Back in the Soviet Days, it was a tradition to pick a Saturday in May and together with your neighbors, clean your yard and make it summer-ready with flowers and a fresh coat of paint. We still associate warmer weather with a change for good, and do everything in our power to embrace it. It’s time to stuff those winter boots with newspapers and replace them with sandals. 

Give carpets a whack. Feeling mad at someone? Just drag the rug that’s hanging as a wall decoration in your bedroom (or laying across your living room), hang it over the railing or a pull-up bar and give it a whack with a carpet beater (purchased separately)! Whack till your heart’s content and a cloud of dust forms, and feel better about the world as a bonus. Or you can just vacuum it. 

Wash the windows. This is not for the faint of heart. While in many apartments the windows open inwards, washing them is still a somewhat acrobatical fit. In the olden days, the washing was done with soap and water and to get rid of the stains, the glass was polished with crumbled newspapers, making a squeaky noise impossible to forget. Now you can get someone to wash your windows professionally, and not hang out of the window.

Wash the curtains. My grandma still swears that it’s the most important part of spring cleaning, or maybe it’s just a ploy to get us to come over. She has a ladder ready so we can unhook her two sets of curtains (tulle on the inside and velvet on the outside). After a spin in the washing machine, we get to hook them back up to the rod - when’s the last time you had to divide a length of a curtain into even parts?

Make the crystal shine. You know that crystal chandelier that you’ve been hitting with your head wants its sparkle back, and so do the glasses and the bowls in that curio cabinet behind the glass doors. Now’s the time to wash them all with vinegar and soap, and de-dust the shelves behind those glass doors while you’re at it.  

De-clutter. Russians hate throwing anything away because “the black day” is always around the corner, and you never know what you might need. The dacha, with its seemingly infinite storage in the attic, is often used as a midpoint between the closet and the dumpster for all those aging valuables that just might come in handy. Whether you choose to trash them or donate them, it’s all about clearing some room, and some headspace, for better times to come.