Spring Essentials - Part Three: Beating the Spring Cleaning Challenge
Dust, paint, tax returns... All those hectic things that come with spring cleaning can really throw one off balance. How to handle this without freaking out?! Well, one room at a time for one thing. And one thing at a time as well. Creating a checklist of what needs to be done is an excellent way to cope with the stress, and also make sure everything is done.
In several cultures, the year start at springtime (Persian New Year is only one example). In our hectic lifestyles, it won’t hurt to re-visit our New Year’s Resolutions from a few months back and see what we have accomplished, what we’d like to change, etc.
What I find helpful is to instead of looking at spring cleaning (or any other cleaning, for that matter) as a chore - see it as an act of cleansing. It really does make one feel good to have a tidy and clean space to live in. And just as we enjoy bathing and showering daily, the household “chores” can become a daily ritual of beautifying, cleansing and re-organizing the space.
Some of the aspects of house cleaning that definitely makes a difference is what do you smell when you clean. I noticed that ever since I switched to natural, bio-degradable and naturally scented household products, cleaning has become a lot more pleasant. Not getting a headache from the chemical fumes is definitely a bonus (although I have to note, that every once in while I do need to use a touch of chlorine to get certain stuff “really” clean and get rid of those tough spots...). There are more and more cleaning products available now to choose form that are “green”. You can also make your own mixture of water with anti-bacterial essential oils for surface cleaning. Simply add a few drops to a spray bottle filled with clean tap water. Examples of oils with anti-bacterial actions (that are also very affordable, by the way) are: rosemary, mint, citrus oils, pine, lavender, eucalyptus and tea tree oil.
Once you’ve finished your spring cleaning, you may want to try performing a clearing-space ritual, using incense. There are many variations on this ancient ritual, as many as the cultures there are in the world. Two universal elements seem to be the use of incense burning, and creating a circle in relation to the 4 directions of the wind. The Native North Americans would burn sage, cedar and sweetgrass to clear the space, approaching each direction of the wind and communicating with the spirits; Western cultures used frankincense and myrrh and create a circle protected by guardians of the four elements; also purification with water can be added to the ritual, using rosewater or water with hyssop oil. Weather or not you believe in spirits, angels or any divine forces is not of particular importance (in my opinion, anyway...). Even the most secular and atheist person can benefit from giving attention to every room in the house and fumigating it with incense. These fumes cleanse the air and the attention you bring to each corner stirs up any stale energy that pervaded clutter-zones and replace it with fresh flow of air and energy.