It’s no coincidence that many people visualise a brightly lit day and breezy open windows when imagining their annual spring clean. However, with Britain’s current weather refusing to live up to seasonal expectations, many households across the nation are yet to don their rubber gloves. Modern retailer Clas Ohlson has joined forces with a team of psychological and scientific experts to reveal the importance of this cleaning tradition and encourage late starters to grab their feather dusters.
Physics professor, Dr Mark Hadley states that despite the cold snap, April is still the optimum time for people to indulge their natural desire to start afresh. The key psychological trigger that kick-starts the need to de-clutter is actually to do with the rate of change of daylight hours – which is most noticeable in the weeks following the start of British Summer Time.
According to Dr Clive Sherlock of The Oxford Centre of Mindful Practice and Adaption, spring-cleaning not only impacts domestic aesthetics but also plays an important role in psychological wellbeing. The psychological benefits of a clean house include a clear mind, increased motivation and additional energy.
Dr Sherlock offers five useful tips to help prepare for success:
1. Imagine a clean, organised house – a useful tip to get started is to try and imagine your house completely clean, tidy and organised. It will spur you on!
2. Make a to-do-list – a useful way of knowing what needs to be done and tackling each task one at a time makes the job seem easier.
3. Organising the chaos – the perfect solution for de-cluttering is to make two piles; ‘definitely keep’ and ‘definitely go’. Use bags or boxes and the ‘definitely go’ pile can go straight to a charity shop or you can sell items at a car boot sale or online.
4. Treat yourself to a break – you’ve earned it!Cleaning can burn 200 calories per hour so make sure you take breaks to rest and keep energy levels up.
5. Reward – as well as the satisfaction of a job well done, promise yourself a reward at the end of the spring clean, it will help to motivate you throughout.