Cleanfulness is a wellness trend that transforms the tedious task of cleaning into a way to achieve relaxation. Derived from mindfulness -a very fashionable contemplative method based on putting our full attention on any experience we have- it invites you to remain in the here and now while you clean and organize the house.
From Marie Kondo to interior designers and Feng Shui specialists, they all say that keeping a clean and tidy house makes our relationship with it more pleasant, and that’s why the cleanfulness approach has been so well received.
According to experts, the technique that gained followers during the pandemic is an exercise that generates peace of mind, while you do a deep cleaning of your home. But have we always practiced cleanfulness without being aware of it? Well, no, and we’ll explain why.
Turning a tedious task into a ritual
Few people find cleaning “fascinating.” As a rule, this is a chore we try to avoid at all costs. However, the cleanfulness approach turns it into a contemplative and enjoyable ritual that can benefit you and your home.
When it comes to cleanfulness, the trick is basically to do repetitive tasks. Yes, what you just read. Both spiritual beliefs and very serious studies certify that repetitive tasks help us relax.
In this sense, cleanfulness encourages us to concentrate on the task we perform, slowing down and acting consciously and calmly. This will probably remind some of what Mr. Miyagi taught his disciple in Karate Kid, but the truth is that consciously creating a pleasant atmosphere helps both to clear the mind and to harmonize the spaces.
“Life truly begins after you have put your house in order” is perhaps the best mantra of Marie Kondo, the master of cleanfulness. In her book “The Magic of Order” she encourages us to turn cleaning into a ritual not only of consciousness but also of gratitude and detachment.
“Hold each object in your hand, ask yourself if it inspires you joy and decide, based on that, whether to keep it or not.” Kondo explains in her bestseller that “by repeating this process hundreds of times, we naturally tune into our decision-making skills.”
Organizing inside and outside
As for cleanliness per se, Kondo suggests doing the process in an introjective way that allows us to erase from the mind “that dust or dirt” that detracts from our well-being. That is, when you clean the outside (your kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, etc.) you are also cleaning on the inside (your thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, etc.)
This means that with cleanfulness you can take advantage of the moments when you’re cleaning and organizing to reset your mind away from worries and stress, and then enjoy the result: an impeccable house.
Not too long ago, Mindfulness magazine published a study that claimed that people who consciously washed dishes managed to lower their stress levels significantly. However, this idea of transforming cleaning tasks into a form of meditation is nothing new. For centuries, Buddhist temples have practiced an activity called Soji, which consists of performing a cleaning task for 20 minutes before meditating to tidy up outside before tidying up inside.
Easy-to-incorporate cleanfulness practices
As we already explained, cleanfulness consists of performing certain repetitive tasks. To help you find the process that works for you, we’ve made a list of the most common chores that you can put into practice daily to make these moments of connection with yourself more enjoyable.
We will divide the activities into daily and weekly:
- Make the bed
- Sweep the house
- Pass a damp cloth over kitchen countertops, bathrooms, and furniture
- Clean bathroom and kitchen thoroughly
- Do laundry
- Mop the floor
- Change sheets and towels
- Organize the closets
- Iron your clothes
The time spent on these activities will depend on the size of your home. If you have a large family you can include all members in this practice so you can share the well-being experience.