The first day of spring may have fallen on March 20th, but it’s not until right around now that the season truly begins to bloom—when April showers fall and the first spring robins appear on slowly-greening grass searching for worms.

It’s right around now that we find ourselves eyeing the weather report, anticipating the first day of the temperature hitting over 50 degrees and planning our springtime to-do lists. But before the gardening, before the picnics and egg hunts and farmers markets, there’s another rite of spring that must be attended to: spring cleaning.

While technically a chore, spring cleaning is often a task most people take pleasure in. After a long cold winter, letting some air in and scrubbing your home top to bottom feels like a welcome refresh and the perfect way to usher in a new season. But spring cleaning isn’t just good for your mental wellbeing, spring cleaning — and seasonal cleaning in general — is key in keeping your space germ-and allergen-free, which can help keep you healthy year-round. Along with regular dusting and scrubbing, a seasonal deep clean allows you to reach all those nooks and crannies that are often overlooked in the day-to-day maintenance of your home and set you up for a healthy and happy season.

Think: the dust that’s collected on your ceiling fan and curtains, wiping down the refrigerator and deep-cleaning rugs and carpets. While a full weekend spent deep-cleaning could be considered the best weekend ever for some, for the majority of us who are already strapped for time, the process is one that’s best tackled over the course of several days. So where to start? Today we’re giving you three simple rituals to help kick off your spring cleaning – whether you’re devoting a full weekend to the process or tackling it slowly. These tasks are simple, yet deliver a big payoff in the form of better health and mental clarity. Take them on in order for best results:

#1 — Get the dust out

Heat, dry air and the claustrophobic conditions that come with winter can quickly make your home a hotbed for dust. But those dust bunnies hanging out under your bed and in corners aren’t just unsightly, they could make you sick, too. Regular dusting and vacuuming can take care of the problem, but a few times per season it’s worthwhile to do a thorough dusting of your space. Wipe down ceiling fans and shelves, the tops of cabinets, bookcases and everywhere in between to remove built-up dust and grimethen vacuum. It’s important to dust first, so your vacuum can remove any lingering particles. While you’re at it, you may consider taking rugs outside if you have the space or having them professionally cleaned to clear away tracked-in dirt, grime and sand.

#2 — Get some fresh air

After months of dry heat and windows that have been locked up tight, we’re willing to bet your home could use some fresh air.  If you have storm windows, remove them as soon as the weather allows—but before you replace those storm windows with screens, take a squeegee to the outside panes to remove built-up dirt and grime and let the sunshine in. To do this, soak a big sponge in hot, soapy water (we like Dr. Bronner’s or Branch Basics) and wipe down the window, then use a squeegee to wipe down the pane top to bottom. Once you’ve washed the outside of your windows, install the screens and move to the inside panes to repeat the process. And of course, if you’re unable to wash the outside of your windows, cleaning up the inside panes only is the next best thing—you’d be surprised at how much grime collects over the course of a season. Once the dust is gone, the windows are clean and the sun is shining through, consider leaving your windows cracked open for the afternoon to allow air to circulate and refresh throughout your space.

#3 — Burn some sage

With the dust gone and the windows open, it’s the perfect time to cleanse the air around you and set the tone for the season ahead with a simple sage burning. Whether you prescribe to the spiritual side of sage or not, burning sage is a great way to neutralize the air in your home after a long season. You can learn how to create your own sage bundles with our DIY or purchase pre-dried sage bundles at your local market – you’ll just want to be sure your sage is dried and ready to go before burning. Use a lighter to carefully light the end of your sage stick and blow out the flame (we recommend doing this over a sink), hold the smoking sage bundle over a dish as you walk through your home, starting from the floor, up. Focus on the corners and under furniture as you waft the sage through your space. After you’ve extinguished the sage, keep your windows open a bit longer to allow the air to circulate just a little longer.

Now that you can breathe easy in your home, you can tackle the remainder of your springtime to-do list with clarity.

Let us know your favorite spring cleaning ritual by tagging us on social @AvocadoMattress and #AvocadoGreenMagazine

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