The arrival of March features more than just the end of winter. The month is when MLB spring training winds down and the start of the new season takes place. March is also the home of St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish holiday that was celebrated by 149 million Americans in 2018. (1) One tradition associated with March is spring cleaning, the annual rite that finds homeowners cleaning their homes from top to bottom. Those living at The Avenue in South Orange, New Jersey, are ready to give a thorough cleansing to their luxury apartments this year.
There a number of possible origins for spring cleaning, such as the Persian new year and the Jewish people cleaning their homes in preparation for Passover. Catholic churches clean their altars and all the items associated with it thoroughly on the day before Good Friday, which is called Maundy Thursday. March became a popular month for spring cleaning in Europe and North America due to the pleasant temperature, which meant a lack of insects and the ability to open doors and windows to let a home’s dust be blown out. March in South Orange, New Jersey, is very comfortable with an average high of 51º. By comparison, January and February were not conducive to opening up doors and windows with average highs of 39º and 42º, respectively. (2) March was also a month when coal furnaces wouldn’t be running, which meant people could wash the soot from their walls and furniture. No matter the reason for the event, most of the 16,764 people who call South Orange, New Jersey, home are ready for spring cleaning. (3)
As with other homeowners, residents of The Avenue have differing priorities when it comes to spring cleaning. A 2019 survey by the American Cleaning Institute found that 49% of those surveyed listed windows as their number one priority. Carpets came in at 32%, bed linens at 17%, hardwood/tile floors at 25%, and clothes, closets, and drawers coming in at 42%. (4) There are some useful tips for keeping one on track and making spring cleaning go a little bit easier.
A major tip for spring cleaning is to hire someone else to do it. There are lots of individuals and companies located in and around South Orange that would be quite happy to clean a resident’s apartment at The Avenue. Some notable cleaning services include Rosie Cleans, Seneida’s Home Cleaning Services, Organic Tim, and Scrub Systems. (5) People can also find an individual in the local paper or on sites like Care.com to come clean their home. (6)
If one is doing their own spring cleaning, then the most important tip is to have a plan and stick with it. One should make a list of the items needed for spring cleaning and then compile another list of what tasks need to be accomplished. This secondary list allows one to know what still needs to be done while also fulfilling a sense of accomplishment as each task is ticked off when completed. Linens, drapes, pillows, and comforters should be washed and dried. The good news is that bulky items like pillows and comforters only need to be cleaned a few times a year. Spring cleaning is also the perfect time for those living at The Avenue to clean their mattress. A good cleaning method for mattresses is to use a vacuum’s upholstery tool to clean the top and sides. One should next rinse the mattress with a damp cloth, which would then be followed by blot drying. Lysol should then be sprayed to disinfect, and the final step is to vacuum the mattress once again.
Another great tip for spring cleaning is for one to use the occasion to reduce the clutter in their home, such as books that nobody has read for the last five years or stacks of old magazines. A person can decide if the items in their home should be displayed, stored away, given to others, or simply thrown away. To make vacuuming the carpets easier, use sliders to easily move furniture around. Residents of The Avenue can keep their water pressure up in the shower by using vinegar to clean their showerheads. A plastic bag that is filled with white vinegar can be placed over a showerhead with a rubber band and left overnight. In the morning, one can remove the bag and then run the shower for a bit before using it. The result is that mineral deposits that have accumulated over time in the showerhead are now dissolved.
Cynthia Hernandez of The Avenue at South Orange says, “I absolutely hate spring cleaning. I plan on hiring someone to come in and do the dirty work for me this year. I know I’m not the only person at The Avenue to do so. I am, however, washing my linens and drapes, as well as reorganizing my pantry. It’s amazing how certain food items can be forgotten, tucked away into the recesses of the bottom refrigerator shelf or the top shelf in the pantry. I do have sliders to help the cleaning crew easily move my furniture around in order to sweep and vacuum. The good news is that once spring cleaning is done, it’ll be a whole year before I have to worry about it again.” (7)
7) Quote from Cynthia Hernandez of The Avenue at South Orange