5 Ways To Turn Cleaning Into Mindfulness

Have you ever heard of “soji”? It’s a practice Buddhist monks take part in every morning in some monasteries or temples, consisting of 20 minutes of mindful cleaning.

The monks are to be mindfully present as they clean, going through the motions without rushing it or trying to quickly get the task done.

Even if you don’t live in a monastery, it doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate parts of this practice into the way you go about your spring cleaning.

If you’re trying to be more mindful in your day to day life, this is a great way to try it. You can incorporate mindfulness into any aspect of your life. That includes cleaning, organizing, and decluttering.

Here are five ways to practice mindful cleaning and organization.

1. Set your intention

Mindfulness and meditation go hand in hand with intentions. Before you start cleaning, set an intention. It shouldn’t be “I want to clean the whole apartment and organize the closet in under one hour.” Rather, it should like, “I will make my space more conducive to creativity” or “I’m enriching my space with positive energy.”

2. Simply notice

Mindfulness is all about being fully in the present. While it’s easy to let your mind wander to the rest of your to-do list or other stressors while you clean, try to remain in the moment. How does your body feel? How does your heart feel? What does cleaning evoke for you? Notice how it all feels, without judging yourself for feeling those things.

3. Let it be a sensory experience

Utilizing the senses is a great way to be mindful. It’s also an excellent way to “ground” you to keep you in the present moment. As you organize your clothes or fold up blankets, notice the textures – how soft your favorite sweater is, the contrast of the way rough denim feels, how fluffy your throw blanket is. You can also bring in scents for aromatherapy using an essential oil diffuser, candles, or incense. Put on some of your favorite music to listen to so you can dance and sing as you clean and organize.

4. Take Marie Kondo's advice

Remember all the Marie Kondo hype last year? She really has great points that go along with a mindful lifestyle. One of her tips is to imagine your ideal lifestyle as you tidy up, and use that as a guide. This can go back to the intention you set. Another one of her tips is to get rid of things that no longer spark joy. If something brings up bad memories or bad vibes for you, throw it out, donate it, sell it...get rid of it!

5. Make it a gratitude practice

Oftentimes we take things like shelter for granted. We’re lucky to have a roof over our head, furniture, a comfy bed, and a closet full of clothes. As you go about your cleaning and organizing, count your blessings, and acknowledge gratitude for what you have. You might realize how much you’ve been taking for granted, and how much you really have to be thankful for.

Keep these five tips in mind whenever you clean to engage in mindfulness and get in touch with your higher self—even when you’re getting your hands dirty. 

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