There are Important Lessons You Can Learn from Cleaning Your Floors

published Jan 10, 2020
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

The January Cure is a long-standing Apartment Therapy tradition, helping you clean and declutter your home for the year ahead. We tackle one assignment each weekday throughout the entire month. Sign up now if you want to join. (It’s free!)

Apartment Therapy has been hosting the Cure for years, but it’s not exactly the same each time. Sure, we’ve found a handful of staple assignments that make the Cure feel like the Cure, but there are parts that I remix or move around each year, all in the name of trying to develop the very best January home jumpstart that I can.

I think it’s a good time to let you behind the curtain on two things in particular before we handle today’s assignment:

One tried and true, never-gonna-change staple: Friday assignments are a cornerstone of the Cure. They’re usually bigger, cleaning-centric tasks, so you can take the weekend if you need to schedule and finish them. And Fridays always include treating yourself to flowers (or a plant, or a bowl of fruit). Just something pretty and novel to add life to your space and remind you that investing in your home is something you can delight in and be proud of.

One thing that I’m changing this year: We’re doing floors first! (Again.) Last year I decided to try and imbue the Cure with a lesson about Order of Operations; that you should clean top to bottom to avoid having to re-clean anything that might have been dusted or crumbed on in the process (i.e. do the floors last). But I heard from some of the legacy Cure folks that they missed a different lesson from back in the days when this program made the floors our first weekend assignment: A whole-home exercise like this really lets you get up close and personal with every inch of your home—which can help inform that to-do list you made on day 2, along with some other mindful tasks we’ll get to this month.

And frankly (and more importantly), nobody should get hung up on the “right” way to clean; the most important thing is that you just start and do it.

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Credit: Chloe Berk

Today’s Assignment: Clean the floors and treat yourself to flowers.

First, get yourself some flowers, and place them in a prominent spot where you’ll notice them again and again. You can buy your flowers from a market or pick them from your garden, or opt for a houseplant, cut branches, or a bowl of fruit if that better suits your lifestyle.

Then, clean the floors throughout your home. Vacuum or beat your rugs and sweep and mop all the floors, moving things out of the way as needed as you go to get a truly thorough clean.

This could take a while, but trust me when I say it’ll make a huge difference in how clean your home feels (and actually IS). Turn on some music or a podcast, set your mind to it, and see how quickly you can get it done.

I’ll see you all back here on Monday! Congratulations on finishing week one of the Cure!

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We’re just getting started! Here are a few ways to participate in the Cure:

The Cure doesn’t just happen in January. If you want to take your efforts to the next level, any time of year, pick up a copy of Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure book.