It’s Bad Luck To Clean On New Year’s Day, So Don’t

by : Hannah Smith on :
It's Bad Luck To Clean On New Year's Day, So Don'tAlamy

If for you ‘New Year, New Me’ means finally doing that spring cleaning you’ve been putting off since last April, you might want to put down the hoover.

In many cultures, New Year’s Day is a highly superstitious time of year, with many believing that what you do on January 1 will come to define how you spend the rest of this trip around the sun. And that includes cleaning.


While spending the day cleaning might seem a ridiculous prospect to anyone feeling a little worse for wear after last night’s festivities, for some the start of a brand new year is the perfect spur to finally get your house (and life) spick and span.

Cleaning (Alamy)Alamy

However, according to Metro, there are a number of traditions that warn against cleaning on New Year’s Day, with one in particular suggesting that people who do chores on January 1 will spend the rest of the year doing boring, monotonous work.

Another old wives’ tales cautions against doing laundry on New Year’s Day, warning that doing so will ‘wash away a loved one’ – meaning you will lose someone close to you during the year.


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And in a similar, though slightly less dire outcome, washing dishes and sweeping floors is also a no-no, with the chores allegedly working to wash or sweep away any good luck that may have been awaiting you.

Taking out the trash could also cause you problems further down the line, with folklore suggesting it will lead to a loss of prosperity.

Doing laundry (Alamy)Alamy

Luckily, if you’ve already cracked on with a load of washing, there are some ways to supposedly invite good luck into your home on New Year’s, including placing money under a rug, wearing white and, in an old Danish superstition, smashing a plate on a friend’s doorstep.


It’s not entirely clear where these superstitions originate from, but if you’re eager to avoid trouble in 2022 (and, after the past two years, aren’t we all) maybe it’s best to leave the housework for January 2.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah is a London-based journalist covering news and features for UNILAD. She's especially interested in social and political activism.

Topics: Life, Now


  1. Metro

    Why is it bad luck to clean on New Year's Day?