Chinese New Year is approaching, and it is customary to clean and declutter homes to make way for good luck in the upcoming year. However, it is believed to be bad luck to clean on the first day as it may result in “throwing away” good luck. Therefore, it is advised to avoid cleaning on Chinese New Year’s Day. When it comes to spring cleaning, some people find it relaxing, but others need a little more motivation. So gather your cleaning supplies, because here are some tips to make this chore a joyful activity.
Set the Mood
Take a cold shower to freshen up and get into comfortable clothes that allow you to move freely. Gym attire may be preferable, as deep cleaning your home is a workout. Stay hydrated with your favourite drink, coffee, or tea – and don’t forget to drink water.
Hit Play for Productivity
Music can help pass the time or enhance your mood. So put on your favourite playlist with calming music that relaxes you while you clean, or upbeat music that lets you sing or dance as you work – you’ll be done in no time! If music isn’t your thing, you could listen to your favourite podcast or audiobook.
Plan it Out
Make a Spring Cleaning Checklist
To get into the right frame of mind, plan things out. If you haven’t already, make a checklist to track what needs to be cleaned. Divide into manageable chunks by sections such as living room, bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom. Then add smaller tasks under those.
Stick to a Schedule
A deep clean doesn’t have to be done in one day. Take your time and use cleaning sessions to avoid burnout. A common mistake is to try to finish everything at once, but you might run out of motivation while cleaning and you’re left with an unfinished mess. Moving forward, you could plan out your week and make a cleaning schedule where laundry is every Sunday, mopping is every Saturday, etc.
Document the Before and After
Some people have clutter blindness, where they’re oblivious to the mess. Taking a photo of the room can help them see the mess for what it is. But even if you don’t have clutter blindness, seeing your progress is satisfying.
Don’t empty everything at once.
A more effective approach to cleaning would be to organise your tasks by tackling one room or section at a time, rather than attempting to empty all drawers and closets simultaneously, leaving you exhausted and left with an overwhelming mountain of belongings.
Declutter with Purpose
Prepare boxes for keeping, donating, and tossing, so when you are removing small items off surfaces and drawers you plan to clean, you can declutter as you go. Fewer items mean less cleaning and more storage space. To be more environmentally friendly, some items can have a second life – for example, you could use old clothes as dust rags and old toothbrushes as cleaning tools to scrub small areas of your bathroom sink or to clean your shoes.
Make it a Game with Rewards
For a little more motivation, you could make it a game-time yourself to see how quickly you could fold your laundry. Or, think of finishing a room like finishing a level. Reward yourself with a treat like ice cream after you finish the task for the day.
Start from the top down.
Clean the top of your ceiling fans, air filters for air conditioners, and light fixtures first, because they tend to be dusty and you can clean the floor later. Make sure to wear a mask, as you don’t want to breathe in all the dust particles. Don’t forget to wipe down the light switches and remotes.
Get to Cleaning
Remove all small objects from your surfaces and drawers, and organise them in the decluttering boxes mentioned earlier. Use a clean cloth to wipe the surfaces with soapy water or cleaning chemicals. Paper towels would work too, but are wasteful and expensive. An alternative to cleaning chemicals is making your own cleaning solutions with natural ingredients. For large items like tables and sofas, make sure to move them and clean the floors underneath.
When cleaning your fridge, make sure to unplug it before cleaning the inside. Leaving the door open while it’s still running can spoil the compressor and even make it stop working. Start by looking at expiry dates on bottles, and throw away any perishables that are sitting in your fridge. Do the same for your seasonings. In the bathroom, go to your medicine cabinet and get rid of anything that’s expired. Throw away your expired beauty products such as makeup and lotions as well.
Keeping your Living Space Clean
Life can get busy sometimes, so it’s understandable that your home can get a little messy. There’s no shame in asking for help in cleaning, whether it be friends, family, or a professional house cleaning service. If that’s not an option, sticking to a schedule and cleaning regularly will keep your home manageable and clean. And make it fun, so it doesn’t feel like a chore.