Joyous Spring Cleaning

by Kailah Eglington

I can hear the shouts of derision now! How on earth can spring-cleaning be joyous or any fun at all? Well, it all depends on your attitude!

Spring, for me, is a time of renewal and rebirth; a time to come out of the cocoon of winter and rejoice in new life. All around us during the dawn of spring, are signs of the reincarnation of that which we thought to be in endless sleep. Flowers poke their heads through the barren ground, buds appear on seemingly lifeless trees, brown bushes begin to turn green again as Mother Nature bestows yet another bountiful season upon us.

It is this refreshing of life that I apply to spring-cleaning. It's a time to renew the house and allow its beauty to shine through once again. As with life itself, the cobwebs of winter can be cleared away, the barren corners can once again see light and like Mother Nature, I can effect a whole rebirth of our inner environment.

As I tidy each corner, take away the winter's dust and bring out the lighter curtains, I feel myself reviving inside! So the revitalization of our home for spring takes on a therapeutic quality for me as well as I am once again reminded of how special life can be.

There are, of course, tricks to making spring cleaning a happier task, too, so here are a few tips that I use.

One room and one place at a time
The key is to not expect you to clean an entire house at once! If your expectations are too high, then the task will become a daunting one and you'll soon find better things to do! I always start with the kitchen as a cheerful and welcoming kitchen can inspire me to do the other rooms. Start in one corner of a room and work your way around. I find that emptying out the cupboards and drawers first is great fun as I discover all sorts of things I had forgotten about and can revisit again!

Set Goals
Decide ahead of time what you are going to do, rather than approaching it willy-nilly. For example, a realistic goal for a morning might be to clean and paper all the cupboards in the kitchen. Stick to the goal and when you're finished, finish! If you try to do more than you bargained for, once again, this could put you off and leave you tired.

Use energizing products
Citrus smelling soaps and detergents will energize you. Not only will the room you are working on smell wonderful, but the scent of lemons, limes and tangerines are known to produce a positive and enlivening attitude. For frugal homemakers, take fresh oranges or tangerines, remove the fruit, then squeeze the peels to release a stimulating scent. Use the fruit to make a zesty salad or dessert.

Play lively music
While you're cleaning, have music playing. Believe it or not, I always put on old disco music as I find it really pumps me up and keeps me going. I dance to the music as I dust or clean and that makes it the tasks fun!

Reward yourself
When you have achieved your goal, reward yourself somehow. You might take a long and soothing bath and read a good book, or simply dive into that bar of chocolate that's been tempting you! Whatever it is you decide, be sure to give yourself a special treat.

Show off your achievements
Your partner or your children might not always recognize all your hard work - so tell them about it! Add little extra touches that weren't there before, some fresh flowers, a new knick-knack or a tempting bowl of seasonal fruit. Show off what you've done and get everyone involved! After all, you deserve recognition - spring-cleaning is no easy task!

A Positive Attitude
The most important thing with spring cleaning, however, is to have a positive attitude. You have two choices - you can make it fun and enjoy it or make it a drudgery and wish you had never gotten out of bed that morning!

For me, there is always something positive about any situation, including spring cleaning, so make the most of it and enjoy it this year!