The benefits of spring cleaning 春季大掃除的好處

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一年一度的春季大掃除是英國家庭長期以來的一項傳統。然而,近年來,延續這個傳統的家庭數量似乎在下降。本文討論春季大掃除的益處。

詞彙:cleaning 清潔

You may well have heard of the term 『spring cleaning’: the act of giving your house a deep clean in the spring months. Even though, for many of us, that ritual of a once-a-year blitz of dirt and grime is dying out, some of us still practise it. However, there could be a good reason the tradition isn’t as popular as it was.

The spring months are associated with new life and warmth – a stark contrast to the cold, gloomy winter that preceded. For protection against the freezing weather outside, people would seal their doors and windows as best they could to keep the heat in. In a time when many houses had fireplaces, open fires would churn out smoke and soot, coating rooms with layers of muck and gunk.

It therefore made sense for people to start cleaning in the spring, when the weather was warmer and windows opened, to freshen up their houses, swabbing the floors and cleaning the walls. However, open fires are no longer commonplace in modern British homes, with people preferring central heating to filthy smoke. And it’s not just the way of heating our homes that has changed. In the past, cleaning was designated to specific times and days, as simple chores like washing clothes took a long time. The rise of gadgets such as the washing machine means that tasks are quicker and more efficient.

However, psychologists such as Dr Jonathan Fader, argue that the mental health benefits of clearing the house of mess means that a spring clean is hugely positive. The perception of your house being cluttered can cause the stress hormone cortisol to rise.

So, while the tradition is still there, and it’s nice to have a big purge of dirt once in a while, it is no longer as necessary – or limited to just the spring. That said, the psychological benefits of having a tidy home means that a once-a-year purge of unnecessary items, rather than dirt, can make you feel much better.

詞彙表

deep clean 深度清潔
blitz 突擊、集中力量的清潔
dirt 灰塵
grime 污垢
soot 煤灰
muck 髒東西
gunk 髒的黏性物質
freshen up 使…潔淨,使…變得煥然一新
swab (用拖把或濕布)擦洗
filthy 骯髒的
chore 家庭雜務,日常瑣事
washing machine 洗衣機
clearing 清潔,整理
mess 髒亂的東西
cluttered 堆得亂七八糟的,雜亂的
purge 清理
tidy 整潔的

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. Is the act of 『spring cleaning’ as popular as it once was?

2. In the past, why did it make sense for people to start cleaning in the spring?

3. How do most British people heat their homes in modern times?

4. True or False? There are no benefits to spring cleaning.

5. What are the reasons we no longer need to have a once-a-year big clean?

2.  選擇意思恰當的單字或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. This kitchen is a disgrace! It really needs a good _______.

blitz                           gunk                          cluttered                   mess

2. These clothes are _______. What have you been doing?

purge                        filthy                           gunk                        chores

3. Let’s _______ the house with a good spring clean.

swabbing                  chores                        grime                       freshen up

4. Smoke from open fires would coat the rooms in _______.

purge                        soot                            freshen up               gloomy

5. You can feel a layer of _______ if you run your finger along the counter.

cluttered                    chores                        gloomy                    grime

答案

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。  

1. Is the act of 『spring cleaning’ as popular as it once was?
No. While some people still do it, the tradition is dying out somewhat.

2. In the past, why did it make sense for people to start cleaning in the spring?
Because the weather was warmer after the winter, and the windows opened to allow more air into the house.

3. How do most British people heat their homes in modern times?
These days, central heating is more common than fireplaces to heat the house.

4. True or False? There are no benefits to spring cleaning.
False. A cluttered house can cause stress. Therefore, a once-a-year decluttering can be very beneficial.

5. What are the reasons we no longer need to have a once-a-year big clean?
Due to the rise of gadgets such as the washing machine and the decline of the fireplace, cleaning can be done more quickly and frequently.

2.  選擇意思恰當的單字或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. This kitchen is a disgrace! It really needs a good blitz.

2. These clothes are filthy. What have you been doing?

3. Let’s freshen up the house with a good spring clean.

4. Smoke from open fires would coat the rooms in soot.

5. You can feel a layer of grime if you run your finger along the counter.