The Gestalt of Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning is rewarding, if not always necessary.

By FamilyTime


Come spring, we don’t need to clean our houses any more vigorously than we do during the rest of the year, and yet there’s something about those early balmy days that prompts many of us to throw open the windows and sweep out the corners.

In days gone by, houses were kept shut up during the frigid winter months. Drapery was drawn over the windows, fires and stoves were kept going around the clock, and pillows and blankets were stacked high on sofas and beds.

When spring arrived, homemakers thankfully opened the doors and windows to let the fresh air waft through the house. They hauled rugs outside and hung them over fences, where they were beaten to rid them of dust and grime. Bedclothes were washed and hung on lines in the spring sunshine. Blankets and pillows were aired, too, in the warm air.

Inside the house, everyone who could manage a broom, dust rag, or brush went about sweeping cobwebs from forgotten corners and wood soot from floors, windows, and furniture. Finally, the smell of furniture polish mingled with that of soap and water and spring air.

If the porch needed painting, the kitchen table some repair, or the slipcovers mending, this was the time to do it. Early warm days and the sensation of the sunshine on shoulders and arms energized families to take stock of their houses and bring them up to standards.

That Was Then; This Is Now
We don’t have to worry about soot from the wood stove. We can vacuum — and do — all winter long. Our insulated houses stay snug and warm and our furnaces provide clean heat. Our homes are probably just as clean in February as in June.

Nevertheless, many of us still embark on spring cleaning. It’s a time of year when we can open the windows wide and let the midday sun shine in. We put away flannel sheets, down comforters, and winter boots.

This is a good time to rent a steam cleaner for carpets and to perk up the paint on the windowsills. Take down curtains and get them cleaned. Send bedspreads to the dry cleaners or wash them yourself.

Few of us have clotheslines, but pillows and other bedding will smell great if you let them air out on a deck or porch for a few hours.

Soon enough we’ll seal up our homes again when we turn on air conditioners. Enjoy this time of year when we can let the sun and fragrant spring air fill our rooms.