Mindful Cleaning: A Clean House and Mind

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Keeping my apartment clean with a busy work schedule can be difficult. Sometimes I feel like the mess is closing in on me, clouding my mind and making me feel under a dark cloud. This shows how the place and surroundings we live directly impact our minds, and we can utilize this for mindful practice. Recently, with popular culture, minimalist cleaning gurus such as Marie Kondo have exploded. People have started to awaken to the idea that a clean house does mean a clear mind, and mindful cleaning is the way forward.

My Mindful Cleaning Experience 

Decluttering and cleaning, I consider a mindfulness practice instead of viewing them as chores that I dread. Rather, I reframe these activities as methods to exercise living in the present. Here are some of my favourite mindful cleaning things to do: 

Firstly I enjoy cleaning the windows. There is a natural beauty in this ritual. You can imagine the window panes to be a symbol of your mind. When we partake in cleaning them, we are essentially cleaning our minds and letting light in. So when I take mindful practice in cleaning my windows with soapy water, I imagine this. 

Secondly, I take great joy in sweeping my little yard. While sweeping up the leaves that the wind has brought, I remember the story of how some of Buddha’s disciples attained enlightenment from sweeping. I take my time to mindfully collect the leaves with the broom and focus my attention and detail on the task, bringing a clear mind.. 

I am bringing conscious intention to everyday tasks and mundane duties. Simplicity cleaning nourishes our mind, body and soul. Each minute I invest in mindful cleaning brings a joyful wonder, and I am grateful for the moment I’m in.

Mindful Cleaning Principles

Here I will present a checklist of guidelines for bringing mindful practice to your cleaning. The most vital points are the general principles, which I keep in mind while cleaning:

When you tidy, just tidy. Simply clean.

Simplicity Cleaning: Getting started

  1. Do not forget to start with gratitude for being able to clean or declutter your home.
  2. Be thankful for the people around you, and also remember why you’re so glad for them.
  3. Remember you’re cleaning out of concern: for the individuals in your life, so that their day could be a little bit much better for having a tidy counter or sink, for on your own, so that you could have an excellent uncluttered room in which to review a great book.
  4. Pay attention to your thoughts, body, and activities. 
  5. Practice focusing your attention: on the cloth, on the broom, on the dust. Also, discover your ideas: are you thinking concerning various other points? Are you judging others? Do you wish things were different? Are you upset? Don’t eliminate the ideas, however, discover them. After that, return to the cleaning. Notice also as you cleanse your body and also your breathing. Submerse yourself in the moment.
  6. Be mindful of our impact on our home, community and planet. Leave no trace implies that you don’t leave a mess, that you take care of your waste appropriately, and that you are considerate of other people in your space.

Mindfulness at Home Cleaning Guidelines

My practice of mindful cleaning is inspired by the Japanese Buddhist Monk Shoukei Matsumoto and his book ‘A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind’. This fantastic little book gives excellent tips for cleaning and taking part in mindful actions. Additionally, I would recommend you buy this book. It has beautiful illustrations, great little cleaning tips and various inspirations for the mindful practice and clear mind you can do at home.

With the above basic principles, I’ve started developing a list of standards. These are not guidelines but beginners’ checklist to aid you in paying close attention to what you’re doing and starting on your mindful cleaning journey.

Beginners Checklist: 

  • Clean as you go. 
  • Have a place for everything
  • Begin decluttering
  • Wipe your sink. 
  • Wipe the counters 
  • If a floor is unclean, take a minute to sweep/mop/vacuum it mindfully. 
  • Keep scrubbers and dustcloths handy.
  • Counters and table tops are clear. 
  • Be kind to those around you.

Final words 

When you tidy, simply clean. Before you begin, remember to be grateful for what you have, for being able to clean or declutter. Remember you’re cleaning out of empathy: for the people in your life so that their day may be much better for having a tidy counter or sink. You will reap the rewards of bringing mindfulness to everyday tasks and achieving a clear mind and positive energy.



Hi, I'm Michael. The creator and host of Catch a Sleep, a Blog and Youtube channel making wellness and mindful living content.

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