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 there are biological, social and psychological reasons for the spring cleaning ritual… and that’s a good thing.
During winter, 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. Our mood tends to be more subdued and energy levels are lower. Housekeeping habits may slip. We spend more time indoors, added indoor activities, coupled with the fact that we tend to keep doors and windows closed results in soil and contaminant build-up.
Then, the first day of spring comes in late March. When it arrives most of us are ready for the renewed energy and freshness that spring brings. Days get progressively longer and nights are 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.
Once the winter doldrums pass, we become more aware of the less than ideal condition of our surroundings. The energy and optimism of spring prompts us to improve our environment. It’s easier to be enthusiastic about cleaning and organizing in the springtime. You feel a sense of accomplishment upon completing a task. Your self-esteem increases. Endorphins are released into your body increasing your sense of well being.
In addition, you feel pride of ownership when your home is clean and organized, further improving your mood. Few things make you feel more positive than living in a home that is clean, fresh and neatly organized.
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 types of work and play activities change, so we put away winter toys and tools and get out the ones for warmer weather. Now we need to clean out and organize our garages, basements and attics. An organized home is more efficient, resulting in less wasted time and frustration.
A clean home is a healthy home. Cleaning is the process of removing soils and contaminants from an environment or material. This results in better indoor air quality, a reduction of microbial growth and the added benefit that your carpet and other furnishings will last longer.