Spring Cleaning: A waste of time or essential for happy living?

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By Marly Garman | Wealth of Geeks

Upwards of 86% of United States respondents plan to declutter and deep clean their homes this spring, according to Nextdoor’s January 2024 survey. As many as 29% plan to dedicate an entire day to the process, and others plan to spend more than a week getting their house in perfect order.

One might expect to see parks buzzing with people enjoying the sun after months inside. There’s something else topping many to-do lists that people are eager to accomplish this spring.

Is spring cleaning more ritual, tradition, habit, or necessity for well-being? Recent data suggests it may be a combination of all four. But one thing is clear: removing clutter and enjoying a clean, fresh-smelling home are the top priorities for feeling happier at home this spring.

Decluttering: A Necessary Ritual for Well-Being

With so many years of practice and valuable lessons from organizing gurus like Marie Kondo and The Home Edit, are people getting better at maintaining tidy homes year-round?

The popularity of home organization books and media promotes the relationship between home tidiness and overall happiness. However, with many tempting new products and emerging trends through the year, it’s difficult for shoppers to determine which new purchases will become favorites and which will find their way to the donation bin. Assuming that happens. Decluttering is an essential piece of annual spring cleaning and monthly deep house cleaning rituals.

One person’s clutter is another person’s treasure. Spring is a great time to recoup some sunk costs from unused items and search popular online resale marketplaces for expensive items like home gym equipment at reduced prices. Online marketplaces are also great ways to find great deals on gently used clothing, furniture, and exercise equipment.

Some decluttering is trickier than others. Many households struggle to implement effective systems to organize paperwork, store sentimental items, and release gifts that don’t suit their needs.

The biggest challenge with these items is to separate the thing from it’s emotional attachment. That could be induced by fears of tossing something important or guilt associated with discarding heirlooms and hand-me-downs.

Fortunately, technology can be a big help in moving past these emotional attachments. Use a digital file system or cloud storage solution like Dropbox to create files for medical paperwork, insurance, or banking documents. That way they’re easily accessible when you need them, without the clutter of physical paperwork.

You can also photograph and document memories associated with sentimental gifts received but rarely used. Logging these items in the cloud is a clutter-free way to honor sentimental memories. Once recorded, gently used items can be donated or listed for sale with the help of resale apps like Mercari, Facebook, or Nextdoor. Freeing up space is the first step in breathing a little easier.

Maximize the Freshness of the Season

By April, most of the U.S. has warmed to comfortable temperatures, making opening windows and letting in the fresh air enjoyable. Additionally, spring cleaning trends show that product scent and efficacy play a big part in how consumers source cleaning products. Though germ elimination remains the goal, a shift has been made toward more environmentally conscious and sustainable products ahead of spring cleaning.

Some nontoxic cleaning products, like white vinegar and baking soda, are available at a fraction of the price of brand-name household cleaning products. Baking soda is particularly effective for deodorizing and freshening soft surfaces like mattresses, cushions, and carpets. In contrast, vinegar is excellent for removing odor-causing buildup in kitchen drains, disposals, or dishwashers.

Cleaning and refreshing bulkier items — rugs, comforters, and pillows — can add freshness to indoor air. Home cleaning gurus remind homeowners to literally breathe a little easier by replacing air filters and dusting harder-to-reach places like fan blades, cabinets, and light fixtures.

As a finishing touch, pick up some fragrant houseplants to place around the house instead of chemical air fresheners. Some great potted plants to look for at local nurseries or grocery stores include lavender, jasmine, gardenia, and citrus trees. The casual incorporation of hyacinth flowers fills homes with a bright floral fragrance, noticeable upon every return home, and double as beautiful centerpieces for any spring gathering.

Boosting Mental Well-Being

A clean space invites a clear mind. As time passes, it is natural to accumulate things around the house, requiring a reset. Spring is a great time to open the windows and work on those oft-overlooked home areas. Even simple chores like dusting and sweeping can motivate and instill a sense of calm as you take control of your immediate environment. Even if you only have a few hours a day and have to space tasks out over a few weeks, cleaning at any pace can improve your mental and physical health with cleanliness and organization.

This article was produced by Media Decision and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.