Have you ever wondered where the tradition of spring cleaning came from?
Why do people all of the sudden, once a year, feel the need to clean out closets, deep clean the house and get rid of all clutter? Spring-cleaning is actually an age-old tradition that is deeply rooted in religious and cultural tradition.
In the 1800s, an annual house deep-cleaning took place each spring because winter would leave homes coated in soot and grime. Homes would have a layer of grime, due to lamps being burned constantly that used whale oil or kerosene. When the weather grew warm, people would open windows for light and air conditioning and deep clean their homes in order to remove all the sediment that built up over the winter months.
Many people worried that this build up could cause health issues if left untreated. This tradition carried over into many religious circles as well, where they identified the benefit of making time to evaluate and clean out any area of life that might be damaging or unhealthy.
Another version of “spring cleaning” was developed over 3,000 years ago and is still practiced today. The Chinese practiced a science called Feng Shui, which concentrates on improving every aspect of life.
Feng means “wind” and shui means “water”. In the Chinese culture, wind and water are associated with good health, thus good feng shui came to mean good fortune and bad feng shui meant misfortune.
The Chinese recognized that having good health meant living a successful life. But it wasn’t just limited to physical health. They identified that health in every area of life (body, soul, mind) was the paramount of a good life.
The principle of yin and yang (balance) is essential to feng shui. It is taught that balance is necessary to maintain a good and successful life. If there is anything out of balance or potentially harmful, it should be eliminated immediately.
What is it in your life that you need to clean out? What is it about your life that needs balance? Are there harmful elements, habits or people in your life that need to be dealt with immediately?
What are you waiting for? Happy spring cleaning!