Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Beat the Spring Cleaning Blues

If new year spring cleaning is on your to-do list, read on.

Traditionally, spring cleaning (春节大掃除) is done before Chinese New Year to welcome the new season with a clean house. This marks a new beginning with the hope to bring good luck.

The next Chinese New Year is only a couple of weeks away (23 Jan 2012) and there are loads of preparation to do. Traditionally, this is also the time to feel stressed out. With the sight of messy rooms, dusty shelves and unkept Christmas decorations, you just hope that you have another month.

Spring cleaning need not be a hair-pulling time. Take a look at a few pointers below. I hope the list will lessen your stress so that you can welcome the Dragon Year with a jolly mood.

10. Spring cleaning - Outsourced

If for some reasons, you are unable or unwilling to do the chores yourself, consider outsoursing. However, many cleaning companies would have their booking list filled up by now. Note this tip and make your reservation earlier next time.

Reserve spring cleaning service early. [Pic]

9. Spring cleaning - DIY

The tips will be too long to be included here. Just google "spring cleaning tips" and you will find loads of information. The idea here is to work smart and not just work hard.

8. Have a plan

Draw up a plan on what needs to be done. Handle a few items each day and that will prevent a last minute panic attack. Very often, we feel stressed out just thinking about what needs to be done. Getting something done (no matter how little) brings on satisfaction and that helps to motivate you.

7. Have a checklist

In the interest of time, you want to be systematic and save effort. Have a checklist (see example) which you can use every year. Pick tasks based on the amount of time allocated for the day.

Plan spring cleaning tasks and handle
them systematically.

6. Stay healthy

The tendency is to work doubly hard and if possible, into late nights. That is usually not worth the while. You may end up spending more time later nursing yourself back to health. Falling sick during the festive time means missing out all the good food and fun. Don't.

5. Fight procrastination

Tomorrow sometimes never come. No one enjoys spring cleaning (you know anyone who does?) but you have to do what you have to do. Put your acts together and throw your excuses aside. See "Procrastination is Best Left Till Tomorrow".

4. Be disciplined

Ouch! The 'D' word hurts. But you need that in many things and that includes spring cleaning. Many people see 'Discipline' to be a big enemy which is hard to conquer. Get rid of that idea. 'Self Discipline' is a collection of good habits which you can build. Read more in "Choose Your Pain: Discipline or Regret".

Discipline is not a scary word. [Pic]

3. Stop multitasking

Contrary to popular beliefs, multitasking is in fact one of the main killers of productivity. You may think that you are getting much done. The truth is you are getting many tasks going but badly done. See "Farewell to Multitasking".

2. Be motivated

You need motivation not just for spring cleaning but everything else you do everyday. It is easy to feel unmotivated and you would need to know how to refuel. See "Get Your Daily Motivation".

1. Cheer up

Finally, if you are feeling down and can't get started, you need to fight the G Force and get up. You don't have much time left. See "Get Yourself a "Cheer Up' First Aid Kit".

Multitasking is not a good idea. [Pic]

Most importantly, do away with the need for spring cleaning. Keep your house clutter-free and buy only what you need. That makes daily cleaning easy and there will be less need, or better still, no need for an annual spring cleaning.

Let's welcome the Dragon Year with a set of new habits.

Other similar articles:

"To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing." (Eva Young)

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