How To Clean Your Home For Lunar New Year

You've bought the red lanterns, decked out your home with lucky plants, stocked up on tangerines, and made your own money tree. But if you think you're ready to face the year of the rabbit, it is time to put that thought aside for now, because there may still be one, all-encompassing task that needs to be checked off your to-do list, and that is to clean your home.

We're not talking about a token swipe across all surfaces to get rid of some dust, but the kind where you get rid of smudges and stains that you might have thought were permanent until you tried. One reason? Author Grace Young explains the great Lunar New Year clean-up as "sweep[ing] out the old in order to usher in the new," per The New York Times, which means getting rid of all the bad luck that might have decided to hang out not only on visible surfaces but also in the forgotten crevices of your home. Moreover, China Highlights says the word for dust sounds identical to the word for old, which means all the dirt, and the bad luck your home might have accumulated, has got to be cleaned away to allow for the good luck the new year promises to bring in.

Prep your indoor space for the New Year

According to Nations Online, the race to clean your home begins on the last day of the last month before the Lunar New Year. Aspen Clean recommends you pay attention to your beds by cleaning out mattresses, and by going underneath furniture, including beds, couches, tv stands, and area rugs, instead of going around these difficult-to-move items as we might normally do. 

Going under furniture is just one thing we do as we prepare for the Lunar New Year. Aspen Clean says it might be a good time to clean out other overlooked parts of your home like the garbage disposal, as well as kitchen appliances like the oven and refrigerator which can accumulate grime. The site also recommends giving the bathroom (especially the grouting) a good scour.

If you've done all that and are looking out for places you might have missed, feng shui expert Susan Chan says there is a further need to focus on windows, since they are meant to represent your eyes. She says: "Clean all the windows in your home while setting the intention to see all the opportunities that come your way during the year and to have the clarity to make all the right decisions," per Food52.

There is a right way to clean your home

Our indoor living spaces aren't the only areas that will need a clean and decluttering, because there are outdoor areas that include the garden, garage, and other external storage that will need to be cleaned and tidied up too. 

If you really want to do clean your space as tradition dictates, Richmond News says you'll need to clean in an inward movement that takes dirt from the front door to the center of your home. Once that is done, you'll also need to ensure that you use a side door to take the household dirt and clutter out, since the front door is also where good luck is meant to enter. 

But it's not possible to do all things as tradition might dictate. As Nations Online points out, the best tool to clean the home with is a bunch of bamboo leaves. Nowadays, however, we hope the gods of fortune won't look unkindly on 21st-century cleaning tools like vacuum cleaners and mops to ensure your house is spic and span in time for the Lunar New Year's eve deadline of midnight. Regardless of what you use, when you're done, Nations Online recommends hiding your cleaning tools where they can't be seen, so that bad luck isn't left to lurk around.