If you’re finding yourself at home a lot more than usual this spring, you’re not alone. While you can absolutely use this extra time to destress and do relaxing things like watching Netflix, some people swear by cleaning as a form of calming meditation.
Psychological studies have found that having a clean and orderly home is good for mental health, and one study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that women who describe their homes as “restful” were less likely to be depressed than those who described them as “cluttered.”
So, if you’re in the market for cleaning projects around the house to keep your mind focused on small tasks, we have a few suggestions below.
The first thing you’re going to do is to take everything out of the fridge. Clean and disinfect the shelves and drawers, then wipe them down so they’re dry.
As you put your food back in an organized manner, pay attention to the foods that may have been lurking in the back for a bit. You might end up finding things that you forgot you bought, or things that your family didn’t end up liking as much as you thought.
Whether you have a closet-sized pantry, you use a cabinet, or even a drawer, take the time to clean out the space where you store your dry goods.
First, take everything out. Then sweep, dust, and wipe down shelves with a damp paper towel. Organize your dry goods, and when you put them back make sure that the items closest to expiration are near the front so that you use them first.
Raise your hand if you clean under your furniture. Now raise your hand if you clean behind your furniture. There probably weren’t as many hands raised on the second one, but that’s ok because today’s the day.
Carefully, and with help if necessary, move your pieces of furniture one by one away from the wall. Sweep and mop, or vacuum, the floor where the furniture was. Dust the back of the furniture and the wall it was touching, and if necessary, wash the wall with a wet sponge.
Let’s get those kicks nice and clean! This task can be very meditative once you get into a groove. First, line up all of your shoes, then one by one wipe down their soles with a damp paper towel, getting as much dirt and mud off of them.
Let them dry, then do the same thing with a disinfecting wipe or a paper towel misted with disinfecting spray. Then wipe them down one more time with a damp paper towel to get any excess cleaning solution off of them.
Note: be careful to just clean the soles this way. The tops of your shoes will need to be cleaned differently depending on their material. Leather shoes should be cleaned following the directions on leather cleaner, and suede shoes should be cleaned with a stiff brush.
This one is tough but satisfying when you’re done. First, clean the floor or tiles the way you normally would to get off any dirt. Next, mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the tile so that the grout is wet. Scrub the grout, then rinse with water. You can use a sponge for this, but an old toothbrush works better, and you’ll need one in the next step.
Make a paste out of water and baking soda, then apply it with the brush directly to the grout. Spray it with the water and vinegar solution, and it will begin to foam up. Scrub it again with the brush, then rinse with warm water.
Before you start, unplug all of the appliances that you’ll be cleaning. Wipe them down with a wet paper towel, and if they have stuck-on grease, clean them with a wet, soapy sponge. Dry them off with a towel, making sure that they are completely dry before plugging in and using.
To clean the inside of your blender, fill it with warm, soapy water and then run it on the lowest setting for a minute or two. Then, take the pitcher off the base and wash it normally, or run it through the dishwasher. To clean out your toaster, turn it upside down over the sink and shake out all of the crumbs. If it has a latch on the bottom, undo it and you can clean out the crumb tray with a wet paper towel as well.