Is spring cleaning necessary?
Spring cleaning is the traditional practice of thoroughly cleaning a home in the early part of the year, usually just as spring arrives. No one’s quite sure exactly where the custom originated, but it has precedent in nearly every part and culture of the world, from Persia to Japan and from Judaism to the Catholic Church.
Why is it called spring cleaning?
In the more northerly parts of the northern hemisphere, spring cleaning marked the end of a long, cold winter. After a few dark months cooped up inside keeping warm – and producing plenty of mess – households would throw open their windows to let light and air pour in. The whole family (and any of their servants) would then be put to work scrubbing, dusting and tidying — with the fresh air blowing away the great clouds of dust they’d kick up.
As the years went by, this annual deep-clean became a well-known event all across Europe and America. Most of us will have grown up dreading the day in March or April our mothers and fathers thrust dusters into our hands and frantically ran noisy hoovers around the house.
Some of us might have even wondered what all the fuss was about — surely it’s better to clean a little at a time throughout the year, rather than all at once? Is spring cleaning worth the bother?
Is deep cleaning necessary?
Everyone has their own baseline level of tidiness they like to maintain in the home. Mess comes and goes, but it’s handled before it gets really out of hand — while time, children and the laws of physics prevent the house from ever getting “properly tidy”. Generally, though, most of us cast our eyes around our homes and think: “it’ll do”.
Unfortunately, however, we aren’t always the best judges. Firmly ensconced in our homes, wrapped up in our daily lives, we can find ourselves accidentally adjusting our expectations lower and lower. Similarly, even the most organised householder can find themselves putting off certain tasks – cleaning or replacing windows, regrouting a shower or defrosting a freezer – until they become potentially expensive problems.
Importantly, we often underestimate just how dirty an otherwise-presentable house can be. As the television programme “How Clean Is Your House?” informed a generation of homeowners, even a fairly effective “it’ll do” approach to cleaning can have nasty consequences. They’d often find mould in cracks and spores in the air, E. Coli on the toilet seat and showerhead and Salmonella in the kitchen cupboards.
Finally, we almost alway underestimate the positive effect on our lives deep-cleaning our house can have. A clean house is a home at its very best — temporarily free of stress, a source of pride. A pleasant home filled with fresh air puts you in a pleasant, fresh state of mind.
In short, yes — deep cleaning is necessary.
How often should a house be deep cleaned?
With all that said, that doesn’t mean you should deep-clean your house every fortnight. Life’s too short!
Cleaning is a deeply personal matter. It’s up to each of us to play it by ear. Spring cleaning is a useful custom because it provides us with a set time of the year to get stuck into sorting out our homes. It also comes at a great time, allowing us to blow the winter’s cobwebs away and clear away any Christmas mess-hangover. For most people, a solid spring clean followed by your usual weekly clean will suffice, with occasional extra effort as required.
In larger, messier households or very old homes, it might be worth considering a spring and an autumn deep clean, for example. However, remember it’s your decision — some deep-cleaning is always better than none at all.
What does deep cleaning include?
Ordinary “shallow” cleaning is about cleanliness — keeping up appearances, letting you live your life without worrying about tripping over toy cars or inhaling dust. Deep cleans are about getting to hard-to-reach or stubborn mess, scrubbing away accumulated muck in kitchens and bathrooms, and ensuring appliances, carpets, windows (and anything else) are in a fit condition to last another year. In the home, it’s always a good idea to declutter too!
You can read a helpful guide to deep cleaning here.
How long does it take to spring clean your house?
Again, there’s no magic number. Spread over a busy working week, you could take five or more days to really get around the house, doing a little a day. On the other hand, you might wake up early, conscript your partner and children and make a weekend of it. Many hands make light work!
One thing that isn’t often discussed about cleaning is how unbearable some people find it. While this doesn’t change what needs to be done, there’s no harm in breaking up the task into manageable chunks, performed over the course of a fortnight or more. And, if you’re really busy in spring, you can simply carry out a winter, summer or autumn clean instead!
If this still doesn’t work for you or you’re seriously strapped for time, there are plenty of cleaning companies around who offer thorough and reasonably-priced deep cleaning for homes.
How much does a deep house cleaning cost?
A quick web search shows plenty of companies in West Sussex providing house cleaning services. One company offered a specific spring cleaning service from £15 an hour! In general, cleaning costs depend on the size of your property. InTheWash.co.uk have published a handy little guide to cleaning prices. For an “End of Tenancy” clean (essentially a deep clean), suggesting a price of £160 for a three-bed house, excluding carpet cleaning. It can, however, sometimes be a good idea to pay for quality over cost.
If you’re carrying out a deep clean yourself, it’s much cheaper. Aside from cleaning tools and products, your only expense will be time and effort — and if you’re cleaning with friends or family, the process can be surprisingly fun.
Good luck and happy cleaning!