Spring cleaning has been a tradition in countries around the world for many years, and the United States is no different. The history of spring cleaning is complicated, but one of the factors in the timing involves lamps. In the 19th Century, when homes were lit by oil lamps and heated by wood-burning fireplaces, homes developed a layer of soot throughout the house during the winter. It wasn’t until the spring that homeowners could open windows and clean out the grime. A recent survey from OfferUp highlights some of the trends of spring cleaning in the U.S.
OfferUp, an app that allows people to sell items using their smartphones, surveyed 2,000 American adults to see their views of spring cleaning and on selling the items they no longer need or want. The internet has made spring cleaning more profitable since you are no longer limited to selling things at a garage sale.
The results showed that Americans enjoy spring cleaning because it gives them a chance to organize their home and make extra money. Among the survey respondents, 70 percent reported they experience a feeling of accomplishment after tidying their house, while others become “de-stressed” (61 percent) and experience “relaxation” (54 percent).
When asked about selling their old goods, two out of three (66 percent) of respondents said they would consider selling gently used items online to free up space in their home. Similarly, 43 percent of said they plan to engage in more online reselling this year compared to 2018.
“For years, Americans have filled every empty space in their homes with too many items they don’t use. Now, we’re experiencing a cultural shift in interest towards ridding ourselves of items that no longer provide value to us,” said Natalie Angelillo, vice president of community at OfferUp, in a press release. “Decluttering makes people feel good and provides them the opportunity to make money by reselling to someone that’ll make better use of their things.”
The survey revealed a lot of interesting things about consumer behaviors that involve spring cleaning. Around three in five (62 percent) Americans say they have filled a closet with extra stuff they’re not using. The garage was the second most common place for storing unused items at 41 percent.
Americans also plan to spend a lot of time with spring cleaning. More than a third (37 percent) of respondents said they are planning to spend a full day or more decluttering this spring, and 24 percent are planning to spend one or two hours doing so.
Spring cleaning is a part of social life for Americans. When visiting a friend or relative’s house that is very cluttered, 46 percent of survey respondents said they would suffer quietly, and 28 percent say they would avoid going back.
The survey has a lot of interesting insights about consumer behaviors and attitudes toward spring cleaning. To see the full results, download the Spring Cleaning & Recommerce Survey from OfferUp. For another recent study about consumer trends, check out this article on workplace stress.