By Matt Mattei - [email protected]

Spring Cleaning: A professional home cleaner and a feng shui consultant weigh in

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Sybilla Lenz, owner of Positive Living by Design, stands in front of a world map in her consulting firm in Tunkhannock on Monday. In feng shui, the southwest corner is most associated with the Earth.
Sean McKeag | Weekender
Sybilla Lenz, owner of Positive Living by Design, is reflected as she describes the ‘intention’ card on the left and the feng shui compass in her office in Tunkhannock. Intention cards help people will good things into their lives.
Sean McKeag | Weekender
Sybilla Lenz shows off the Wu Lou gourd that hangs in the doorway of her consulting firm on Monday. The Wu Lou is brass symbol used by feng shui practitioners to fend off illness.
Sean McKeag | Weekender

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    Spring cleaning is a necessary evil for all homeowners and renters, but not all independent dwellers have the expertise to do it right or the money to contract professionals to help.

    This cleaning season, we sat down with some experts in the fields of home cleaning and interior arrangement to learn a few of the tricks of the trade. Shayna Walker is a professional cleaner and owner of Happy Home cleaning service and Sybilla Lenz is a feng shui consultant and owner of Positive Living by Design. Both lent their time and advice to help out the less adept home owner accomplish a do-it-yourself cleanup.

    Walker said the first thing people should do is get rid of stuff, because people who are organized get the most out of their homes.

    “Open the cupboards,” the Hunlock Creek resident said. “Get rid of what you don’t need. Clear out the top cupboards and get rid of stuff in your medicine cabinet.”

    Walker said a simple tip is to open the windows and let the house air out after a winter of stale air, dust and skin debris.

    “Work top to bottom and dust everything,” Walker said. “These are simple rules that grandmas passed down over the decades.”

    Too many cleaning products can add to clutter, Walker said.

    “You don’t need much more than vinegar, water and soap,” she said. “Those are the things that will take you the furthest.”

    Moving appliances and furniture to clean underneath often gets overlooked, Walker said. Refrigerators, couches and baseboards, she said, hide a lot of dust and grime.

    “Window sills are a big one,” Walker said. “Take your teapot. Boil some water, and pour it into the sill between the screen and window. It will just clean it out. You don’t have to scrub or anything.”

    Walker said dusting wall hangings, books and other shelved items will help to achieve a comprehensive dusting.

    “Sprinkle on a carpet deodorizer if you have area rugs,” Walker said. “I use baking soda and essential oil. One thing I like to put in the baking soda mixture is bay leaves, because they’re anti-fungal.”

    Walker also said running a hot shower before cleaning the bathroom helps loosen soap scum.

    “I use a lot of soft scrubs in the bathroom, and Bon Ami is a natural one,” Walker said.

    Lenz, of Tunkhannock, couldn’t agree more with Walker’s anti-hoarding sentiment. The feng shui consultant and owner of Positive Living by Design said removing clutter is the first step to improving the energy in one’s home.

    “One thing I say to people is, ‘Try to stand back if you can and be a disinterested party in your own home, so you can take a look at it as if you were a visitor,’” Lenz said.

    Being objective, Lenz said, can help a homeowner detach from unnecessary items and raise his or her energy or “qi.”

    “As westerners, we lean toward a cluttered environment,” she said. “We accumulate stuff. Energy can’t move in a nice flowing pattern in a cluttered space.”

    Lenz said the purpose of fung shui is to optimize the positive energy in one’s household and spring cleaning is the perfect time to evaluate the way one feels inside his or her abode.

    That evaluation, Lenz said, should scrutinize whether anything needs a new coat of paint and whether there is debris outside of the home leading to the entrance as well as inside of the living space.

    “Opening up those windows gets all that stagnant energy out that’s been there all winter long,” Lenz said. “Also, you want to have sparkling clean windows to look out of, because if you’re looking through windows that don’t appear clean, it lowers your qi.”

    Although Lenz has a plethora of advice for anyone looking to increase their qi, she said homeowners who are starting out in feng shui can move things around until it makes them feel better.

    “People are naturals at it,” Lenz said. “People are very intuitive in their spaces. It’s all about raising your energy so you feel good.”

    Homeowners seeking to contract a professional to clean their home can contact Shayna Walker at 570-362-1601. Anyone seeking an expert consultation in fung shui can contact Sybilla Lenz at 570-836-8888.

    Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or Twitter @TLArts

    Clearing clutter, cleaning windows and fresh air go a long way

    By Matt Mattei

    [email protected]

    Sybilla Lenz, owner of Positive Living by Design, stands in front of a world map in her consulting firm in Tunkhannock on Monday. In feng shui, the southwest corner is most associated with the Earth.
    http://theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_TTL041016SpringCleaning2.jpgSybilla Lenz, owner of Positive Living by Design, stands in front of a world map in her consulting firm in Tunkhannock on Monday. In feng shui, the southwest corner is most associated with the Earth. Sean McKeag | Weekender

    Sybilla Lenz, owner of Positive Living by Design, is reflected as she describes the ‘intention’ card on the left and the feng shui compass in her office in Tunkhannock. Intention cards help people will good things into their lives.
    http://theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_TTL041016SpringCleaning3.jpgSybilla Lenz, owner of Positive Living by Design, is reflected as she describes the ‘intention’ card on the left and the feng shui compass in her office in Tunkhannock. Intention cards help people will good things into their lives. Sean McKeag | Weekender

    Sybilla Lenz shows off the Wu Lou gourd that hangs in the doorway of her consulting firm on Monday. The Wu Lou is brass symbol used by feng shui practitioners to fend off illness.
    http://theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_TTL041016SpringCleaning1.jpgSybilla Lenz shows off the Wu Lou gourd that hangs in the doorway of her consulting firm on Monday. The Wu Lou is brass symbol used by feng shui practitioners to fend off illness. Sean McKeag | Weekender

    Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or Twitter @TLArts