By: Nilofar Jafari
I believe the tiniest movement produces energy and a sense of strength. Everything has energy; even evil acts. When you do not attend to yourself and the place you live in, you become upset. This adverse feeling comes from absorbing the negative energy that has been trapped in the dust and dirt accumulating around the house.
Negative energy grows with great ease; on the dust and grime on the windows and curtains, amid the messy book shelf, the cluttered closet and the useless objects piled up in the basement. Sometimes we forget what we are surrounded with and make a thousand and one excuses for letting everything go.
To absorb positive energy, we need to have a regular weekly, monthly and annual plan to clean up our environment. That is at the heart of the custom of Spring cleaning before Norooz. This is not an article about the best way to scrub the floor or clean the curtains. You probably know these things already. I will, however, share with you a number of realizations I have come to about this custom of Spring cleaning.
The Good Feeling of Being Clean
When everything is in shambles, my brain doesn’t function that well. If I need to think more clearly and feel better, in order to focus, I start tidying up. This is more than the annual washing of carpets and rugs, dusting and organizing of book shelves and cleaning kitchen cabinets. I feel organization should be a daily habit. Consistent care of the place we live and work in helps organize our thoughts and teaches us to approach everything in an orderly manner.
I am highly affected by the environment I live in, so I find my feelings of depression, lethargy, laziness and mood changes are connected to the negative energies that accumulate around me. Since I have discovered this about myself, rather than try to think about the root of these feelings, I begin vacuuming, getting rid of the garbage and filling the space with wonderful smells.
If you feel unmotivated today, begin by burning some incense and start getting into spring cleaning. Norooz is just round the corner.
Waking Up and All-around Mobilization
Spring cleaning is a very difficult task. Do not expect it to be a simple job. This year I woke up at 6 AM and had a big breakfast to have enough energy. I was alone and had no one to help me. But all in all it went well. If you have a partner or children, make it a group effort. Tackling it as a group will make it go faster. In addition, it is only fair and conducive to better results.
In order to motivate myself, I begin where the change will be immediately perceptible. In my home, disarray in the book shelves and the kitchen is highly visible. So I started with the shelves and then I went straight to the stove, fridge and the kitchen cabinets.
Things to Discard and Let Go
I periodically get rid of things that I no longer use and are merely creating clutter. If things have in any way piled up, I will certainly get rid of them during the annual spring cleaning. Follow my lead and do the same. If there is anything that you do not use anymore or gives you no visual pleasure, just get rid of it. Let your living space open up and positive energies flow right through it.
Let go of the fear; remember, you can always get what you really want. I often get rid of all the cracked and spotted crockery, empty sauce bottles, books I’ll never read again and piled up magazines and newspapers, and I open up some space for new stuff.
Link Between the Tidy Closet and Love Life
Another exciting stage in the clean-up is cleaning out the clothes closet and chest. I get rid of torn clothes and give away the shoes that, for whatever reason, I am no longer wearing. I get rid of empty bottles of perfume and out-of-style outfits and remind myself to shop according to my needs.
I organize whatever items of clothing that remain so that I do not have to pull everything out when I am looking for something. I once read in a book on Feng Shui that if you are looking for a romantic relationship in the new year, pay attention to the order in your closet and open up some space in it for this relationship. Although it seems far-fetched, it does not hurt to try. Open up some space in your life and see how fast it gets filled up with something else.
If you find it hard to get rid of some articles of clothing, enlist someone’s help. Other people do not have your emotional attachment to these items and can give better advice.
Setting Up and Decorating
The best part of spring cleaning comes after the actual cleaning and scrubbing, when it’s time for setting things up and changing the décor. I pay extra attention to this part; I set things up so that they do not interfere with the flow of light and energy in the house. Don’t put a sofa somewhere that will give you a bruise every time you pass it.
Decorative items are very nice, but I am very picky about allowing them into my living space. You might think it interesting to hang the family heirloom hunting gun from the loving room wall, but what kind of a feeling are you inducing in that space by hanging that gun. I would rather go with a fresh cut flower to begin my day with positive energy.
Final Step: A Hot Shower
You might find cleaning the bathroom nasty, and that is how I feel too. So I leave it to the last so that after I am done with it, I can take a shower and come out all clean.
Good Music Helps Make the House Cleaner
To hold on to the good feeling that is triggered by spring cleaning, put on some nice music, buy some freshly cut flowers and fill the space with some good smelling incense to keep the good energies flowing. Rest assured that the improvement in your surroundings will have a direct effect on your mood.
I wrote this piece for you after three days of cleaning. I was listening to this music by Eendo during my cleaning project. When I got through the painstaking mopping and window-washing, I poured myself a perfect cup of tea and looked at the blue sky through the spotless frame, knowing that it will remain so at least until the next rain.
[Translated from the original Persian]