Clean Your Way Out

Photograph by Estelle Joannou
Photograph by Estelle Joannou

I‘VE BEEN CLEANING a lot lately. Maybe it’s the change of season. That end-of-semester hump. The fact that one of my nostrils is always blocked. Cleaning is the natural thing to do when everything’s gone to shit, like your boyfriend running off with a yoga teacher, or anything to do with quitting sugar. Angry, depressed, confused? All you need is a broom and a playlist. Cleaning makes you productive, and music keeps you from killing yourself (unless you’re listening to the Donnie Darko soundtrack).

Here are my suggestions.

A vacuum anthem needs to be ballsy enough to compete with your Hoover. Try the Prodigy’s classic, ‘Smack My Bitch Up’.

Turn washing-up into an educational experience. Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s BBC Film Review Podcast is guaranteed to make you chuckle, and take your mind off the saucepan you’re scrubbing.

Unpacking the dishwasher is so easy it’s depressing. Get motivated with ‘Hate Me Now’, by Nas Feat. P Diddy, a song that is so kick-ass the Toronto Raptors basketball team used it as their theme song.

Got windows to clean? Set a feisty-sweet tone to pass the time. Pretty much anything by the Dixie Chicks.

Let’s face it, drying dishes is so much worse than washing them. Why not cheer it up a notch with Paul Simon’s ‘Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard’?

Sweeping the floor should make you feel like an unstoppable she-wolf, not a lame house-slave. Achieve greatness with Haim’s ‘Falling’.

Mopping can be a sensual experience if you let it. Work that floor to Azelia Banks ‘Harlem Shake’ (avoid the chipmunk version that’s all over YouTube).

Iron your clothes to Kesha’s chilling, yet seductive, acoustic rendition of ‘Die Young’. Those shirts’ll practically steam themselves.

And when you’re done, go for a walk. Bring money for chocolate; you deserve it. I’d say jog back, but that’d require a whole other playlist.