February 14 marks the beginning of Chinese (or Lunar) New Year 2010 - a holiday I've always associated with parades featuring lions and dragons, and with firecrackers, and with really good food. But there's also a distinct connection with decluttering.
Over on Life Coaches Blog, Alvin Soon explains the Chinese New Year's tradition this way:
It’s that time of the year again when we Chinese prepare for the Chinese New Year. ...And Stephanie Roberts explains the holiday preparations this way:
For days before the new year, we sweep out the house, wipe down corners that haven’t been seen for ages, throw out old stuff and buy new ones. It’s an old tradition to start off the new year with a clean house and new clothes, and there’s a Chinese saying that translates to; "if the old doesn’t go, the new doesn’t come."
If that isn’t reason enough to declutter, I don’t know what is!
Traditional Chinese New Year celebrations focus on home and family, and on ensuring that the New Year will bring lots of good luck. Much of this activity centers on thorough house cleaning to clear out old energy and make way for the new. In the Chinese Lunar Calendar, the New Year marks the start of Spring, so it's a good time for "spring cleaning" even if the weather is still wintry in your part of the world.Finally, over on Slashfood, Sarah Gim suggests you make this the time to throw out your useless kitchen gadgets. Note added in reply to a comment I received in e-mail: Getting rid of useless (to you) kitchen gadgets is a fine idea - but please consider giving them away, not just tossing them out.
If you don't have time to clean and de-clutter your entire home before New Year, concentrate on your kitchen. A clean, food-filled kitchen is the center of family life and a symbol of health and prosperity, so it is especially auspicious for the New Year.
[photo by Paolo Camera, licensed under Creative Commons]