My sister and I are ahead of the Spring clean-up! We have both been inspired to upgrade our furniture, refresh our paint, put in floors, buy new appliances, clean out garages, etc. We have gone back and forth to each other’s houses to assist in the individual projects. It’s been a lot of fun sharing chores and design ideas. Many hands make light work!
What is it about this time of year that inspires us to clean out the closets, wash the windows and do all those annual jobs that we have put off for, well, a year! Even manufacturers of cleaning supplies ramp up the advertising for their products. It actually turns out that spring cleaning is rooted in ancient cultures from the East.
In the Middle-East , the Jewish custom of Passover is a time to clean house. The holiday marks the exodus of the Jews from Egypt and takes place two weeks after the Jewish new year. Unleavened bread became a symbolic reminder of the subjugation the Jews overcame as slaves in Egypt. During Passover, regular bread made with yeast is considered arrogant. To ensure that there are no crumbs left of the regular bread during Passover, the house is scoured to remove any trace. As Passover occurs around April, many believe that this is the origin of spring cleaning.
In Iran, the New Year arrives on March 21st. This is a time of regeneration for Iranians. They will use symbols like burning and planting to signify this refreshed life. Houses are part of the ritual which is done in the two weeks preceding and is called “Khaneh Takani” or shaking the house. Every bit is scoured and cleaned!
The Chinese are also in the running as orginators of the spring clean. The Chinese New Year falls after the western new year and in anticipation, the Chinese sweep their floors and clean their homes to get rid of any bad luck or misfortune that might have accumulated over the past year.
In the end, perhaps it is just a human need to prepare for spring, the season of renewal! Life seems to be sweeter when the sun shines on clear windows! Whatever the drive or the reason, my sister and I are happy to put our feet up after a hard day’s work and reflect on the accomplishments of the day. Spring is also the best time of year to sell your house.