I recently found out the origins of the act of “spring cleaning”. It completely fascinated me! I mean, I don’t know about you, but the spring is the busiest time of year for me and my family. I certainly don’t have a lot of extra time to deep clean my home. So how did the concept all begin?

Back in the days when people heated their home with fuels that didn’t burn cleanly, like coal and oil, the home would get covered with soot over the course of the winter months. When the warm weather arrived in the spring, it was custom to air out the house and wipe down every nook and cranny to remove the accumulated soot. While you were wiping down each
surface, it was encouraged to get rid of any items that were no longer needed.

Now our homes are heated with cleaner fuels, so we don’t have the need to remove soot. But this tradition or concept is engrained in our society.

Now I have to say, for me it is more of “summer cleaning” than “spring cleaning”, but I am inspired by this concept of treating each space in the home as a spot that collected soot, dirt, and grime over the previous year. I don’t think of myself as a person with a lot of extra belongings.

But even with the best of intentions, my busy lifestyle will inevitably result in extra accumulation and clutter. As an
organizer, I am focused on organizing with my clients, not cleaning. The difference is that cleaning focuses on the surface and how things look on the surfaces, and organizing focuses on the system behind maintaining the items that accumulate on the surfaces.

I’m going to attack my home this summer with the idea of wiping down every nook and cranny and not just looking
at the items on the surfaces. It may not be soot from fuel that is on my surfaces, but the dust and dirt is enough of a motivation to get cleaning! My hope is that I’ll uncover lots more items hiding deep in the nooks and crannies of my home that can go!