Cleaning the One Room No One Wants to Clean Can Give You Peace of Mind

woman cleaning a bathroom

I'm going to say something a bit shocking, so you may want to sit down for this. I have a baffling obsession. I love cleaning my bathroom.

You read that correctly -- I love cleaning my bathroom. That chore everyone supposedly hates! No, I haven't recently suffered a concussion. I enjoy the whole thing -- swabbing the toilet bowl, scrubbing the tub, making my tile sparkle. I actually look forward to it. Here's why.


I didn't start out loving to clean my bathroom. Once I hit around 10 years old, my mom taught me how to clean the bathroom I shared with my sister. And she was a total white-glove hard-ass about it, too. She made me scrub every last inch of the bathroom until the whole thing gleamed like the sun. I kind of hated it, but it trained me to love a clean bathroom. That was step one.

Fast-forward to my adulthood, when we renovated our bathroom about four years ago. I painstakingly pored over tiles and sinks and bathtubs, picking out every details from the light fixtures to the faucets. My bathroom was now gorgeous, and I wanted it to stay that way.

I knew how to clean thoroughly. But for the first time in my life, I started cleaning lovingly. Now cleaning the bathroom is about preserving my investment. I'm a New Yorker -- I live in a tiny apartment with just one bathroom. Mine is a shrine. And I'm wiling to put in the time to keep it as beautiful as it can be.

Cleaning my bathroom has also become a kind of meditation. It's a mindless task -- and yet, I do some of my best, free-association thinking in there. Cleaning my bathroom frees my mind to wander. I feel more relaxed afterward. I solve problems. It's almost like dreaming!

And then, of course, I have a sparkly-clean bathroom. And I enjoy that precious cleanliness for a good five minutes before my son runs in to use it. Oh well -- it's about the practice, not the end.

How do you feel about cleaning your bathroom?

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