The Story Behind Our Spring Cleaning Rituals

Your urge to purge has its roots in science and in history.

Rachel Ruysch, Still Life with Rose Branch, Beetle and Bee, 1741. Courtesy of Kunstmuseum Basel.

Spring has sprung. Flowers are flowering, showers are showering.

For many of us, the seasonal shift from winter to spring creates an urge to perform deep, therapeutic cleaning. It’s not unlike the impulse to make New Year’s resolutions, the true motivation of which is an internal one — the prospect of…