Why Is Spring Cleaning a Thing Anyway?

spring cleaning tradition
Heather says:

Why did Spring Cleaning become a tradition?

In the past many homes were heated with wood fire or coal stoves, both of which produce soot that gets deposited on walls, windows, and flooring. Over the winter this soot and the mud and filth tracked in would build up. Spring cleaning meant opening the windows wide, washing the walls, welcoming in the fresh air and cleaning out the dust, soot, and mud from the winter.

While many newer homes have forced air or other means of heating, it’s still nice to open the windows in the spring and welcome in the new season. Improved heating methods also have done nothing to stop the tracked in mess of mud and salt.


What is the point of welcome mats, door mats, and runners?

Finally spring cleaning serves as a convenient time to perform annual and semi-annual chores both inside and outside of the home.

  • Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors.
  • Check your fire extinguisher(s).
  • Wash your windows.
  • Rotate mattresses and clean them while you’re at it. You do have a mattress pad, right?

How to clean your mattress and why you should

How to store blankets without inviting mildew

Here at Home-Ec 101 I’ve been giving the site a makeover. I hope you’re enjoying the new more Pinterest friendly graphics. When I started this site, back in the dark ages of ’07, Pinterest didn’t exist. I am not a graphic designer and for years I stressed about how to fix this. Finally, I realized I should hire people who are good at this. HE101 is getting its own Spring Cleaning and articles that have been buried in the depths of the site are getting dusted off, tweaked, and brought out into the light.

My physical home is also getting a makeover and in the next few weeks I should finally have a bathroom that isn’t cringe worthy. Yay! It’s a big project that involves ripping out the subflooring, repairing joists, and adding an extension to a sewage pipe. I’m bringing in a contractor to handle the big stuff, but I still have to finish stripping the wallpaper. Can I tell you how much I hate stripping wallpaper?

While we aren’t a 100% done with the site makeover, if you haven’t looked at the Clean It section of the site, I invite you to take a quick poke around and tell me what you think.

Do you have an opinion on whether or not I should keep the Chore Post-It on the site?

Clean Up with Home Ec 101

Click this picture to read cleaning tips for every room of the house!

guide to spring cleaning

Click the picture to learn more!



  1. Peggy on March 12, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    I did not know that tidbit about spring cleaning – interesting! I think the Post-It is cute.

    • Heather Solos on March 13, 2015 at 9:15 am

      Thank you!
      I had the idea when I first started the site. 🙂

  2. Wendy on March 11, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Oh boy! I’m in the middle of a huge decluttering project, that will end with deep spring cleaning. I’m so excited! I can’t WAIT to fling open the windows and air out the house!

  3. Aimee Giese | Greeblehaus on March 11, 2015 at 11:16 am

    THE WINDOWS, HEATHER. Seriously.

    • Heather Solos on March 11, 2015 at 4:36 pm

      I take it you aren’t thawing out quite yet?

      I had to close mine and . . . turn on the AC.
      /runs and hides

  4. Tamara @ We3Travel on March 11, 2015 at 10:45 am

    I want to hire someone just for spring cleaning! I usually get through a couple of these tasks but then run out of time and energy.

  5. Pattie on March 11, 2015 at 10:32 am

    Please never ever lose the chore post its!!!!!! I love them and check them every single morning. They are a regular part of my day!!!

    • Heather Solos on March 11, 2015 at 10:42 am

      Thank you, I’m going to work to get it to fit more smoothly into the theme of the site. It’s looking a little after-thought-ish and annoying me. 🙂
      It won’t go away though.

  6. Jenn on March 11, 2015 at 8:49 am

    We have a smell in our house. Possibly dead mouse but hopefully just a stale house. So my job today is to air-out the house and clear out the places where my husband is smelling the smell. And they’re the dead corners where things collect and air doesn’t circulate so either option is possible.

    I love the idea of spring cleaning and talk a good game but I usually balk at some point when it’s just too nice to stay indoors.

    • Heather Solos on March 11, 2015 at 10:18 am

      I think find the smell is my least favorite household game and as the kids get older there seem to be more options for the cause.
      I would suggest that you check for a rotten potato.
      More than once that has been the case in my house. A potato escapes a bag (or a child) and ends up behind the fridge or in the way back of a cabinet and rotten potatoes can end up putrid, like a dead mouse.

  7. deneicer1 on March 28, 2012 at 10:10 am

    I never can get the frame of a sliding door clean….ugh…like a shower door or a sliding glass door (and I have one of each.)

  8. Caitlin B on March 26, 2012 at 9:32 am

    My least favorite place to clean is the bathroom floor… so much lint!

  9. AmysFinerThings on March 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I don’t jump at any of my cleaning, but it is kind of fun to organize and do the seasonal clothing swap. 

  10. arscarbrough on March 20, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Least favorite place to clean is the bathroom.

  11. arscarbrough on March 20, 2012 at 10:20 am

    I’m excited about getting my house really clean.

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