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Around the home

A fresh start

manuelita otero


How do you feel about cleaning? Not the regular weekly cleaning, I’m talking about a serious deep clean. It’s that time of year in which we are supposed to clean our house from top to bottom and somehow organize our lives in the process. I love the idea, I really do. Cleaning, decluttering, and organizing are like therapy for me. Spring cleaning nowadays is part of our daily vocabulary, but have you ever thought about the origin of this tradition?

Cleaning was more than just cleaning some generations ago, and it still plays an important part in some cultures. For example, it is a Jewish custom to do a deep cleaning during Passover. This holiday remembers the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt. During this time they eat unleavened bread, called “matzah.” It is so important not to have leavened bread during this season that Jewish families carefully clean their houses to make sure not even a crumb of it is found. The Chinese and the Iranians also do a deep cleaning around this time of year in anticipation of the New Year. The Chinese clean their houses thoroughly because they believe it helps them get rid of bad luck that may have accumulated during the year.

Whatever the origin or the reason it is a good idea to take some time during the year to focus on a deeper cleaning for our homes. How about you? Have you started your “spring cleaning” yet? Maybe you already finished it or maybe like me you are still trying to figure out how to fit any type of cleaning into the schedule. Here are some ideas of what you could include in your list:

  • Clean the oven.

  • Clean out your refrigerator.

  • Clean walls and doors.

  • Clean ceiling and fans.

  • Clean out drawers and cabinets, especially that one drawer… you know which one I’m talking about.

  • Clean the garbage disposal.

  • Clean the dishwasher.

  • Clean the washer and dryer.

  • Clean curtains and blinds.

  • Clean carpets.

  • Clean sofas and chairs.

  • Rotate mattress.

  • Wash pillows.

  • Sort through closets.

  • Update first aid kit.

  • Throw away expired medicine and beauty products.

  • Wash outdoor furniture.

  • Wash windows.

  • Check fire alarm batteries.

  • Clean your physical files.

  • Organize your computer files.

  • Clean out the garage.

  • Organize your books, magazines, Cds and Dvds if you still have some.

  • If you have children, sort through their toys and give away the ones they don’t use anymore.

  • Clean and organize your jewelry and also give away what you don't use. 

The list can go on and on so keep adding to it. Don’t feel that you have to complete everything at once, do what you can with the time you have, maybe you can   choose the same dates each month to tackle one of your cleaning projects, or maybe you want to do it all in one month, just have fun and try to make cleaning and organizing part of your habits. If I am honest, I don’t think my spring cleaning list is going to look as complete as this one, but thinking about it and writing it down makes it more possible. A little cleaning can go far so don’t let the mess overwhelm you and why not start your own cleaning traditions to pass on from generation to generation.

If you want some cleaning and organizing tips check this out: Celebrating small victories

And if you want to downsize, this will help: Downsizing

Manuelita  @manuelitaotero