· 3 min read
As winter starts to fade away, and longer days bring the promise of blooming flowers and hope for what is to come, we’re all eager to emerge with a fresh start from the year-long COVID-19 lockdown at home. It’s time to open our windows and start a big spring clean. The good news: Even though tackling the dust bunnies, stubborn stains and invisible germy nooks and crannies can feel overwhelming, it can be incredibly cathartic and a great stress buster.
A deep clean and tapping into your inner Marie Kondo de-cluttering mode can help you feel invigorated, be happier and get healthier, says Lisa Yakas, a consumer product safety expert, and a trained microbiologist, at NSF.
"Cleaning can give you a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. You’re creating a healthier home for yourself and your family."
“There’s nothing more invigorating than when you look around your house after you’ve done a deep clean, especially in thinking ahead to when we can invite guests over,” says Lisa. "Cleaning can give you a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. You’re creating a healthier home for yourself and your family."
Lisa speaks from personal and professional experience. The months after the pandemic at-home lockdown have created a revolving door at the Yakas household because some weeks her sons Tyler, 10, and Cole, 12, are back at school and other weeks they study remotely (from their bedrooms). Lisa has transformed the dining room of the family’s suburban home into her NSF “office,” and her husband, Tom, has been relegated to the basement for his full-time work headquarters. With everyone home all the time, cleaning has become an all-hands-on-deck priority.
Lisa is trying her best to reap the mood-enhancing benefits of a spruce up, especially as she prepares for her annual spring deep cleaning.
“Spring cleaning is a great time to open all the windows and breathe in some fresh air and let it circulate throughout your home,” says Lisa. “This year especially, we have to look at spring cleaning as a great way to make our homes healthier for our loved ones and safer to get together with others when that time comes.”
For starters, she says doing a thorough spring cleaning of your home has several health benefits because:
“Cleaning your kitchen especially can set you up for making healthier food choices,” she says.
A clean home can strengthen your immune system, especially if you have allergies and other inflammation triggers. That can also help you prevent illness. A clean house is less likely to gather dust, mold and other germs, says Lisa. She recommends making sure to clean the out-of-reach dust that collects on floor base boards, lamp shades, lights, ceiling fans, windowsills and blinds.
In a year of compounded crises, tidying up the messes in our homes can bring comfort, says Lisa. “It just makes you feel more in control of things.”
If there is a silver lining to the pandemic quarantines, many people spending more time at home are jumping on the cleaning bandwagon.
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