Your No-Sweat Guide to Spring Cleaning

What Songs Do You Blast While You Clean? We’ll Go First.

March 31, 2021
Photo by James Ransom

Welcome to Your No-Sweat Guide to Spring Cleaning, a month-long series that puts the fun (yep, for real!) back into cleaning. We’re talking spruce-ups that take less than five minutes, why-didn’t-I-think-of-that hacks, and hands-off cleaning tasks that basically…do themselves—plus our trustiest tools and helpers. The goal: clean less, go outside more.

My husband and I met in college, where every room was the messiest room, so it makes sense that it wasn’t until years later, after we graduated, after we moved in together, that we discovered one of our deepest compatibilities: a shared love of cleaning.

Of course, sweeping and mopping and spraying and dusting, these tasks aren’t fun in themselves. But one of Justin’s superpowers is making everything fun, even getting stuck in traffic, and I get to tag along for the ride. So we divvy up the tasks and turn on music. Loud music. Happy music. Dancing on the stairs while you sweep them music.

Do you do this, too? It makes all the difference.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“I'm all about the ChillHop while cleaning (or working generally):”
— Steve K.

Music is a mood booster, sure, but it’s also a timer. Spend one song reorganizing the fridge, then switch to the stovetop when the next song starts. It’s eye-widening how much you can accomplish in just a few minutes.

Turns out, a lot of my coworkers also dance while they clean (or clean while they dance?). So, I asked our editors what music they listen to while sprucing things up at home. Head here or click below to groove with us (just be careful on those wet floors!). And let me know in the comments what songs are on your house-chores playlist.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.


Jennifer D. January 12, 2022
It varies depending on how much time I have to get things done.
Sometimes its 90's gangster rap with an energy drink, somedays its slowcore with some hot jasmine tea. One thing Ive been really struggling with and have the aptitude to deal with lately is being present in all things, including house work. Taking my time isnt always an option in this busy world but sometimes if I take a step back from mindlessly getting it done to being present, I can often enjoy myself.
Erin April 6, 2021
"Happy" by Pharrell. I go to and play and clean and dance and scrub and sing. I don't get tired of the song. It's impossible to clean with a yucky attitude when the music inspires such incredible joy. Woohoo! Makes me happy just thinking about it!
[email protected] April 5, 2021
A little strange but I put on Rossini opera overtures. Try not to keep busy to William Tell.
Steve K. March 31, 2021
I'm all about the ChillHop while cleaning (or working generally):
JenGirlCooks March 31, 2021
ChillHop and many other Trip-hop or funk-jazz mixes via Youtube, Spotify, and even Google music (now paired into Youtube) are my usual go to's for these styles.
Smaug March 31, 2021
I'm not a fast enough cleaner to do songs- I go for albums. I mostly like country music for cleaning- anything from Milton Brown through Delia Bell to the Pistol Annies. Caribbean stuff is great too-Jolly Boys are a favorite for cleaning. Lately I've been obsessed with Imelda May- most of her records are far too good to do anything but listen, but there's a record by Jeff Beck on which she sings some old standards that goes well as background.