Spring Cleaning for the Win!

Posted by: Sam Valentin on Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Is anyone else having issues with their allergies going nuts right now? You know what that means right? Spring is here!!

Goodwill Manasota is having a spring cleaning contest where you can win a weeklong getaway to Orlando, but you’ll have to wait until this end of this post to find out more! First... a history lesson.

With all the classic allergy symptoms of spring also comes warmer weather (although to be fair, in Florida spring and winter are basically the same temperature), longer days, and the urge to clean and refresh our homes a la spring cleaning. I was curious about how spring cleaning became an annual tradition so I did a little research to see what historical info I could find on the topic.

According to my research, the custom of spring cleaning can be traced to three different cultures: Iranian, Jewish, and Chinese. In all of these cultures, the New Year occurs later than the New Year we as Americans are familiar with, often right before the official start of spring.

In both Iranian and Chinese cultures, it is custom to do a full on scrubbing of every inch of the house in efforts to attract good luck and good fortune in the New Year. This makes total sense to me because a clean house is like a clean slate which is exactly what you want for a new year.

In the Jewish culture, the practice of spring cleaning lines up with Passover, which comes two weeks after the Jewish New Year. From what I could find online, having any type of leavened bread in the house during Passover is considered to be an insult to God, down to the even the tiniest bread crumb. In an effort to make sure not even the smallest breadcrumb is left behind, houses are cleaned from top to bottom.

One other interesting theory I found regarding spring cleaning relates to human biology. Because the days in winter are shorter and often darker, our bodies get less exposure to sunlight and in turn produce more melatonin. This makes us sleepy and less apt to do chores or clean the house. Conversely, the longer days that come with spring mean more sunshine and in turn more energy overall. We’re also more likely to pull up the shades and throw open the windows when spring arrives, which often, whether we like to admit it or not, shines a light on all the dust and grime that has accumulated over the winter.

So now that you know all about the origins of spring cleaning, what the heck does it have to do with Goodwill?

The most obvious answer is that chances are as you do your spring cleaning, you’ll come across plenty of items you no longer want or use. When you’re swapping out your winter wardrobe for the sundresses and t-shirts of spring, set aside any clothing that no longer fits or is out of fashion. We are always more than happy to accept your gently used items and give them new life in a new home.

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE! Remember a while back I wrote a post about how Goodwill accepts food donations that we then pass along to local food banks? If you’re spring cleaning your house, go ahead and clean out the old pantry as well. Then when you bring your food and house/clothing donations to Goodwill no later than March 27th you can enter to win a FREE week long vacation at the Orange Lake Resort in Orlando! That’s right – you could win a free trip simply by getting rid of the stuff you don’t need or want anyways! After you make your donation, go to experiencegoodwill.org/spring, and fill out the short entry form to be entered into the contest. But remember, this contest closes March 27th so get that cleaning done soon for your chance to win!



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