Friday was Chinese New Year when we welcomed the year of the Dog. One of the traditions associated with the festival is the cleaning of the home. The grounds, the walls, and every corner of the house need to be cleaned. In Chinese, “Dust” is a homophone for the word “old” (Chen), thus cleaning means to drive the bad luck or the old things away from the house to get ready for a new start.
Springtime is traditionally a time when we all have a thorough clean – having been shut in and hunkered down against the weather over the Winter it’s finally time to open the windows and doors and let in some fresh air. Here are our top tips.
The starting point for any cleaning session is decluttering. Not only is this practical because it makes it easier to clean but it also has a psychological impact. Coming into a cluttered space is very draining. Clutter represents something else and reminds you of something you haven’t done, for example, the ironing, dealing with paperwork or even simply that you haven’t put the ironing away. It therefore installs a feeling of failure in you – a reminder of something you haven’t done. It is easy to feel overwhelmed so tackle it in short stretches, perhaps one drawer at a time, just the bills or set the timer on your phone. Make it fun by putting on some upbeat music and reward yourself with a little treat at the end.
- Be Prepared
There is nothing more annoying than planning to do your cleaning only to find that you have run out of a product or tool. So a few days before you planned session check that you have everything you need. This might include some new storage containers to use as part of your declutter.
- Don’t Forget….
Lighting fittings – it’s amazing what difference can be made to the effectiveness of your lighting by simply wiping lighting fittings and light bulbs and dusting or wiping shades.
Windows – again cleaning windows inside and out makes a big difference to the amount of light coming in to a room.
Cleaning cupboards – this is a great opportunity to have a clear whether it is out of date food items or unused kitchen gadgets
Carpets, Rugs and Curtains – If carpets are grubby consider hiring a carpet cleaning machine for a day or even a professional carpet cleaning company. Take rugs outside and give them a good beating (and yourself a great workout at the same time!). Take down curtains and shake outdoors or vacuum and have them dry cleaned/ wash as appropriate. It is the perfect time to swap heavy curtains for lighter ones.
Skirtings – an often neglected area. Dust and wipe clean.
It is a good idea to involve the family in the Spring Clean – young children love helping and older children can be responsible for tidying and cleaning their own rooms. So are you ready?
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