The past and present of spring cleaning

The past and present of spring cleaning.

Anika Bates


It’s said that the origins of tidying up the house in the beginning of spring started in many different cultures and have evolved into everyday rituals that people all over the world follow.

One such story of the origin of spring cleaning said that it started as a tradition in preparation for the Persian and Iranian new year. This New Year celebration happens on March 21 of every year and is celebrated as a time of renewal.

“In the month leading up to Nowruz, households purchase new clothes, spring-clean the home, and make preparations for the Nowruz table spread,” the Heritage Institute said.

Another origin of spring cleaning comes from the Jewish time of Passover. Traditionally, those who practice Judaism and other Orthodox religions clean their houses in preparation of Passover and during Lent, which begins March 5.

“Before Passover, the house needs to be cleaned so that all chametz, leavened products, are removed,” said.

Spring cleaning has evolved to mean different things for different people. The cleaning no longer takes place on a set date, but rather many people choose to fit it into their schedules on their own time.

“I’m not a clean person when I’m in the middle of a quarter at Pierce. My car, room and bathroom are a disaster as of right now,” Pierce College student Caitlin Rosenbam said. “When I get a free minute, like spring break, I pretty much just spend a whole day cleaning until it’s spotless. Then it stays clean until classes start up again.”

The cleaning process has taken on different forms for people. While spring cleaning has always been a general sweep over of the house, many people choose a method to the madness.

“Spring cleaning, for me, starts in the cupboards and drawers and throwing everything out,” Pierce College student Noelle Steck said. “Pretty much a complete purge of things that have not been used within the year. I finish it off with washing curtains, bedding and miscellaneous items that are forgotten.”

For some, spring cleaning has retained some of the Persian and Iranian origins. It’s a fresh sense of renewal and rejuvenation in the everyday life of the cleaner.

“I truly believe your space reflects how you feel, and when my room is a mess it completely paralyzes me,” Steck said. “It’s a therapeutic process; I look forward to it every year.”

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning news media of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2018. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @thepuyalluppost

The past and present of spring cleaning

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