many companies, but the tradition, like many others, is on the wane – which actually sort of makes sense when you consider the origins of the domestic springtime blitz.

In times past, people kept their houses shut tight against the icy breath of winter. They used coal, oil, and wood to keep themselves warm. The coming of spring signalled a welcome opportunity to make a stuffy abode fresh again. On the first warm, dry day of the season, everybody in the family would pitch in to pull every bit of furniture and scrap of cloth outside. Then, armed with brooms and washrags, one squad of housecleaners would return to the house, sweeping and scrubbing every corner and washing down the walls, while another would air out linens, remove soot and ash from couches and chairs, clean the kitchen, dust books and paintings, and mend a few items on the run.

Today, busy career people shudder at the thought of taking a day or weekend to turn their houses upside down. Who has the time? What about all the other fun things to do in Brisbane instead? Besides, our modern centrally heated and cooled, climate-controlled homes don’t get oily, sooty, or smoky, and our washing machines and vacuum cleaners help keep the dirt from sneaking in.

True enough. Still, there are trade-offs: our houses are airtight, comparatively speaking, but they also can’t breathe. They’re full of chemicals and gases, from the components of floor wax to the microfibers of carpets, that our ancestors never knew about.

And did you know that spring cleaning has psychological benefits as well? Here are a few benefits to this centuries-old tradition:

1. Spring Cleaning reduces stress

I know what you’re thinking but hold that thought. Yes, spring cleaning can be initially stressful, especially for busy individuals like you and me. Clutter and stress are related, and we know stress is bad for your mental wellbeing. Looking at the clutter in your home can bring on the anxiety of incomplete tasks or just make it more difficult to accomplish your daily routine. When you clean out the clutter during Spring cleaning, you’re setting yourself up for more relaxed, stress-free living.

2. It gets you moving

Spring cleaning is a physical activity no matter what part you are working on. Moving around your house, and even out into the yard to carry out the trash, gives you a sense of accomplishment. It gets the happy chemicals moving around in your brain, propelled by an increased heart and respiratory rate. Spring cleaning can give you some of the same mental health benefits as physical exercise like running or biking.

3. It invites a fresh start

Spring cleaning makes you feel like you are getting a fresh start. When your house looks different, decluttered and clean, you feel a greater ability to change your life and do so much better!

So now it’s time to head to the bedroom closets, the garage, the basement—or maybe it’s time to send your loved ones in to do that terrible work, or even to hire someone for the job. There’s no shame in that. Let Maid Easy do the Spring Cleaning for you. However it gets done, life will seem a little better, I warrant, if only because your house is much cleaner.

 

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