Mindful Cleaning

I'm sure you've been there—most of us are not excited about cleaning.  For example, you're in the middle of doing the dishes, and suddenly you realize that your mind has wandered away from the task at hand. You're not being mindful about it; instead, you're just doing it on autopilot. What if this is an opportunity for us to use this time  as a chance to the care of yourself and encourage the habit of mindfulness, a way to make this mundane chore into something that's actually enjoyable? We can practice mindfulness while dusting, mopping, wiping down a counter, or doing any other household chore.

Here's how: break down your cleaning into smaller tasks. Start by gathering all of the materials you need and then take a moment to breathe deeply and just be with yourself in the moment before you start. If the mind begins wandering into the future and the task at hand, bring yourself back to the body in the present moment.

For example, the dishes. You know what I'm talking about.

Doing the dishes is one of those things that you have to do, but it's not exactly exciting. It's just another thing on the list of things you have to do in your day, and sometimes it feels like it takes forever to get through them all.

But here's the thing: when you take a moment to slow down and focus on what you're doing, you can actually enjoy it! The trick is breaking down larger tasks into smaller chunks so that they aren't so overwhelming. So instead of thinking about doing all of your dishes at once, try thinking about how much time each dish will take. Then, think about how much time it'll take for each component of that dish—washing the dishes themselves, rinsing them off, washing off their racks, etc.—and break each component down into its own task. That way, when you're done with one dish and ready to move onto the next one, you'll already have some momentum going!

The same goes for other cleaning tasks—like sweeping or scrubbing floors—or even cooking meals!

Think about how you feel right now. Are you stressed out, or are you calm? If you're stressed out, let's take a moment to breathe deeply and focus on bringing our attention back to the present moment. Let's think about how we feel right now: relaxed, calm, ready to tackle this task.

Now that we're feeling more grounded and centered in ourselves, let's gather some material—whatever will help us be more mindful as we work on this task. Maybe it's a timer or an app on your phone that lets you set reminders for yourself; maybe it's a playlist of songs that help you relax; maybe it's just a piece of paper where you can write down the tasks at hand so that they don't overwhelm you later on down the line! Whatever works for YOU is what matters most here!


Observe the space you have cleaned, and recognize its representation of your clean mind!