What’s with All the Spring Cleaning?

Posted on April 23, 2015 in Seasonal Home Tips

spring cleaning

Ever wonder why every spring, many of us spend entire weekends cleaning out our homes? What exactly is spring cleaning? And how did it start? At P.J. Fitzpatrick, our home improvement specialists have some insight:

What Is It?

Spring cleaning is the act of cleaning out your home or office once the cold temperatures of winter start are gone and the warmth of spring comes around. Spring cleaning can also include rearranging the elements in your home and making home improvement updates.

How Did It Start?

There are several theories behind the origins of spring cleaning. One involves the Persian Empire:

Some say spring cleaning dates back to the Persian Empire (which is now Iran). The Iranian new year occurs every year on the spring equinox, and in anticipation of the new year, Iranian families practice “khooneh-takooni,” which literally translates to “house-shaking.” They move around everything in their homes and clean from top to bottom as a way to start anew. Because the new year is associated with spring, the cleaning process is also associated with spring.

Another involves Passover:

In custom, Jewish families often practice the act of thoroughly cleaning their homes in anticipation of the spring holiday of Passover. Passover is meant to remember the time when the enslaved Jewish people fled from Egypt, and because the slaves were fed unleavened bread, any Jewish family celebrating Passover shouldn’t keep leavened bread in their homes; if they do, they’re considered arrogant. To avoid this (and unintentionally insulting God), observant families often conduct a full cleaning of their home before Passover begins to rid it of any remnants of leavened breads.

A third is based on a more simple principle:

Before the luxury of central heating, families would have to seal up their homes to avoid the harsh cold of winter and heat it using coal, oil or wood. The tighter they kept their home, the warmer it would stay. Once the cold subsided and the first warm day of spring emerged, families took the opportunity to drag everything in their home (furniture, rugs, decorations, etc.) outside and clean off all of the dust, dirt, and soot. Before they put everything back, they would also sweep out, scrub, and wash the inside of their homes and air out all of their linens.

Why Do We Do It?

Today, we live a little differently and don’t need to get rid of soot or dirt that’s collected on our possessions – we can do that with dusters and vacuum cleaners. We also enjoy central heating, so we don’t have to seal our homes quite as tightly to the winter temperatures. While some may practice spring cleaning for religious or ethnic reasons, many of us tend to stay indoors and become less active in the winter, so once spring rolls around, we have the urge to begin anew and we do so by cleaning.

Have you done your spring cleaning yet? If not, now is the perfect time! At P.J. Fitzpatrick, we have several spring cleaning home improvement specials going on, so don’t miss out!

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