11 Ways to Find Joy in Cleaning the Kitchen

published Apr 5, 2017
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Even if you like to clean, chances are it’s not your favorite thing to do. We can’t blame you for that, but we can help you make it more fun. Because it’s gotta get done, so you may as well enjoy yourself as much as possible while it’s happening.

1. Hit the app store.

Just because you’re cleaning doesn’t mean that’s the only thing you have to be doing. You can multitask like the best of them! And this is your chance to do it in a fun way (you know, versus answering emails, sitting in on a conference call, and mopping up spilled coffee all at once). Put on a podcast and prepare to be entertained while you work.

Here’s what to download: The Best Podcasts for Every Situation

(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

2. Add more dancing.

It’s scientifically impossible to not be joyful when you’re dancing. The easiest way to make dancing happen? Put together a fun playlist, turn the volume up, and throw your inhibitions out the window. Your microfiber cloth won’t judge your moves.

Music We Love

(Image credit: Heather Keeling)

3. Make it a family affair.

Do not go it alone (unless you really want to!). Whoever you cooked for has an unofficial obligation to help you clean up. If it’s your roommate, she can keep you company and share the workload. Ditto for your spouse or SO. And, well, if you have kids, how proud will it make you to know that your 5-year-old can sort cups, plates, and bowls?

4. Surround yourself with good-smelling cleaning stuff.

Aromatherapy is a thing! Keep a bottle of something you love next to your sink and dish duty won’t seem so bad. If there’s dish soap you like, you might even be able to find a matching all-purpose cleaner in the same scent. For example, everything in Method’s Ginger Yuzu line is a favorite among Kitchn staffers.

5. Pour yourself a glass of wine.

Reward yourself prematurely for the job you’re going to do well. Pour a glass of wine, mix up a cocktail, pop open a beer, or just drink some straight-up whiskey. Stop for a sip between tasks.

(Image credit: Hrynevich Yury)

6. Relish in the time you’re saving in the long run.

It might not feel like it when it’s 9 p.m. and you have a sink full of dishes, but cleaning up tonight will actually save you time down the line. Keeping messes in check as they happen means you won’t have to waste an entire afternoon (day?) doing the dreaded deep clean.

7. Let those creative juices flow.

You know how people say the best ideas happen in the shower? We’ve actually found that the best solutions and ideas happen in the kitchen. It doesn’t take much brain power to wash dishes or sweep up crumbs. This frees up your mind to wander! When else do you get so much uninterrupted think time?

8. Think about how much less stressed you’ll be.

Studies find that clutter and messy environments can raise stress levels. Have enough stress in your life already? Yeah, we thought so. As if that’s not enough motivation to tidy up, another study — from the Cornell Food and Brand Lab — found that we tend to eat more calories in cluttered, chaotic kitchens.

9. Practice some gratitude.

Unless you’ve been totally checked out lately, you know that mindfulness is a buzzy topic these days. Think about what you’re doing and take the time to be grateful for your home, your family, and the food in your kitchen.

10. Give yourself a reward.

Guess what? Cleaning burns calories! So you’ve earned (at least) a nibble of chocolate. Just don’t make a mess while you’re eating it!

Stock up:

5 Chocolate Treats We’re Totally Obsessed with Right Now

11. Turn off the kitchen light for the night.

You’ve done everything you wanted (or had the bandwidth) to do. Dry your hands and take a deep breath — it’s time to turn off the light and close the kitchen for the night. You’ve got that feeling, that satisfaction, and that little fantasy that the kitchen will be perfect forever. Is that just not the best feeling ever?

What other things do you do to find the joy in cleaning the kitchen?

(Image credit: Kitchn)