Things You Can Do On A Clean Up Day


I let things sit for a while. I get busy. I rush in and out of my bedroom without giving anything a second look. I watch as the dirt and dust and grime builds to a peak. Then, I’ll have one MASSIVE “Clean Up Day.” It’s a day where I’ll clean, not only my apartment but also myself. I’ll make my room spotless and turn my bathroom into a one-person spa resort. I find sometimes that if I take the time for a “clean up day,” it helps my depression and anxiety. Feeling clean on the outside (room, body) alleviates tension on the inside (mind, chest).

Here are some things I do on a “clean up day” that you can steal if you want to have your own. (My life is SUCH a party, you guys.)

Do Your Laundry

An ex-girlfriend of mine used to call the corner of my room “Jabba the Hut” because my laundry pile looked like it was about ready to become sentient and start locking people in carbonite chambers. I get it. That jazz is a mess. I tend to use my floor space as an extended closet and just shove everything into a heap. On clean up days, I take all that crap, shovel it into a laundry bag and actually take it to the laundromat. They love me there. I come in like, once a year and do all my laundry at once. (I’m exaggerating. Kind of.) Then, I take that big lump of clean clothes back to my apartment and I…wait for it…

Actually fold them. WHAT. I know. Someone throw me a ticker tape parade, please. Clean up days are a great excuse to put on some upbeat music and spend the right amount of time actually caring where your clean clothes end up. I put everything on hangers and into drawers. This beauty will soon be wrecked the next time I need an outfit, but for the short period right after a clean up day, it’s glorious. I feel almost human.

Clean Your Bathroom

Get down on your hands and knees and scrub that sucker. Scrub until you’ve used up all the sponges. Scrub until you’ve seen grime that Ah, Real Monsters! would gag at. Scrub until the tile is sparkling white like Rob Lowe’s teeth. Use Lysol and other spritz-y bathroom cleaners. Clean the faucets and the knobs. Organize the magazines you read when you poop. Put the shampoos in order from tallest to smallest. When you’re done that bathroom better smell like a goddamn pine forest.

Make Your Bed

This is my favorite part of a clean up day. My bed is basically my hub of activity. As Liz Lemon once said of her own, “Hey! I eat there!”

On a clean up day, change your sheets to super clean, detergent-smelling ones. Febreze the crap out of your comforter and lay it on gently on top, smoothed out and tucked in. Fluff your pillows and arrange them neatly. So soft. So comfy. So inviting! Even that teddy bear you still have from childhood looks happy.

I mean. What teddy bear? Er…

Organize Your Books Or Shelves

I tend to just Frisbee-throw new books or magazines onto the shelf behind my bed until they pile up into the most disorganized library ever. On clean up days, why not take everything on your shelves and figure out what you actually want to keep and what can get thrown out? Then arrange those books and magazine and hats and envelopes and mugs and candles and pens into some sort of order where you know where everything is. I’m constantly searching that shelf for something I know I’ve seen there, only to not be able to find it when I need it. No more.

Wash Your Feet

You might say, “Gaby, I wash my feet every day in the shower” and sure, for average maintenance this is acceptable. (You also might say, “Gaby, I hate feet” which is also acceptable, but weird since I’m talking about your own…) Sit on the edge of the tub, use a foot scrubber and go to town on those tootsies. It feels amazing because feet are a part of our bodies we rarely clean thoroughly by themselves. If you set out to just focus on your feet and get in between the toes, beside those nail beds, on the hardened heels, you will notice a difference. Tons of dead skin accumulates on the feet every day (Grody. Adrien Grody.) so it’s kind of a mix of cleaning and a treat to actually spend twenty minutes or so being kind to your kickers.

Use nice smelling soap, a Pedegg, a callous remover, whatever you got — and finish off by rubbing lotion on them. Those things sit inside smelly shoes or near the gross sidewalk all day long. Give ’em some love.

Shave Your Legs

If that’s a thing you do, do it. Do it as luxuriously as the foot regimen I mentioned above. Get some pearly, silky shaving cream and lotion that smells like eucalyptus trees. Do it up like you’re in a flippin’ Venus commercial. If removing body hair’s not your bag, disregard.

Cut Your Nails

I love trimming my fingernails and toenails as part of a clean up day. It’s such a simple, little task that makes my whole body feel neater. It’s a nice cherry on the sundae of a clean up day.

My mother once told me that a good way to tell if a guy is worth seeing again is to look at if he cut his fingernails before the date. She thought it showed good grooming habits. So there’s some secret wisdom from my mom: Cut your nails.

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image – Nationaal Archief