For about a month now, most of America has been stuck at home quarantining in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19, an extremely contagious virus that’s made its way across all 50 states and countries beyond ours.
It’s a pretty crazy time in history, right? To be considered heroic, we all just need to sit on our couches and binge-watch Netflix. As long as we don’t crowd public spaces, we’re doing our part for humanity. How hard could it be?
Very hard, actually. As humans, it doesn’t feel natural for us to be cooped up inside all day and not being able to see friends and family in person.
Plus, now that our lives revolve around doing everything at home (most of us are either working from home or trying to make sure our kids—who are home from school for the unforeseeable future—aren’t getting into any mischief), it can be hard to manage your time as effectively as you once did.
However, you might feel like with all the extra time at home that you want to do find a way to do something productive—you know, like all those chores you’ve been putting off for months and months: organize your linen closets or deep clean your refrigerators.
But when the motivation to do all of those things doesn’t come, even though you thought time was the only thing stopping you before, you might feel frustrated with yourself.
One cleaning expert named Melissa Maker doesn’t want you to feel that way. In fact, she says it’s completely fine if you’re not quite in the mindset to check off a bunch of cleaning tasks on your to-do list right now.
The truth is, we’re in the middle of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. And even though you’re doing your best to protect public health, your mental health could be affected.
But what if your mental health is also affected by a dirty home? Melissa acknowledges that cleaning during lockdown is important to help keep organized and sane, but you absolutely shouldn’t feel pressure to be cleaning everything right now.
If this sounds like you, don’t fret. One of Melissa’s biggest tip is to focus on what she calls “MIAs”—or “most important areas” of your home.
“MIAs essentially means that you pick the areas that are most important to you that stress you out the most if they’re not cleaned, and those are the ones you focus on,” she says. “Everything else, frankly, can wait until another time. But if your kitchen and your bathroom and your bedroom are important to you, and have to look and feel good every day for you to feel sane, that’s where you focus your cleaning energy.”
For the other areas that don’t drive you as crazy if they’re dirty—for example, Melissa’s include baseboards, inside closets, vents, cupboard fronts, etc. Essentially, she says it’s important to focus your energy and effort on doing the things that really affect you.
“This time is all about maximizing the amount of time you spend cleaning on the most important things and then moving on to all the other things you have to do,” she says.
We feel better already! We’re off to clean the things that matter most to us.
For more of her tips, including DIY cleaners and more, check out her video below.
Have you been cleaning more or less while quarantining?