Spring cleaning is a sort of ritual followed almost all over the world, and refers to an annual exercise of cleaning all parts of a home or premises, when every square inch of floor, walls and cupboard space is given a thorough cleaning.
In the Western world, this ritual is undertaken in March, as that is the springtime and the time when the weather is at its best. Hence the name- spring cleaning. Different parts of the world follow different times for this annual exercise and in Iran it is just before the Persian New Year, while in India it would be just before the festival of lights or Dipavali, which is also the New Year for many communities. Most households will have a normal cleaning routine that is followed all the year round, but when spring cleaning is to be done, it involves, taking down every item from where it is stored and then being cleaned. Books, curious and the cutlery in the home will get a thorough cleaning, as will all the shelves and cupboards that house them. All drapes and furnishings may also be washed or dry cleaned or changed. Doors and windows will also be cleaned and made spotless. In many countries, this is the time when winter has finally gone away, and the ritual of spring cleaning may require the winter clothes to be kept away, for reuse the following year. Mattresses will be aired and flipped and given new linen. A similar exercise is also undertaken by commercial establishments and offices and is also a form of stocktaking.
Before you start on any spring cleaning activities, it can help to go through the home, room by room, and make a list of areas and spaces that need particular attention. Top of the list has to be the wall, the corners of ceilings, ceiling fans, windows, tops of cupboards and furniture. Get yourself a good broom, one with extendable handles so that you can reach every part of the home, especially the ceilings. They can be very helpful in removing all the cobwebs, that you are bound to find in difficult to reach corners, which normally get ignored during daily cleaning activities. Also, make sure that you have some cleaners to take care of difficult stains on floors, walls, furniture, doors windows, glass top tables and others. It can do no harm if you take the trouble to get to cleaners that are environmentally friendly and do not contain any harmful chemicals. Of course, the best cleaner for spring cleaning continues to be plain water and soap and a lot of elbow grease. You can also get a lot of help from having vacuum cleaners as one of the products that can make spring cleaning easier. Scrub brushes can give better results than just plain mops though they will require greater effort, but the final result of the cleaning will make your floors and walls nice and gleaming.
Do not forget your carpets and furnishings. If they are small, these items can be taken out of the home and given a thorough beating to remove all the dust, and then must be vacuumed to remove all traces of the loosened dust. It makes sense to take up one room at a time and concentrate on every item in it. This way, the entire home is not upset, and the other areas continue to be livable. Take special care in kitchens and bathrooms, as these are the areas that are most likely to have a lot of germs and bacteria around. And do not forget the basement or attic or any place like the garage, where you store a lot of things. It may not be a bad idea during such spring cleaning to take an inventory of all the things you have stored, and get rid of things that are really of no further use to you. You will reduce the clutter and have less to clean.
Your initial survey of all the rooms will have given you a good idea of the work to be undertaken, and it can do no harm to draw up a schedule for carrying out the work. Get members of your family to help, and convert it into a sort of fun game, more like a picnic, with lots of food and drink, during the breaks that such activities do need, if they are to be sustained. Make sure that you have a good supply of brooms, mops, cleaners and other supplies. If your carpets are wall to wall, it can do no harm to coincide your spring cleaning with some steam cleaning done by an agency. These people can also steam clean furnishings if you so desire. A rough guide is to set aside as many days for spring cleaning, as you have rooms in your home. If your cleaning activities can only be undertaken on weekends, make necessary allowance for this. It is also possible to get in cleaning services to undertake such intensive cleaning, and you will be well served, if you get in the agency to inspect your home and give them details of what you expect from the job. They may undertake to do this within a couple of days, and you will have to make sure that their schedule matches your own.
Spring cleaning time is also when you can completely reorganize all your cupboards and storage so that things are kept away in a disciplined manner, where everything has its place, and it becomes easier to find. Use this time to remove all the clutter from your home, by organizing a garden sale, or give things to charities, which will be very glad to receive your handouts. You can always reduce the need for spring cleaning if you periodically go through the things in your home and ensure that you never accumulate any unwanted things. Once you have finished the spring cleaning of your home, hold a small party to celebrate the event and that you now have a home that you are proud of.