Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Happy Spring cleaning

It’s time to start spring cleaning! On the days before the New Year celebration, Chinese families give their home a thorough cleaning before decorating with paper cutouts of Chinese auspicious phrases that speak of "happiness," "wealth," "longevity."

Looking at the mammoth task ahead of me, I wished I have started earlier. I probably can’t finish cleaning the house in time, let alone sit and make auspicious paper cutouts! So, I turned to the Internet for help. Not that I expect the work to be done by sitting in front of the computer…

I found some tips from the experts on how to make the task easier, more relaxing and even somewhat spiritual.

I have to start by making a list of things that need to be done. Oh, have a cup of coffee or tea while doing this.

Next, list down the things to buy. Choose detergents with nice scents as great smelling products are good motivators. Ok, it should be easy to find "aromatherapeutic" cleaning products on the shelves these days.

I am advised to think spring cleaning in a positive light! We are celebrating a new season, see it as a time to do mental cleaning (and calorie-busting) as well.

To get started, open up the windows to let the light in! Spritz some room sprays and put on music…Rock n Roll for tasks like moping and scrubbing, soul for organizing the drawers.

Oh, there are even strategies to choose from: Do difficult before easy (you'll sail through the day after getting the nastiest job out of the way) or easy before difficult (so you'll be buoyed by quick results).

I can even take this approach: do a really mean chore (toilet and tub scrubbing, oven scouring and window washing) followed by a task that's pleasant (rearrange the bookshelf, polish the furniture, watering plants).

According to one expert, the real secret to happy cleaning is to be mindful and think like a Buddhist monk for the afternoon. According to him, if you sponge with your full attention and mop as if it matters, you will get the best results and you might create some zoning-out time for yourself.

So, I am ready to put on my gloves, play some music and clean the afternoon away!

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