The Magpie Anthology

Cleaning Tips : From Around the World…

You have to love a clean and there’s nothing more cathartic than a good old declutter. But in some countries, folk make actual festivals and rituals of a clear out. Here are our favourites…

Head to Sweden for a spot of ‘Death Cleaning’ or dostadning as it’s known. The premise is that, rather than leaving your unfortunate friends or relatives to deal with the detritus of your life you get rid of those unnecessary items that crowd your existence before you die so that they don’t have to. Morbid maybe but perhaps if you approached your decluttering in this way, much more would get chucked out!

A teetering pile of books beside the bed? Than take a leaf out of the Icelander’s book (see what we did there) and have yourself a Christmas Book Flood or Jólabókaflóð. Traditionally this is a tradition for Christmas Eve when Icelanders give each other a book which is meant to be immediately read in front of the fire with a cocoa (or in our case a nice cold glass of wine). Who says this is just for Christmas? Get sorting and get gifting those already read or unwanted books to someone who’ll appreciate them.

In Morocco, Ras el Maa to be precise, sunny Sundays are spent communally washing clothes at a local waterfall. Part cleansing ritual, part social it’s miles better that slogging away on your own. Now, whilst we don’t suggest you lug all your laundry down to the nearest stream, once restrictions have lifted, invite a friend round to have a co cleaning morning and then reciprocate. Crank the tunes up, get the hoover out and get cleaning!

And lastly and perhaps a little extremely in Guatemala, every December, the Quema del Diablo festival is designed to discourage the devil and effigies of Satan are burned alongside household waste on an enormous pyre. This is not to be encouraged in the UK but a good decluttering session should leave you feeling virtuous and keep the dust devils at bay…

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