A clean house is more than just a luxury, it’s a necessity. In the year of COVID-19, we’ve learned how vital cleaning is and how being clean can actually be life-saving. From wiping down doorknobs to frequently washing our hands, we’ve learned that how clean we keep ourselves and our spaces can be a matter of life and death.
But cleaning isn’t something just for really serious dirt and grime problems.
When you see a home with hoarders it’s not hard to see how this can directly impact the people who live in the home. But most people don’t suffer from hoarding, they suffer from what I call the Clean-Dirty Paradigm.
That’s when the house looks neat and tidy, but on closer inspection it’s grimy and nasty. Lift a rug or look a bit closer at the bathroom and you’ll see some serious ick.
As a home buyer and a feng shui consultant, I can tell you that this is a common issue in today’s homes.
The problem with neat homes that are actually dirty is that old energy is trapped in the grime, dust, hairballs, and dirty windows is that it’s stagnant energy. This can create blockages and a feeling of being stuck and making minimal progress in life.
Even if you keep your home neat, it needs regular cleaning and scheduled deep cleaning, such as at the spring and fall seasonal change.
Seeing dirt and grime on the window sills, ground-in dirt in the carpets, or bathrooms that need a thorough scrubbing weighs on you. Over time, there may even be a musty smell to accompany that layer of film, dirt and dust, and that’s a very yin state.
Worse still, a dirty house holds you back. Even trying to ignore a grimy floor or the stain on your carpet can pull your energy down.
Here’s another example of the Clean-Dirty Paradigm. This is the item that looks dirty, but is actually clean.
I’ll give you an example at my house. We replaced the toilets in our house two years ago, but even when the master bathroom toilet has been cleaned and scoured, it looks dirty because it has mineral stains that need to be removed with a pumice stone. It only takes a few minutes, but once it’s done, it will not just be clean, it will also look clean, and that will lift my energy.
It doesn’t matter that it is clean but looks dirty because it looks dirty — and that brings down your energy. Your energy (and that of your home) flows to where your eye goes, and if your eye goes toward something that isn’t clean or doesn’t look clean, it takes your energy down with it.
Cleaning thoroughly and consistently means your house is clean and it looks clean too. Seeing clean when you enter your home helps you attract growth and opportunity.
What does it take to have a truly clean house? Consistency.
Ironically, the less a house is cleaned, the more work it takes. If you don’t stay on top of your house, the house will be on top of you — with stuff piling up, and let’s not forget about that dirt and grime.
Look around. Is your outer life experience mirroring your inner home experience?
Think on this: A house that’s neat, but not cleaned, is a house that’s just getting by, and that represents a life that’s just getting by, not truly flourishing.
Remember: Dirt and dust equal stagnant and stuck.
If you’ve got dust bunnies the size of Great Danes, it’s time to get to work. Even if you don’t, it pays to live in a clean house for what it pays you in comfort, relaxation and your energy level and how you feel each day. There is nothing, and I do mean nothing, that feels as good as a just-cleaned home.
Here’s a quick guide to cleaning your space, and if you’re stuck, to help get you out of the Clean-Dirty Paradigm.
1. Go to the bathroom.
Why? Bathrooms that are dirty are germ fests waiting to make you sick. Clean it up and you might just feel better or get through cold and flu season without a cold or flu.
2. Take on the kitchen.
This is where you eat so it should be clean. Nothing attracts bugs faster than a filthy kitchen. Make it a goal to give your kitchen a two-hour once over. Spend two hours in there and really clean — the coils on the fridge, the oven, the floors, ceilings, windows, everything.
3. Head into the bedroom.
When you sleep, you’re breathing in everything that’s in the room, i.e., pet dander, dust, mites from the bed, you name it. Make it a point to clean under the bed, vacuum the blinds, and wash the curtains and bedspreads and blankets. Then vacuum, yes, vacuum, the mattress, and flip. Ahhh….clean. It feels so nice.
4. Create a paper trail.
Haven’t read that magazine? Then you’re not going to, so get rid of it. Conduct your own paperectomy and get rid of all that paper that’s just taking up space.
5. Concentrate in the corners.
This is where everything drifts to… the corner of the bedroom, the corners of the ceilings. Corners are a magnet for stacks of papers. On the ceiling, corners attract spider webs. Clear out every corner you have, including closet corners. Use the edge tool on your vacuum to go along the walls where the carpets meet the baseboards to get to the areas where dust and debris can drift.
6. Go outside.
Rent a pressure washer and wash the house, sidewalks, patios, and driveways, or hire someone. Pressure washers are a house’s best friend. Think of it as an exfoliating scrub for your home. You will love your sparkling house.
7. Head to the top.
Clean off the tops of everything. This includes dressers, tables, counters, refrigerators — anything with a top. It also means dusting the tops of windows, door trim, and tops of baseboards. Dust just loves to hide on the tops of things.
8. Get steamed.
Once a year get your carpets and upholstery steam cleaned. Why steam? It’s hot and it’s water so it will clean well without hurting anything or leaving behind any kind of soapy residue. Many people get their carpets cleaned or use grocery-store carpet cleaner products only to find they need to do it again and again and again because the carpets get dirtier faster and faster and faster. Plain hot water is all you need.