Roll back the pages of history to the 1800s. There you'll find some of the first references to the custom we now call "spring cleaning."
At that time, homes were lit with whale oil, candles or kerosene and heated with wood or coal. Over the winter, layers of soot would build up in every room. When warm weather arrived, it was a chance to open the windows, hang out the rugs, and scrub the house from floor to ceiling – literally.
Thankfully, a lot has changed since then. But call it what you will – a chore or a labor of love – spring cleaning has never fully been swept under the rug.
Thoughts of dusting, decluttering and un-shuttering still come to mind when the days get longer and the temperatures begin to rise. And as the sun shines in, many people are inspired to let their light shine, too!
Blending an old ritual with a new tradition
If bringing meaning to spring cleaning sounds interesting, here are some ways you can give of your time, talents and treasures to help others, while making room in your home – and your heart – for a fresh start.
- Sale away: Have a garage sale and donate the money to a cause you care about.
- Give away: Put those toys your kids have outgrown to good use or, if you have a plethora of purses, use them to put a smile on someone's face. Women's shelters are often in need of items like these.
- Lend a hand: Maybe you're not into spring cleaning – but your parents or grandparents are. Offer to lend a hand. In addition to helping them, you'll have a chance to spend quality time with people you love.
- Box up some books: Gather up the books you won't read again and donate them to your local library. Another idea: Decorate a box, fill it with books, purchase some treats and drop it off at a homeless shelter.
- Pick-me-up: When you're cleaning up the yard, pick a spring bouquet and deliver it to a friend or a neighbor down the block you haven't met yet.
- Freshen the air: Something bothering you? Take this time to clear the air. Letting go of negative feelings can add more room for positive ones.
Learn more about giving in meaningful ways
There are many ways to spread generosity this spring – and throughout the year. Thrivent offers three programs that help members live generously in ways that are important to them:
- Thrivent Action Teams: See a need. Meet a need. You provide the passion and volunteer team. We provide promotional resources and seed money.
- Thrivent Builds: Pick up your hammer or put your leadership skills to work for a short- or long-term project to construct or repair a home in your community or abroad.
- Thrivent Choice: Find out how eligible Thrivent members can recommend where some of Thrivent Financial's charitable outreach funds go.