Spring has sprung here in the Midwest and I have that all-too-familiar itch to throw open the windows and give my house a good scrub. Up here in the tundra, these are things that we just cannot do during the winter months (or, if I’m being honest, sometimes not even the fall or spring months either!). I grew up with the spring cleaning ritual and plan to continue it but I recently came across a press release that made me wonder if I’m part of a dying breed.
A survey on spring cleaning conducted by Kelton Research, Los Angeles, on behalf of Dublin, Ohio, cleaning company Stanley Steemer found that nearly half of all Americans predict they will spend less than four hours total on this year’s spring cleaning, with nearly two in 10 Americans saying they will spend less than one hour or no time at all. In fact, 74 percent can name at least one less-than-enjoyable task they would rather do than this annual rite: 8 percent of these people would prefer 48 hours of sleep deprivation and an amazing 9 percent would even endure the physical pain of a root canal rather than do spring cleaning.
It surprised me that spring cleaning seems to be a thing of the past but what really caught my eye was the geographic breakdown of the survey findings! I thought for sure that those in colder climates would be the antsiest to start cleaning but it turns out that those in the South anticipate spending the most time cleaning (12.5 hours mean vs. 8.5 hours in the Northeast, 8.0 hours in the Midwest and 10.5 hours in the West). Those in the Midwest and West are most likely to spend less than one hour spring cleaning this year (14 percent in Midwest and 13 percent in West vs. 7 percent in Northeast and South, respectively).
However, there was one snippet in the survey results that spoke to my neat-freak heart: The younger Americans are, the more likely they are to clean to help eliminate stress. Eighteen-to-34-year-olds in particular are most likely to clean for this reason (34 percent vs. 23 percent among those ages 35+). Is it a “clean house, clear mind” mentality that motivates me after all?
I guess maybe this cheesehead stands alone in my spring cleaning enthusiasm but I have carpet cleaning scheduled with a local company (sorry, not Stanley Steemer!) for June 2nd and I’m looking forward to it like it’s Christmas morning! How about you? Planning on doing any spring cleaning? Can you make sense of why Southerners are most likely to spend time cleaning?