Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring Cleaning

yourdictionary.com defines spring cleaning as follows:

spring-cleaning (-klēn′iŋ)
a thorough cleaning of the interior of a house, etc. as conventionally done in the spring

Wait. I don't really live in a country with four seasons so when I say spring cleaning, I don't literally mean cleaning before the spring season arrives. So why did I think of this topic? Normally, cleaning is something I would like to avoid.It's actually my least favorite household chore, but last March it was as if I was bitten by a cleaning bug. It must have had something to do with the passing of my dad and the fact that we sort of inherited his sofa set. We got them after his 40th day of passing. Since they would take up a relatively larger space than the old set, we had to clear out some areas of the living room in our tiny 52 sq.m. apartment. And that actually started my out of the blue obsession with cleaning. I even started a journal just for my cleaning project. I had a goal and that was to maximize use of the tiny space available while organizing all my important documents, stuff, and collection of books. Did I have a time frame? Not really. I just wanted to put things together, it didn't matter how long it would take. So there I was hard at work with cleaning till the wee hours of the morning. I figured that since I don't have regular employment, I might as well do something worthwhile with my time. That was a month ago. True, that cleaning isn't a one-time event and that regular cleaning helps a lot so there won't be lots of accumulated dusts and dirt. I am glad I embarked on it. I actually got to throw out and give away lots of old stuff which I don't need anymore. My cleaning project even extended into my bedroom which I share with my daughter. We both enjoyed our cleaning "bonding" moments. I'm quite happy with the result of my cleaning project and I must say that I don't dislike cleaning anymore as much as I thought I did. So why did I spring clean? I came across an article that said that the reason why we spring clean are rooted in some cultures with traditions that extend far back into the distant past, like the Chinese who clean their homes in anticipation of the new year. The Chinese sweep their floors and clean their homes to rid of bad luck and misfortune that may have accumulated during the previous year. Once the house is a clean slate, you can then start welcoming good fortune. I guess, in a way, spring cleaning became a symbol of renewal and optimism for a "new life." It made me feel like I was throwing out the "old me" and that I was ready to be the "new me." I really enjoy having a more organized space. And as of this writing, I haven't totally wrapped up my cleaning project. There are still some parts of the house that I would like to clean up and organize.

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