Why Cleaning Has Meaning: Bringing Wellbeing Into Your Home

Why Cleaning Has Meaning: Bringing Wellbeing Into Your Home

by Linda Thomas

Paperback

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Overview

Few of us enjoy cleaning: it often feels like a thankless, repetitive task which we force ourselves to do.

Linda Thomas is an expert, professional cleaner who ran her own ecological cleaning company for over twenty years. In this unique book, she explores her passion for cleaning, and argues that cleaning can have a profound effect not just on the spaces we care for, but on our own wellbeing and personal development.

This lively and readable book is full of anecdotes, practical examples and ecological cleaning tips from Linda's decades of cleaning experience. Ultimately she argues that if we raise our understanding of cleaning, we might even begin to enjoy it!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781782500506
Publisher: Floris Books
Publication date: 04/15/2014
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x (d)

About the Author

Linda Thomas was born in 1953 and grew up in South Africa in a large family. She now lives in Switzerland with her husband and two grown-up children. In 1988 she founded an ecological cleaning company, and from 1993 to 2012 was responsible for cleaning the Goetheanum buildings near Basel, Switzerland. Currently she is a housemother at the Lucas Clinic in Arlesheim. She lectures widely.

Table of Contents

1 How I Came into Cleaning and Caring 11

South Africa to Switzerland 11

Cleaning company and crisis 14

Indifference and lack of commitment 15

Three questions 18

Cleaning and caring 21

Goetheanum 23

Living on an island 25

2 Cleaning as a Cultural Impulse 29

Early civilisations 30

Purity in Islam 32

Other traditions 33

Japanese misogi 34

Greek and Russian customs 35

The origin of spring cleaning 36

The Passover 36

Persian New Year traditions 37

China and Vietnam 38

Japan 40

India 40

Christmas 41

3 Human Beings, Home and Helpers 42

Wisdom, devuutness and life confidence 42

The human being 44

The home as an organism 45

Helping beings 47

Perceiving nature beings 49

Communication 50

The four classical elements 52

What do we know about the elements? 53

Tidying and cleaning 55

The nature of the elements 56

Earth 56

Water 57

Air 58

Fire, the element of warmth 60

Elemental beings 61

Fairy tales 65

Elemental and the environment 64

Schooling our alertness 65

Different elemental beings and their relation to us 67

Gnomes 68

Undines 68

Sylphs 69

Salamander 69

The redemption of elemental beings 70

Other nature beings 70

Invisible helpers and mischievous hinderers 71

Day and night 72

The phases of the moon 72

The seasons 73

The effect of beings we create 74

The little devil and the snake 75

Dealing with malevolent beings 80

Questions and answers 82

4 Cleaning and the Basic Tasks in Life 85

Caring 85

Renewal and a fresh start 85

Cleaning with joy 87

Art in daily life 89

Honouring beauty 89

Neglect 91

Homemaking in earlier times 92

The ten fairy servants 92

Hands and fingers 94

Housework today 95

Cleaning as a profession 97

Invisible dirt 98

Awakening a sense of beauty 100

Curative education and social therapy 102

Questions and answers 108

5 Spirituality in Daily Life 115

Hestia 115

The religious element in daily life 116

Overcoming stress 121

Exercises for strengthening the life body 125

Exercises for strengthening the astral body 126

Exercises for integrating the self 126

6 Creating Order 127

Disorder is not chaos 127

Disorder and order 128

Temptation 129

Strive to finish what was started 131

The difficulty of maintaining order 132

Where does disorder start? 135

Where do I start? 136

Developing willpower 137

Self help and getting help 138

Dust and neglect 140

7 Our Relation to the Objects Around Us 142

Bidding farewell 142

Favourite objects 146

The value of interest 146

What we give to objects 149

Compulsive hoarding 151

Not every disorderly person is a messie 152

Finding solutions 154

Implication for professionals and family members 155

Getting help at home 156

Organising your own day 157

Questions and answers 158

8 Rhythm 162

Food 163

Clothing 164

Tidying and cleaning 165

Household maintenance 167

Lifestyle habits 168

9 Home Life and Growing Children 170

The pressure on parenthood 170

Free play 171

Imitation 173

Support and patience 174

Rhythm, and coming to agreements 176

Going to bed and getting up 177

Mealtimes 178

Developing a sense of responsibility 179

Closed for reconstruction: adolescence 180

Love and trust 182

Meaningful work 184

10 Cleaning Schools with their Students 187

Student cleaning project 187

From concept to reality 189

Possible objections 190

Training 191

The purpose of student cleaning projects 191

The school as a living organism 192

Preventing neglect 194

Questions and answers 195

11 Practicalities 197

Where do I start? 197

Getting organised and cleaning 197

Start with the room that irritates you most 198

The cleaning process 198

Essentials 198

Clearing space before beginning 199

Different rooms in the home 199

The kitchen 199

Bathrooms 201

Living room, dining room, bedrooms 202

All rooms 203

Odds and ends 204

Paperwork 204

Tidying made easy 204

Tips and tricks 205

Bugs and infestations 206

Cleaning agents and tools 207

Environmental considerations 207

Acids 207

Alkalines 208

Neutral agents 208

Abrasives 208

Dissolving agents 209

Glass scraper 209

Microfibres 209

Day-to-day cleaning 210

Cleaning waters 210

Disinfection 211

Fragrances 212

Environmentally friendly tips for your home 213

Our consumables 214

Nature and the garden 215

Laundry 215

Stain removal 216

Notes 229

Bibliography 231

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