Welcoming Spring
Let's Get To Work

Let's Take A Deep Dive

Welcome to . . . 

Spring Cleaning Week

“My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.”
-- Erma Bombeck

So . . . the idea of doing a "deep dive" into spring cleaning actually came to me last year, as a way to usher in spring here on my blog, and, perhaps, to motivate myself to get rolling on a spring cleaning plan of my own. I did a lot of research and reading and thinking -- and just as I was ready to begin writing my posts . . . the pandemic showed up instead! It just felt wrong to be writing about spring cleaning when I was in free-fall! Spring cleaning? Are you kidding me? SO not a priority for me last year. In fact, let’s just say . . . I didn’t do any spring cleaning (although I certainly had plenty of time).

Fast forward to . . . Now. A couple of weeks ago, spring started (slowly) unfolding, and my thoughts turned to spring cleaning again. I dug out all the handy information I'd stuffed away, and decided . . . heck. I'll do it now. It's spring again. I still need a spring cleaning plan. And, besides, I need all the motivation I can get! Although I love having a neat-and-tidy house (and I’m really not a slob at all), I always have a hard time choosing cleaning over the millions of other things I want to do. Spring cleaning just seems to be so overwhelmingly daunting - and not at all fun - to me. It makes me tired just thinking about it.

Maybe you, too?
Well. Join me. I've got a week of spring cleaning-related posts all tee'd up and ready to go!


Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

What IS the big deal about spring cleaning anyway?
OR . . . A Very Small History of Spring Cleaning.

Spring cleaning, now, in our contemporary times, is an annual feel-good ritual that gives us a chance to catch up on chores, purge our closets, and welcome spring with fresh energy (and citrus scent!). But in the way-way-back-times, it was actually a necessity for health and well-being.

Before the advent of electric light and centralized heating, spring cleaning was essential in northern climates to restore indoor air quality after a long winter cooped up in a home heated and lit by coal, kerosene, wood, and whale oil -- which all left smoke in the air and soot on the windows - and every other surface in the house. Imagine the grime that would build up in a home after several months of winter!

“When you’re heating and lighting with open fires, the accumulation of grime,and the extent to which the house really got dirty from staying warm and well lit over the course of winter is beyond the comprehension of modern people.”
-- Susan Strasser, author of Never Done: A History of American Housework

So in the spring, houses were turned inside out as women (because you know it was women) hauled out rugs, curtains, and bedding outside to air -- while they scrubbed down every surface inside. And, back then, there was no indoor plumbing; no running water inside the house (it had to be carried in from elsewhere). No washing machines. No spray bottles of cleaning products. No places to “send things out” to be dealt with somewhere else . . . by someone else. No carpet cleaning services. Just a lot of back breaking work! And absolutely essential for improved air quality and a better standard of healthy living.

Here we are, more than a century later . . . still spring cleaning! Why? Why are we still doing this . . . now that we have electricity and central heating? Well. Part of it is due to our natural sleep-wake cycles. We DO sleep more in the winter months, and our energy levels drop. It's dark. It's cold. We just don’t have the emotional capacity or energy to deal with “keeping up” during the winter (and especially after the holiday crush). When spring - and longer days - return, we feel more energetic and ready to take on chores and household tasks again. Besides, our contemporary lives present their own hardships and impediments to cleaning. We may not have soot to deal with, but we do have jobs and commitments and children and, well . . . a pandemic.

So. How about YOU? Are you eager to get started with your spring cleaning chores? Or are you, like me, overwhelmed by the process (or . . . I should specify . . . overwhelmed by how much time the process takes)? Wherever you fall on the spring cleaning continuum, c'mon along this week for some tips, tricks, and strategies!


Spring Cleaning Tip of the Day

Always work from top-to-bottom.When you think about how to spring clean your home, it’s important to start from the ceiling down. This will force debris downward and keep you from having to re-dust or re-clean your space. If you have a vacuum with an extension hose, use it to get cobwebs and dust from your ceilings and fans first. Then dust your furniture and other items before vacuuming all the dust and debris off your floors. It will save you time. (Today's tip is from Sylvane - Indoor Health Matters.)

Have a good spring cleaning tip of your own - or some spring cleaning advice you'd like to share? Please pass it along in the comments -- and I'll share in my post on Friday!




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LOL - love the Erma Bombeck quote - the best! I used to do much, much more cleaning than I do now. But boy I remember my Mom Spring (and Fall) cleaning - moving all the furniture and in the kitchen even moving the frig and stove and cleaning behind them. Yikes!! So, no cleaning tips from me. I'd love to hire someone to come in (but not now...in these times). I did have a woman who came every two weeks to clean the house, but after a year, her thoroughness slipped a lot so we stopped using her.


I have been thinking about spring cleaning - probably since last April! This weekend I started making a list of things that need to be done in each room so I can try a room to room process. I look forward to your posts.


I am absolutely in the Erma Bombeck school of cleaning! LOL (although I always take the few curtains we have down in the spring and give them a good cleaning... and while they are down, I do the dreaded blind cleaning task...it really sucks! lol)


Spring cleaning time is usually a time for me to feel guilty because I don't spring clean. My grandmother used to spring clean with a vengeance, hauling rugs outdoors and beating them, washing walls and windows, and the lower walls and baseboards were always my job. Maybe my best advice is to enlist a small child to help with things close to the floor!


I do feel more energetic in spring, but cleaning is and has always been very far down on my list. I love a clean house, and I certainly know how to do it (I was trained by The Best - MOM), but it's just never been a priority (like it was for Mom) (also, I was one of a 5-member on-call workforce she had for many, many years). It's often spontaneous for me -- a warm sunny day, windows open, laundry on the line, and a surplus of energy to burn. I usually wash the kitchen windows, at least, because SUNSHINE, but it's been ages since I've thoroughly cleaned the kitchen cupboards... and they really need it. Hm. Keeping an eagle eye on your posts this week and maybe I'll find some motivation. (I like Juliann's idea of a room-by-room list & process.)

Erma Bombeck was THE BEST!!


I'm not sure I really do a traditional spring cleaning but I do swap out curtains and change some of the decor on the shelves and mantle. And I open up all the windows to air everything out. Does any of that count?!?


I can still see my grandmother sitting backwards on the ledge of the second story windows leaning back to wash the outside of the windows during her spring cleaning routine! I do like Erma Bombeck's idea of cleaning!


We could all use a little Erma Bombeck in our lives! My only tip is a good night’s sleep. Half the time even picking up a dropped candy wrapper feels overwhelming. Lucky we don’t eat too much candy. Also, a good vacuum and a good broom. No more wasted effort just shoving the dust around. More Erma please!

kin in oregon

I'm doing spring cleaning this week too! I wish I had seen this post yesterday though because Tim spent three hours cleaning all the floors! Oh well! I guess I'll do the top down and then finish off with another vacuum!


I have a feeling this series of posts is going to make me WANT to be a spring cleaner...but it seems that I'm not. I throw open doors and windows. And I always scrub down my porch (but I do that a few times each season). We "de-winterize" our old drafty windows. But when it comes to a traditional deep clean like I'd associate with spring cleaning, that only happens when out of town guests come. Or we host a party. So ask me the last time we did it :) Looking forward to the week of inspiration!


I'm actually feeling pretty good about spring cleaning this year ... since the entire house got a big ol' cleaning in December and all I really need to do is switch out linens (still too early for that) and arrange to have the windows cleaned (ditto). One of my friends (she's a real estate agent) has been sharing a series on Instagram about getting your house ready to sell and she's a huge fan of @gocleango. I've seen their tips/methods show up a lot in my (quite well-curated ;-) Instagram feed.


Thanks for the history lesson. . that was all new tome .
For some odd reason I decided to clean ourcarpet stairs at ten pm last night I spilled a ton of water and thank goodness it was clean. This morning I started to tidy up the screened porch and 2 hours later I was still scrubbi g Screens and floor. So I knocked that job out. It is normally a May chore........


I haven't ever really done a formal spring cleaning, but throughout the year I'll periodically get the urge to clean All The Things. My husband goes through purging cycles, where he'll start throwing things out indiscriminately, whereas I'm more likely to tidy a little here and there regularly. He makes me a little nuts because he'll complain, for instance, about the mail piling up, but he's the one who's most likely to let it sit there unopened or open a piece and then leave it there (me, I open up the mail right away and toss what I don't want).

One seasonal ritual that I do do is to switch out wardrobes. These days, it's mainly my daughter's clothes, because she doesn't have enough room in her chest of drawer for both warm and cold weather clothes, so we keep the off-season stuff in a plastic bin in her closet. Switching over the clothes is usually a big task because she has to try a lot on to see what still fits and what goes in the giveaway file. She mentioned the other day that she's looking forward to the day when she no longer outgrows her clothes, and I have to agree!


Spring cleaning is still a thing? JK As soon as the weather warms enough I open the windows wide. We love May and June as the air is finally warm enough to let into the house. I don't even mind the pollen as I am so happy to have nice weather. I keep the surfaces cleaned and dusted (almost daily), which seems a small price to pay. I do like the idea of starting at the top and working down, getting to ALL the places that need a good clean, but the likelihood of that happening are slim. I believe in doing the best you can.

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