Preparing for the annual BIG house cleaning before CNY

The annual house spring cleaning before CNY (Chinese New Year) is a tradition for the Chinese.  My family makes use of this opportunity to clean up the house and throw away old stuff.  Even our kids are roped in to help. And they enjoyed cleaning even the corridors!  They love the sweeping, scrubbing and playing with water!

Since we have moved to our new house last September, this is the first CNY that we will be celebrating in our new house.  Hence it is important to keep this tradition going.  But having only left with 10 days to the big festive day, I need to start with a plan to complete this task in the shortest possible time.

1) Target an AREA first (Day 10 – 2 hrs)

This is the one area that I know I will be able to do it fast and tick off the list.  It is important to a good start to boost morale.  I shall start with the kids’ wardrobe to put away old and outgrown clothes.  Next, rotate some older sibling clothes for the younger one.  Then move on to the adult wardrobe to clear away old clothes that I will only probably wear in my dreams.  The problem with getting rid of my clothes is I always end up thinking one day I will get back into shape and still be able to wear them.  This year, the thought of buying more new clothes should see me stave them off into a big bag and donate them.

2) Target room by room (Day 9 to Day 7 – 2 hrs each)

We live in a 4 room apartment.  I shall next start with a room that has the most clutters.  I know once the cluttering gets wiped out, it will look much obvious with a “Wow!” effect and I will get a greater sense of accomplishment to keep me going!

3) Kitchen (Day 6 – 2hrs)

This is the time of the year to visit the kitchen cabinet.  The messy containers, bowls, drawers with lots of messy cutlery, kitchen utensils and tools need better organizing.  Old utensils to be thrown and least used to be donated.  I will do a re-organization of the way things are kept and add some simple decorations to have a refreshing kitchen for the new year.

4) Bathrooms (Day 5 – 1hr)

Our 2 bathrooms certainly deserve a sparkling clean outlook.  I shall start with tidying up my vanity cabinet.  This cabinet has been neglected in its tidyness since every morning I do a super quick make-up and throw my make-up kit back in a hurry.  Then will come the cleaning and scrubbing of the usual stuff, toilet bowls, basin, mirror and all.

5) Washing (Day 7 and Day 2 – 2hrs each)

A week before CNY, all curtains will be taken down and washed.  2 days before, most laundry will be washed, ironed and packed to the wardrobe so that no clothes will be lying around on the first day of CNY.

6) Living room, the hall (Day 1)

This is the place where guests will be entertained and it’s the most important place to be clean and tidy. However with kids around, its cleanliness and tidyness lifespan will only be a day. Hence it shall be dealt with last, 1 to 2 days before CNY.

7) CNY decorations (This takes more time and shall be scheduled to one of the weekends)

It’s a traditional to decorate the house with festive streamers, ang pao (red packets )made fishes, lanterns (which are simple for the kids to make), and get new pots of plants.  CNY goodies like pineapple tarts, cookies, chocolates, bak kwa (roasted flat pieces of honeyed pork), etc will be bought or made for guests who visit.

I look forward to the Chinese New Year since I was a child.  I enjoy the busy preparation right up to the day, enjoy eating reunion dinner on Chinese New Year’s eve together with our families, enjoy the visiting of relatives and friends and have them over to our house throughout these 15 days of celebration.  Many people would think of CNY to be just a public holiday and would even go overseas to avoid relatives visit and all.  But, for me, I would love my kids to enjoy everything about CNY just like me!  We shall keep this tradition interesting as long as we can in our family.

What is your CNY celebration like?

5 thoughts on “Preparing for the annual BIG house cleaning before CNY

  1. Pingback: How we celebrate our Chinese New Year | Kids "R" Simple

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