The Rites of Spring…Cleaning
~ Samantha Lewis
For those in the East, the term ‘Spring’ is not at all on their lips when they keep turning on the television weather and seeing the next, brand new snowstorm headed their way. For the rest of us, however, spring brings with it a great deal of fun, more warmth, more sunshine, and yes, the need to clean up all the dust, dirt, dog and cat hair, etc., that has accumulated in the house while the windows were shut tight against a cold, windy Mother Nature.
But before delving into the world of house cleaning, which is ever so much fun, the term ‘green’ should be thought of by each and every person out there. Yes, it would be nicer to just buy a new house every spring that is already clean, but economics would prove that to be a bit impossible for 99.999% of this world. Spring cleaning is a chore that must be done, but making sure to help the environment should also be at the top of the list.
Even with all the technology in the world, and how brands have changed over the decades, there are still hazardous chemicals in the smallest of cleaners that are, most likely, in your house under your sink waiting for you to use. And not only do these toxic chemicals hurt the environment, but they most definitely will hurt you and your family. And, let’s face it, the last thing you want to smell in your new, clean ‘Spring’ home are chemicals.
When it comes to scents, you are talking about one of the most hazardous things out there. Air fresheners can not be taken lightly. Spraying them in the house to smell that lovely – yet strong – lavender fresh scent may be something you wish to do, but it can be the worst possible thing to do. So…instead of actually using that air freshener, why not use a natural air freshener? Seems easy, right? Fresh cut flowers, the freshly mown grass – all of these scents come together to make a beautifully-scented home. Not to mention, a toxic-free one. Opening the windows can save your lungs, and make sure to give you the freshest scent possible. Mother Nature has it – use it!
Your home office is a mess. You have been piling and compiling everything from paper to books to wrappers from the snacks you eat while sitting there, etc., so now it’s time to clean it all and open up that window. Therefore, recycling is what must be done. Also, now is the time to turn to paperless options, which is easy considering the wealth of mobile apps and computer platforms that have made sure that paper is no longer required.
Seeing as that the rooms are now clean and the scent is now fresh, you will also head to the washing machine with your curtains, drapes, cushion covers, blankets, etc., because you want everything to smell awesome. After all, these linens have taken on the smell that the musky winter brought along with it. No windows open, perhaps smokers in the house, the pets you love – all of these have combined to make sure that laundry is the next step in ‘Spring’ cleaning.
Think ‘green,’ people! Every load of laundry uses approximately 35-40 gallons of precious water. Not to mention, the electricity that is used between both washer and dryer – and that’s on an hourly basis. Remember that idea of a clothesline? You’ve heard of it; perhaps you’ve even seen it in ‘Little House on the Prairie’ reruns. But this is not a technological device that should be tossed aside. Hanging clothes up on a clothesline outdoors gives them a beautiful clean scent and saves that electricity you really want to save now that your electric heat doesn’t have to be working overtime anymore.
And speaking of water? Now that the sun is out and the temperatures are much nicer outside (sorry East Coast), that long, hot shower is no longer a necessity. The only long hot shower that needs to be taken now is by the spring cleaner themselves. They deserve to step in there after the house is looking and smelling great in order to grant themselves a gift for all their hard work.
So…? Enjoy the Spring, people! Get the house in order, save energy, and use the blessings of nature to save money and the planet all at the same time.