My Mom’s Secret Strategy Totally Changed How I Feel About Cleaning

published Jul 18, 2022
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Listen, not everyone likes to clean. There are very few people out there who can’t wait to get their rubber gloves on and start scrubbing. But while it’s fine not to relish the moment you can begin to dust, there is a difference between enjoying it and loathing it

For most of my adult life, I hated it. I disliked how it was a never-ending cycle, how it took up my weekends, and how much stuff had to get polished, dusted, and scrubbed for everything to feel “refreshed.” But a few years back, my mom told me something that helped change my relationship with cleaning. 

She said that she loved cleaning the house because it gave her a chance to visit with all of her things. It took her years to track down, source, and arrange all the treasures in her bungalow, and to get them organized just so. Some of those pieces really made her heart sing — like the crystal champagne glasses she brought back from Poland — and others were silly but captured her personality perfectly like the kitschy curio case hung on the wall.

Dusting was a way to revisit all those things, since she didn’t necessarily zone in on each and every knick-knack and accent during her daily routine. It was a way to lovingly take care of them, and think about how lucky she was to find them.

This made me realize maybe I didn’t actually like the things I owned because I didn’t get that same glow of pride while cleaning them. Many of them were hand-me-downs, and others were simple decor items I impulsively bought from Target or Amazon from time to time. When I got my new apartment, I focused on furnishing and decorating it slowly, getting only things that truly made me excited. 

Now I look forward to cleaning day because I get reacquainted with all of my lovely finds. Restructuring that frame of mind not only made cleaning a lot more fun but also made me more selective and mindful of what I brought into my home. Don’t get me wrong, I still indulge in a Target bargain and would rather not have to dust. But cleaning and taking care of my things has much more significance now.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: My Mom Shared This Sweet and Small Trick — and It’s Completely Changed My Approach to Cleaning