Neat As A Pin

Ahhh, Spring! Fling open those windows, take in a deep breath, and watch as all those little dust particles dance in the sunlight and settle on your floor. Spring is here, and maybe it is time for a little cleaning.

For most of us, Spring cleaning means an extra thorough deep clean once a year. We take time to sweep behind the refrigerator, wash the windows, and wipe down the walls. We clean out air filters, swap Winter mittens for gardening gloves, and get the yard ready for new plants and flowers. We all like the idea of decluttering and making our space, whether big or small, fresh each year.

We have our own rituals for how we like to Spring clean, but did you know the idea of Spring cleaning dates back to the 1800s? The long, cold winters would leave homes filthy with soot and ash from the much-needed fireplaces, so the women took time in the Spring to de-soot their homes. As you can imagine, it was a daunting task.

Why do we say,

"Neat as a pin"? In the early 19th century, with the development of mass production,

consumers were now guaranteed

uniformity in products. Pins,

formerly handmade, were now

manufactured perfectly straight & neat.

Fast forward to the 20th century, American housewives continued to take Spring cleaning very seriously. In the 1930s and 40s, the annual Spring clean was a family event. A simple broom couldn’t keep up with the dirt all year, so window treatments were taken down and washed, rugs were brought to the front porch and beat, cabinets were emptied and cleaned, and occasionally even wallpaper was changed out. Many took advantage of Spring to repaint walls and rearrange living room furniture. Some families hired additional help for the big event, and children knew not to get in the way. They also knew to expect leftovers for dinner since their mother had no time to prepare a home-cooked hearty meal during the annual Spring cleaning week.

Today, in the 21st century, despite all of our modern conveniences like robotic vacuums, microfiber rags, and the latest, high-end cleaning supplies, it can be overwhelming to even know where to begin. Read our helpful tips from the Wren & Willow Design team on how to clean and organize your home this Spring.

Designer's Corner

With Organization Comes Clarity A great approach to decluttering a room is by tackling one section at a time. A couple of tricks I took from an amazing book called, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo, is to put your hands on everything you own, and ask yourself if it sparks joy. If it does not, thank it for its service and get rid of it. This process allows you to get rid of those items, guilt free, you have been hanging onto for years. I will start with an entire room, like the living room, and focus on one category, like the artwork. I approach each piece with a couple of practical questions. Do I really love this piece of art? Do my bookshelves feel too cluttered? These two simple questions will help me sift through what I really enjoy and what I do not. I find that some things in my home do not bring me joy, and getting rid of those things is a big step in being organized. -Hannah Schmidt