by Nissa Hanna
In Minneapolis, the snow is clearing and we’re starting to see the street pavement again, signaling that spring is right around the corner, and with it — spring cleaning.
According to the Soap and Detergent Association (oh yes, there is one), 68% of consumers engage in this annual effort to rid the home of winter dust and clutter buildup (SDAHQ.org 3.9.09). We’ve been tracking consumers’ online chatter around this seasonal activity and found that 48% of mentions were about organizing, 29% were about cleaning out a storage space, 12% about decluttering, 6% about cleaning the garage and 5% about donating items from around the house (Collective Intellect 1.26.10).
But this year, deep cleaning carries a deeper meaning for many consumers. The troubled economy has prompted a need for empowerment, and they’re finding that the acts of cleaning, organizing and decluttering the home can provide that much needed sense of control. In a survey of our IconoCommunitiesSM panel, 25% of respondents acknowledge that they’ve been more active and interested in cleaning their homes since the start of the recession (2.1.10).
So this spring, many consumers won’t be simply sweeping, dusting, sorting and scrubbing their way to pristine pads, they’ll be cleaning up to recover control. Businesses would be bright to scour the psychology behind the chores.