Experts say 'slow cleaning' could be more beneficial for both you and your home – here's why

Spring cleaning doesn't have to be a rapid-fire challenge – here’s how to take it a bit slower this year

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We live in a world obsessed with hustle and bustle. We want everything to be done quickly and efficiently, especially our household chores and spring cleaning. 

This year, however, cleaning experts are recommending a new approach to the spring cleaning culture – slow cleaning – a more mindful approach to preparing our homes for the warmer months that prioritizes spring cleaning without getting overwhelmed rather than quick, Pinterest-perfect results. 

This is why you should try slow cleaning your home this spring and why it can be beneficial for both your home and your mind. 

Slow cleaning

Slow cleaning, put simply, is the act of breaking down cleaning tasks so that you can take your time with them, ensuring you have plenty of time to complete the task fully without feeling rushed or pressured to achieve perfect results. For this reason, this mindful cleaning tip is often seen as the 'anti-spring clean'. 

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‘The practice of slow cleaning is one where you don't focus on cleaning everything as fast as you can to tick it off your spring cleaning checklist, but rather take your time and enjoy the process while you clean,’ explains Ken Doty, cleaning expert at The Maids. For many of us, simply taking the competitive element out of our chores is enough to make cleaning fun and help us get motivated to clean.

While you do not need to make it a mindfulness exercise or use it as a time for practicing gratitude, it can certainly help to make the experience more relaxing and enjoyable – especially when dealing with the most forgotten spring cleaning dirt spots. These are the four ways the experts use slow cleaning to help shut off from the busy outside world: 

1. Try one task a day

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You might have heard of the different day, different room housekeeping schedule, but how about the one-task, one-day schedule to tackle your spring cleaning checklist? 

‘One cleaning tactic I use is to perform one small cleaning task a day. This ensures that things don’t build up over time and you’re left with a mess that can cause anxiety and seem far more overwhelming,’ shares Nate Masterson, health and wellness expert at Maple Holistics. ‘Break up your cleaning tasks throughout the week so that you focus on one thing per day.' 

2. Make it a mindful exercise

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If you want to create a more mindful home, your spring cleaning routine is a great place to start, suggests Echo Wang, CEO and Founder of Yoga Kawa. ‘Instead of viewing cleaning as a chore, approach it with a sense of intention,’ they recommend. 

‘Put on some calming music, light a scented candle, and focus on the satisfaction of creating a clean and organized space. Don't push yourself too hard. Listen to your body and take breaks when needed. A clean space should support your well-being, not compromise it.’

3. Focus on mindful decluttering

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Decluttering can be stressful, but there is a great benefit to having fewer items cluttering up counters and cabinets, reminds Nate Masterson, health and wellness expert:

‘The best way to stay on top of things is to have less clutter. By getting rid of things around the house that you don’t use, you’ll have more space and less cleaning to do,’ he says. ‘Once you’ve done this, you’ll have more time to focus on the important things around your house and ensure that they are always clean and that your rooms are clutter-free.’ 

That being said, decluttering too much can be just as damaging as decluttering too little when it comes to our mental health, so be mindful when decluttering to not get rid of items you love (even if you do not use them all of the time), or you might end up with a severe case of declutter regret.  

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4. Try the Pomodoro timer

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Whether you are looking to spring clean your house in one day or are spreading a series of tasks over a few weeks, using something like the Pomodoro timer can ensure that you take frequent breaks to avoid wearing yourself out, suggests Dela Gomasi, Managing Director at MaidForYou:

‘The biggest hack I can recommend is using a Pomodoro timer, cleaning in 25-minute blocks. Set the timer and clean; don't do anything else,’ she urges. ‘Once the timer has run down, stop cleaning and rest for five minutes. Once the rest timer has run down and your Pomodoro timer starts again, go back to cleaning for 25 minutes. I recommend this to be done in blocks of four. By the end, you'd have cleaned your home for 100 minutes. 

‘If you do this once a week, in about a month you'll see an incredible transformation of your living space.’

When preparing for spring cleaning, considering a slow cleaning approach from the beginning will help you plan your tasks to ensure you do not miss anything. When slow cleaning, consider giving yourself longer to get everything done – it is okay for some tasks to be pushed back to the end of spring or even summer if it is better for your timetable or well-being. Remember that despite the name, ‘spring’ cleaning is a man-made concept and can take place whenever you have the time or capacity to do so.  

Chiana Dickson

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for a year, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.