Have you ever wondered why shaking out your rugs and hunting down that last dust bunny is called “spring cleaning?” And why do you have to do it in the spring?

Some think the answer lies in ancient Persia (modern Iran). Tradition calls for the house to be cleaned top to bottom just before Nowruz, the Iranian new year, which falls on the first day of spring. Others think it has to do with the Jewish practice of thoroughly cleaning a home before Passover to remove all traces of leavened bread.

A more practical explanation is that before the invention of the vacuum cleaner, March was the best time to get rid of winter’s accumulated dust. Carpets were taken outdoors and beaten, rooms were swept and the March winds blew all the dust away.

If you’re gearing up to tackle your own spring cleaning, here are some tips to get you going.

 *Area rugs should be thoroughly cleaned every three years. Call a carpeting cleaning company like Triple S. They’ll move the furniture, take out the rugs and give them a good wash.

 *Books are dust magnets and if you have a library this is a huge task. Get some help. To do it right, you need to take all the books off the shelves so that you can get at the dust lurking behind them.

 *Dirty windows are depressing. The best way to give them back their sparkle is to spritz them with a vinegar/water solution and wipe down with a microfiber towel. Don’t use paper towels. They’ll leave bits of fiber behind. While you at it, clean the window frames.

 *The grout between your tiles probably needs a good scrub with a hard brush and baking soda. When you’re done, apply grout sealer to keep it looking fresh.

 *Kids love to clean so get them to help. Have them sort through their toys and wipe them all with a damp cloth.

What’s your least favorite cleaning job? Let me know on Facebook.