Spring is a time of renewal, of bright light and bright colors, when people start feeling more energetic. For many, renewed energy translates into a desire for a new beginning in a refreshed environment. In other words, spring cleaning. Cleaning one’s living space and making a new start by organizing your home can produce an improved emotional state, reduce stress, and stimulate an inclination toward creativity. Getting rid of the debris and possessions accumulated over a period of months and years makes you feel purposeful and instilled with a sense of direction. It becomes easier to relax and just enjoy being home. Just as importantly, ridding your home of allergens and toxic materials makes you feel better physically.
Where to begin
The mess we’re most familiar with, that which confronts us every day, is the clutter that builds up around us every day. During the long, dark, cold winter days, people are often less inclined to go room by room and weed out what you no longer need or want and organizing what you’re holding on to. When the sun’s shining and a warm breeze is blowing through the front door, you feel much more inclined to roll up your sleeves and dive in. Decluttering your home eliminates a lot of the dust that contributes to allergies and respiratory problems.
Dust and dander constitute a significant threat to any member of your family who suffers from asthma or other breathing issues, so take care to vacuum thoroughly and frequently. Get into those corners and do a thorough job in closets, crawl space, the basement and other parts of the house where stored belongings tend to sit for long periods of time. Consider using a vacuum that has an HEPA filter, which captures particles from the carpeting, the number one source of many allergens.
Guard against mildew
Mold and mildew are potentially dangerous health problems that can grow almost anywhere there’s dampness and lack of airflow. Your basement, attic and crawl space are prime spots to watch for water leakage or anywhere there’s been standing water in your house, particularly if it comes in contact with boxes, clothing or some other object. If you find evidence of mold or mildew, use a bleach/water solution to kill the bacteria and keep the area thoroughly ventilated to prevent its spread.
Use non-toxic cleaners
Cleaning fluids composed of toxic materials represent a threat to your indoor air quality and your family’s health, as well as to the environment. Look for an increasing number of environmentally friendly cleaning products, though you’ll need to make sure your house is well-ventilated while cleaning.
Spring is also the perfect time to do some cleaning outside your home. Gutters and downspouts tend to become clogged during the winter, as wind, snow and other precipitation brings down tree limbs and yard debris, which finds its way into your home’s gutter system. Use a hose to make sure water flows freely through your gutters so you don’t end up with standing water around your foundation, which can lead to serious structural damage.
Getting your home cleaned and ready for a busy spring and summer is always a good feeling. You’ll feel more relaxed and a freshened indoor environment makes you feel good from a physical standpoint. It’s hard work, but well worth the peace of mind.