The Zoroastrian holiday known as Nowruz has a spring cleaning ritual known as Khane-Tekani, which literally means “shaking house.” In Thailand, during a two day festival in April called Songkran calls, houses as well as any images or statues of Buddha are given a thorough cleaning.
In colder North American climate, coal, oil or wood-heated homes meant a lot of dust, ashes and soot. On the first warm, dry day of the season, everybody in the family would help pull every stick of furniture and scrap of cloth outside into the fresh air. Windows were opened, shutters removed and everyone swept, beat the rugs and upholstered chairs, washed walls, aired the linens, and shook the dust off books and paintings.
Deep cleaning not only is healthy for you and good for your home, an organized, freshly cleaned surrounding makes you feel good about life.
Make a fresh start this spring by following some simple tips for airing out your home, and bring some fresh air and energy into your life!
In the home
- Don’t tackle it all at once. Make a list, room-by-room. Play your favourite music and go through each with a basket of cleaning tools and supplies.
- Instead of taking on a space, tackle the cupboard in the bathroom, your shoe rack, make-up drawer or that dark space under the sink.
- Do a “best before” clean. Check items in the refrigerator, freezer and pantry. Either eat (if it’s okay) or toss in the green bin. [Note this spring I vowed to use up all the meat in my freezer before buying any more!]
- Go through your medicine cabinet, remove items past due or those you don’t need. Return unused and old prescriptions to the pharmacy.
In the garage
- Divide items between what needs to be given away, put in the garbage, repaired/painted, and what you want to keep.
- Find a new home for too many “extras”, like all those plastic planters, broken garden tools, bikes and equipment that your kids no longer use.
- Make a list of garden supplies and equipment you need. Make a note of what you are looking for so you’re ready for upcoming spring garage sales and flea markets.
In your life
Sit quietly with a cup of tea or glass of wine and think about what you’re going to “let go of” this spring. Perhaps it’s disappointment about something that happened in your life (or didn’t happen), or a grudge against someone who caused you difficulty. Consider what would help you get a fresh start, perhaps a new routine, a short trip somewhere, or a hobby that you used to love.