The 6 Most Satisfying Things You Can Clean Today

updated Feb 17, 2021
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Cleaning can give us a sense of accomplishment that sets the tone for the rest of the day. It also gives us a small opportunity to “change the things we can.” We can channel restlessness or even anger into a cleaning session. And looking at a cleaned-up space can uplift our mood. 

This is why the cleaning chores that either have the biggest visual impact or that feel like a significant feat make you feel best. The bigger the visual impact or the more relieved you are to finally have it done, the more satisfied you’ll feel with your work. Got some time? Here is a list of the absolute most satisfying things you can clean today.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

1. The kitchen sink

In addition to getting every last dish and tiny bit of food out of your sink once you’re done washing up, scrubbing the sink makes your kitchen look and feel spotless. Use a cleanser like Bon Ami to really tackle that grime. If you want to polish it, dry it out and then use flour. Flour seems to pull dirt out of the tiny grooves in stainless steel and it will make your sink glow. 

Credit: Diana Yen

2. Your oven

The reason cleaning your oven is satisfying is less because of a visual impact (although you’ll enjoy it every time you open the door) and more because it’s a chore that hangs over all of us. Clean your oven and, for a while at least, you’ll feel like you can do anything. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

3. Your counters

Start by putting anything that’s not supposed to be on your counters back in its rightful place. Next, see if you can move anything that’s “supposed to be” on your counters somewhere else. Some breathing space on your countertops instantly makes your kitchen feel lighter and brighter. Finish by actually cleaning them. Clean under small appliances (not just around them!) and make sure you buff the surface dry for an impressive shine. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

4. The stovetop

Whether you have a range with grates or a flat induction or electric stovetop, it probably isn’t perfect. Cleaning everything super thoroughly is extremely satisfying. Use a razor blade to easily scrape away burned-on food, soften hardened messes by letting them soak in some all-purpose cleaning spray, soak your grates if applicable, and get every last bit of dirt and grime off of your cooktop surface. 

5. The pantry

This one’s a doozy, but you’ll be thankful multiple times a day that you got it done. Categorizing items, storing items so you can see what you have, and doing the aesthetic things like facing all the cans in the same direction has an overall effect that will have you sighing in happiness every time you reach for an ingredient or a snack. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

6. The refrigerator

Cleaning the fridge seems like a mammoth task, but you can have it sparkling within half an hour. Take everything out, one section at a time. Toss items that are out of date. Wipe down the newly emptied spot in the fridge and replace items after wiping them down with a damp rag. Your cleaned-out fridge will be a joy to use and will save you from wasting food and money.  

Which of these is first on your list?