Why is spring cleaning a thing? Here's how this staple ritual came about and why it's important

 Cleaning products on open shelving.
Cleaning products on open shelving.

Spring cleaning feels like the buzzword of the moment. We're either thinking about it, talking about it, or doing it, but this can leave us pondering one question: why is spring cleaning a thing?

After all, cleaning isn't just a seasonal trend. It's something we do throughout the year (or at least try to with the help of a cleaning calendar), so why is spring cleaning a thing? What is it about this time of year that makes everyone refresh their homes with a particular kind of rigour?

'Spring cleaning, for many, is almost an annual “event” that punctuates the year,' says Pierre Andre, Founder, Wecasa. 'For many people, it's even a real post-winter tradition.'

Spring cleaning has undoubtedly become the most important event in the cleaning calendar, but not many people understand why. We've asked the experts the question - why is spring cleaning a thing? - to not only satisfy our curiosity but so we can find an extra surge of motivation and understand why now is the best time to deep clean the home.

Why is spring cleaning a thing?

'There are various explanations as to why spring cleaning has become a moment in time, but generally, spring has always signified rebirth and renewal and a season to refresh after a long winter – and cleaning naturally lends itself nicely to this,' Michelle Chadwick, Senior Product Manager at Zoflora explains.

'As we start to see longer days and brighter skies, people feel more inspired – and have more time - to set new goals, embark on fresh projects, or simply declutter and clean their surroundings.'

Many of us will notice an increase in our energy levels as we emerge from the cold, dark days of winter. This goes a long way in giving us a boost of motivation to start deep cleaning the home.

Winter is also historically a time of hibernation. We naturally spend more time at home during the colder months, meaning our interiors become a little more used and well-loved. For instance, spending an abundance of time on one of the best sofas is one of the joys of winter, but it's more likely to need a refresh afterwards.

Washing machine fitted in kitchen with green painted cabinets, shelving, and patterned wallpaper
Washing machine fitted in kitchen with green painted cabinets, shelving, and patterned wallpaper

Spring cleaning has therefore developed into an annual opportunity to freshen up every aspect of the home, and breathe some new life into it. As the trees start to come into bloom and wildlife slowly creeps back in to our gardens, so to do our homes need a fresh start.

'After winter Sundays spent cocooning under the blankets, the return of the sun gives you the need and the desire for renewal and productivity,' says Pierre from Wecasa. 'It’s warmer, the windows can be opened without the annoyance of insects (yet), and the sun shows up all the dust and dirt around the home.'

Sun streaming through the windows really does throw dusty corners and cobwebs into the limelight, which is sometimes all that's needed to kickstart the spring cleaning process. The coldness of winter can also lead to damp on windowsills - even if you try your best to stop condensation - which is another factor in why spring cleaning is a thing.

What are the benefits of spring cleaning?

Given that spring cleaning has evolved into a milestone event in our yearly calendar, it's important to know about all of its benefits. And these extend beyond giving our homes a spruce.

'The physiological aspect of spring cleaning is equally as significant,' says Natasha from Dr. Beckmann. 'Exposure to increased sunlight triggers the release of serotonin, associated with mood and wellbeing benefits. A clean home complements this natural mood boost.'

'Cleaning is great for mindfulness, and it can provide overall mental health benefits,' Michelle from Zoflora agrees. 'It has the power to boost moods due to the association with self-achievement that arrives once completing a set of tasks, which in turn can make us feel accomplished and satisfied.'

Spring cleaning is a beneficial ritual for our minds as well as our homes, and it can be a great way to rejuvenate yourself after the winter slump.

Cleaning equipment against a green wall
Cleaning equipment against a green wall

How do we get the most out of our spring clean?

So now we know the answer to why is spring cleaning a thing, we want to make sure we get the most out of it. Knowing the five rules for a successful spring clean is a good place to start.

'It’s good to use spring as an opportunity to think about cleaning tasks you haven’t done for a while, to help rejuvenate your home after the winter,' Michelle says. 'Don’t forget to empty and deep clean cupboards you may have neglected over winter, check food sell by dates, and reorganise cutlery drawers.'

Jobs like cleaning the washing machine and cleaning the fridge are ideally tackled during the spring clean, as these have probably been used a lot over the colder months and festive period.

'Get into all the corners and move things around to make sure that every inch of your home is cleaned nicely,' says Lawrence Akpiruo, Professional Cleaner, Wecasa. 'This is a great time to declutter also, getting rid of what you do not need. This will help keep your mind clear and make it easier to continue to keep your space clean and tidy.'

White painted kitchen and white cabinets with blue toaster and vases displayed on white worktop
White painted kitchen and white cabinets with blue toaster and vases displayed on white worktop

Above all, we recommend making a plan and sticking to it. Before you begin your annual spring clean, go around the home and write a list of everything that needs cleaning. Then, stock up on any supplies you need, make sure all your cloths and sponges are clean, and you're good to go.

It's also a great time to add some fresh scents into the home, in the spirit of refreshing the atmosphere. Consider investing in a good reed diffuser - we love the Elemental Herbology Rejuvenate Reed Diffuser, £33 at Amazon. This will make your entire space feel cleansed and reenergised. Or, celebrate the end of your spring clean by lighting a new candle - Yankee Candle have plenty of gorgeous scents to choose from, including the lightly floral Stargazing Scent, £29.99 at Yankee Candle.


Why does spring cleaning exist?

'Spring cleaning finds its origins in the traditional practice of thoroughly cleaning homes after a long, dark winter,' says Natasha, Dr. Beckmann. 'As the weather warms, people open their windows and doors, allowing fresh air to circulate and banish the stale winter atmosphere.'

The annual spring clean is an opportunity for people to refresh their homes after winter, which in turn makes themselves feel rejuvenated. Our homes can be a little neglected during the colder months, even if we do our best to keep on top of cleaning them. Our energy levels are lower, and we're spending more time indoors than in the summer months.

When spring comes, our energy levels are naturally boosted, making it the perfect time to breathe new life into our homes.

What is the point of spring cleaning?

'From improving your general mood, to feeling a sense of relief or simply using spring as the motivator for completing a deep clean you have put off, ‘spring cleaning’ can help different people, in different ways,' Michelle from Zoflora says.

The main point of spring cleaning is to refresh and reenergise our homes, give everything a deep clean, and make space for anything new. In doing this, we can experience a real sense of achievement, which can be a good boost for our mood and energy levels.

As Natasha from Dr. Beckmann puts it, 'spring cleaning is an annual reset button for our living spaces. It enables us to declutter, reorganise and create a healthier and more pleasant environment all year round.'

So now you're no longer wondering 'why is spring cleaning a thing?', you can embrace spring cleaning and enjoy its many benefits. Happy cleaning!