Here’s our May 2021 client newsletter.
Why Spring Cleaning?
Have you ever wondered why we are annually seized by a sudden urge to air out the house, banish dust, organize closets, clean out cabinets, scrub floors, wash windows and organize our garages, attics and basements? It turns out that there are biological, social and psychological reasons for the spring cleaning ritual… and that’s a good thing.
In the winter time days are shorter and melatonin production (the hormone that produces drowsiness and enables us to fall asleep) is increased, making us want to relax and sleep more. We spend more time indoors. Our mood tends to be more subdued and energy levels are lower causing our housekeeping habits to slip. Various soils and contaminants begin to build-up in our homes as a result.
Then, the first day of spring comes in late March, and when it arrives most of us are ready. As we make it through April, the weather gets warmer and the days are getting progressively longer and nights are getting shorter. The additional daylight suppresses production of melatonin. The more daylight we are exposed to, the less melatonin we produce and the more alert, energetic and active we feel.
Spring has always been a time of change. Americans tend to have two distinct wardrobes: one for warm weather and one for cool weather. Since closet space is limited, we often clean and organize closets this time of year. The type of work and play activities change, so we put away winter toys and tools and get out the ones for warmer weather. Now we not only need to clean the house itself, but we also need to clean out and organize our garages, basements and attics. All of these biological, psychological and social reasons mean that we are basically hard-wired for spring cleaning. However, it is easy to become overwhelmed with all of the things you want to clean and organize.
Here are some suggestions on how to get motivated, accomplish more, and maybe even have a little fun in the process!
1. Break each large task into a list of smaller ones. For instance, divide “clean the garage” into “organize garage shelves”, “sweep garage floor”, “sort tools”, etc. Make a list and cross each task off as you complete it.
2. Listen to your favorite music. Up-tempo music is great while you are doing mundane activities like sorting through a “junk drawer” or cleaning out the closet. It’s okay to dance and sing while you work. In fact, you’ll enjoy working more if you move around! Remember the vacuuming scene from the movie Mrs. Doubtfire? Classic!
3. If you feel overwhelmed by a big project, don’t commit yourself to finishing it. Simply commit to work on it for 30 or even just 15 minutes. Then if you feel like it, keep going. Most often the momentum will be enough to keep you going. If not, quit and resolve to give it a go on another day.
4. Read your to-do list and prepare the necessary tools and supplies the night before. Your subconscious mind will work on the project while you sleep. Often you will wake up with ideas on how to do the job more efficiently. If you get the prep work out of the way, you will have a lot more momentum when you get started on your projects. Your attitude will be much better and you will be fired up and ready to go if much of the prep work is done beforehand.
5. Be ruthless with clutter! If you are cleaning out a closet or storage area, keep a large trash container nearby. Undecided as to whether you should keep something? Ask yourself, “When was the last time I used this? What’s the worst thing that could happen if I get rid of this and how hard would it be to replace?” Donate useful items to a charity. You’ll have less to store and you will feel really good about it!
6. Big projects like carpet and upholstery cleaning require expert help. Call Professional Carpet Systems for these. Your home will look, feel and smell fresh. An added benefit? Just knowing that we are coming to clean will give you the incentive to start on other spring cleaning projects that you may be putting off.