The New York TimesThe New York Times

Don't jump into spring cleaning. Take it slow

By Daisy Jones

15 Apr 2023 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

"Slow cleaning" is the anti-spring-clean approach. Instead of doing an intense and time-consuming seasonal clean, you divide the labor into tiny tasks that can be done often. The NYT has the details.

I don’t enjoy doing household chores. More than that, I don’t enjoy completing menial tasks in general, or doing one thing for more than 30 minutes, or pushing myself past the point of minor inconvenience. That said, like most people, I do enjoy a clean and comfortable home — or at least the type of home I can invite friends over without wincing as they step over clutter and shoe mud in the hallway. When you live in a small London apartment, as I do, one forgotten plate or hastily flung coat can make the whole place feel chaotic.

These facts might appear irreconcilable. You can’t sink into a bubble bath without running the water first. But when it comes to household chores specifically, there may be one solution that combines productivity with an anti-productivity spirit. Some describe it breaking a task into manageable chunks. I like to call it slow cleaning — the act of cleaning a little bit, every day, or even just sometimes, whenever you feel able.

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