by Mary Flom
Where Did Spring Cleaning Come From?
Have you ever thought about why “spring cleaning” is a thing? Historically, spring cleaning is rooted in Jewish religion as preparation for Passover. It can also be traced back to ancient Chinese religious practices; spring cleaning is a time to sweep away misfortune and prepare for good luck. Biologists, however, would have a more scientific approach to the concept. The coming of spring also marks longer days and more exposure to sunlight. Our bodies produce less melatonin when we are exposed to sunlight which means we have more energy. They would argue that this increase in energy (and more time in the day) drives us to clean house. Before the invention of the vacuum, spring was a good time for cleaning because it was warm enough to open up windows and doors. The high winds could carry the dust out of the house. Side note: Aren’t you thankful for the vacuum? The first Hoover vacuum was sold in 1906 and cost $60 which would equate to about $1500 today.
Just Feels Good
No matter the reason for the season, I think most of us could agree that spring cleaning just feels good. It feels good to pull back the curtains, beat the rugs, and clear out the spider webs. Personally, I enjoy the process of spring cleaning just as much and maybe even more than the end result. It can be very cathartic. This type of physical house work can actually help you on a deeper level. I’d compare it to the desire to go to the gym or go for a run when you’re feeling upset or angry or insert emotion here. Or maybe for you it’s gardening or dancing or you fill in the blank. These physical activities can help us channel our emotions and thus free our hearts and minds to process without the drama of our heightened feelings.
In the same way that we rid our houses of the clutter, dust and grime of our winter season, we can also use this time clean house emotionally and mentally. Where in your life do you need to pull back the curtains? Is there any clutter you can rid of so you can make room for what the spring will bring? If you could vacuum anything out of your life, what it be?
Lastly, Spring time is a celebration of new life and a fresh start. Get your hopes up and think about what it is that your cleaning your house for.
Here are a few posts on emotional intelligence that may help you as you clean house: Cleaning Up Your Emotional Environment Part 1, and Part 2