Spring is on it’s way shortly, and to many in western society that means: spring cleaning.
Although this idea is known commonly throughout the U.S., it is speculated that the tradition of spring cleaning has, surprisingly, Eastern origins.
The Iranian New Year falls on the first day of Spring (March 20th), and to this day “khooneh tekouni” is practiced during this time. It literally means to “shake the house” and is observed by most Iranian people today.*
Another school of thought suggests that Spring cleaning comes from the Jewish preparation of the festival of the Passover, which takes place over the course of a week usually in late March to mid April. Jews are commanded by God in Exodus 12:15 to rid their homes of all small leavened bread remnants prior to Passover, so there is a traditional candlelight search for breadcrumbs (called “bedikat chametz”) the night before the festival begins.*
So what is so significant about Spring cleaning in American culture?
Several factors could contribute to the expression of purging old belongings and cleaning house this time of year.
A motivator could be the abundance of extra possessions one may find themselves in after the intense gift-giving holiday season. Another is the warming of the weather that makes dust of surfaces more visible and outdoor cleaning more enjoyable.
All in all, when a house-wide purge begins, where do we usually begin? The closet.
Coat closets, storage closets, bedroom closets, oh my! Here are some tips for you to achieve your best springtime closet.
Many of us make the mistake of getting rid of old winter clothes that we will not need for another 7 months or so, because they tend to be bulky and take up too much space. Certainly get rid of clothes you did not wear all winter (or the winter before, especially), but place them in storage containers with the exception of a few sweaters or light jackets you may need on rainy days. This will free up space and make your morning selection a breeze. When autumn arrives, do the same with your summer clothes. This will help with not being overwhelmed by all that’s in your closet.
Due to the weather getting warmer and the New Year well behind us, many have stuck to their resolutions have slimmed their waistline considerably (and are still in the process of doing so). If you found you have lost weight and many of last year’s spring clothes are now too big for you, keep at least a couple of pieces you like the most. There’s still a chance you could gain some of the weight back before the warmer months end, and you don’t want to be without clothes!
While going through all the clothes in the closet, this is the best time to thoroughly remove all clothing and wipe shelves and surfaces that are normally concealed. Shoes especially can leave dirt residue on closet shelves which can transfer to clothing or other items. If your custom closet is made from real wood, be sure to use wood polisher as well!
Make getting ready in the morning the best time of day by shaping your closet into a work of art!
We hope you are inspired to feel fresh and clean this season with these ideas, and happy, happy Spring!