Dr. Heather W. Allen
Is This a Real
My task in writing this col- umn, if I understand it correctly, is to pick one of the themes in each month’s issue and provide statistics, or the facts if you will, underlying that theme. How cool is that? Here I get this great list of themes and I have the freedom to pick and choose and then dive in and start researching. My instructions were very clear and fairly easy to follow. I have to admit up front that I am a lit- tle compulsive when it comes to cleaning. I desire a clean home, a decluttered home, a home that sparkles and has lots of “empty”: empty spots on shelves, empty spots in closets, empty spots in rooms. Am I there yet? Not by a long shot. Thus, while I kept looking at the various themes included in this issue, I kept going back to the theme of spring cleaning. Spring cleaning is very important because a home reflects, in part, the state of the fam- ily. If a home is cluttered, disorganized, and irty, life is often one of chaos rather than order. Everything is more difficult when or- der is not maintained. Items needed can’t be found, or when located they are often not in condition to be used. It’s hard to put items in their proper place when you’re finished using them because either they don’t have a proper place or there are so many other things competing for the space that it’s hard to easily put those items away. If my home is cluttered, disorganized, or dirty, I feel tired and hopeless. I guess I feel like that because my life is out of control and I’ve become a servant to stuff. Wow, that’s a sobering thought: a stuff-centered home. Another confession: I found seven in- teresting looking E-Books for my Kindle that pertained to cleaning, decluttering, organizing, and all things that appeal to my sense of a clean and ordered home. While all of the books covered the same basic information, the approaches offered by the various authors differed signifi- cantly. In fact, as I read each book I found that dealing with the cleaning, declutter- ing, and organizing of different rooms in our home was best approached in differ- ent ways, depending on the room. I liked the different approaches offered by the various authors, because I could then pick and choose which approach worked best where. I’m di- gressing, though, and need to focus on spring clean- ing and whether or not this is a real phenomenon. I dived in and started looking for sta- tistics on spring cleaning. Remember, I’m only providing the facts. Someone else gets to be practical and give you the how to’s. Did you know that there is an organiza- tion called The Soap and Detergent As- sociation (SDA)? There is, and they offer a wealth of information and also conduct surveys pertaining to all things clean. I like this organization, now referred to as the American Cleaning Institute, because they focus on cleanliness and order. In 2004, International Communica- tions Research (ICR) conducted a sur- vey for the SDA, looking at the nature of house cleaning itself.
1 Of 1,000 surveyed, 8% of respondents looked at house clean- ing as a chore, while 88% considered cleaning as important because it kept heir families happy, healthy, and safe. “With widespread news of flu outbreaks and the emergence of other germ-spread- ing diseases, there is no surprise that people better understand the importance of cleanliness,” according to SDA Vice If my home is cluttered, disorganized, or dirty, I feel tired and hopeless.