COVID-19 Changes the Face of Spring Cleaning

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Emma Truchan

COVID-19 has encouraged many to participate in this year's Spring Cleaning.

Emma Truchan, Features Editor

   Breeze blowing, birds chirping, sun shining — spring is officially in full bloom! This also means that it’s time for Spring Cleaning. Given the current situation that COVID-19 has forced Americans into, this annual event has taken on new meaning and practice. While at home in isolation, many are picking up their dustpans and wet wipes for a multitude of reasons; whether driven by an increased concern for sanitation, boredom with the monotony of quarantine, or a desire to stay productive, cleaning has proven to be a popular way to fill the time.

   With a sudden, great amount of free time on their hands, many have eagerly committed to Spring Cleaning to make this time worthwhile and to build good habits. Junior Olivia Upham said that before quarantine, she was a “binge-cleaner.” “Basically, I just let my room get super messy, then cleaned it all at once when I had the time,” she elaborated. She continued to say that this time has allowed her to build better habits by consistently maintaining a clean space. 

   While some may be participating in this novel Spring Cleaning to make good use of the free time, others have been motivated by their increased concern for sanitation. The New York Times encouraged those in self-quarantine to frequently disinfect “high-touch surfaces” such as doorknobs, phones, and countertops to reduce the likelihood of transmission of the disease (nytimes.com). Whether the drive comes from boredom or anxiety, tidying up has proven to be a popular and practical way to spend the time.

   This healthy dose of paranoia has the potential to encourage negative thoughts and feelings; combined with the stress brought on by the increasing stir-crazy, cleaning may be a good stress-reliever. The Centers for Disease Control website notes that the pandemic can bring waves of fear, anxiety, and stress to many (cdc.gov). However, cleaning has proven to be a productive way to divert attention from this negativity. According to University of Southern California Associate Professor of Psychology Darby Saxbe, “[Cleaning] gives people a sense of mastery and control over their environment. Life is full of uncertainty and many situations are out of our hands, but at least we can assert our will on our living space” (pubmed.gov). Feeling overwhelmed with all that’s going on? Participating in Spring Cleaning may be just the thing to help!

   Even if Spring Cleaning is trending and good for you, tidying up can feel like such a chore. But if you want the satisfaction of productivity and the tidiness of a clean room without the boredom, there are many ways to make Spring Cleaning more bearable — even enjoyable! According to Home & Garden Television, making cleaning a family activity can bring some levity to your housekeeping, but there are plenty of other ways to enjoy it all by yourself (hgtv.com). Play some pick-me-up tunes or your favorite podcast while scrubbing down your shower. Open your blinds and let the fresh spring breeze waft in while vacuuming your living room. Video call your friends while purging your closet of unworn clothes. If you mix Spring Cleaning with some fun activities like these, time spent in quarantine will be all the more rewarding.

   Though Spring Cleaning may look a little different this year, it’s a great way to spend the extra time. So hop on the bandwagon and get sweeping, scrubbing, and sanitizing!