Writer | Samira Rao

The Sacredness of Cleaning

Spring is just around the corner which means new beginnings, starting over and rebirth. By approaching cleaning as a mindfulness activity, you can accomplish stress reduction and have a clean space at the same time.

Cleaning the physical dirt around us cross-trains our minds to clean the internal conflicts we face daily in life. Cleaning is powerful, cleaning is freedom. The routine of sweeping, mopping, washing, polishing and tidying up helps to create a sense of wholeness and respect both for our sense of self and our home’s environment.

The act of cleaning is a process of decluttering your living space. This means that if you want to take care of yourself, you must take care of your space. This experience progressing from chaos to order can by itself be a centering and fulfilling journey. 

A relationship exists between cleaning and mental health. The Mindfulness Journal reported on a study where participants fully immersed themselves in the act of washing dishes. For example, taking time to wash the less-soiled items first keeps the soapy water fresher. Smelling the soap and using the correct water temperature allows the dishes to dry quicker on their own. At the end of the exercise, participants reported a reduction in nervousness by 27% and an improvement in mental inspiration by 25%.

Try these simple tips to embrace mindful cleaning in your home:

  • Start small and begin where you are. Pick one thing you would like to do each day.
  • Clean as you go. Doing a quick clean-up after each use of the bathroom and shower area goes a long way in keeping it fresh for the next person. A quick 30-second spray and wipe of the toilet seat, bowl, sink and shower can reduce bathroom cleaning time in half. From personal experience, I do this regularly as everyone in my family uses our bathroom for some reason!
  • Keep cleaning tools close. Convenience allows a quick wipe of the surface if there is a spray bottle and cloth handy. Placing these items in view helps to slow the rush of trying to get everything done at once.
  • Live in the moment. Witness how we can transform dirty to clean, mess to order, and chaos to beauty.

I would love to hear from you. Please email questions to samirarao@yahoo.com. Be sure to use the subject line “Question for Samira.”