Finding “Joy” in Cleaning During COVID-19

Right now, I’m writing this while sitting on the floor with my daughter working at her desk with optional work to complete and my dog lying next to me. My life during this time reminds me of what summer looks like, except that it’s spring. These past three weeks have caused me to do a lot of reflecting since COVID-19 caused  everything to shut down.

I miss the weekly activities my daughter participates in.

I miss working and seeing my colleagues.

I took for granted the ability to run to the store for a last minute item.

I can’t control others actions.

I long for the day when I don’t have to be the only person grocery shopping.

I miss the morning rush to get my daughter and I out the door.

I was suddenly left with a huge calendar of availability that I was not use too. I didn’t know what to do or how to cope with the grief I felt. While running helps me mentally, I needed something else for myself.

I’m the type of person that cleans when life feels like it’s spinning out of control or I’m avoiding a task.

Cleaning during COVID-19 has allowed me to gain some control back in my home. I control where things go or what we get rid of. I control how deep of cleaning I will do. Frankly, I am choosing to be “deep.” I took Marie Kondo’s advice of finding joy in the item and if you don’t feel it, then get rid of it.

So far, between the playroom, my daughter’s bedroom, extra bedroom, and storage closet I have four garbage bags of stuff that once brought us joy.

But where the real “joy” has come from is sharing with my daughter memories that her dad and I had. I’ve found our old iPods, wedding cake toppers, Christmas stockings, old t-shirts, uniforms, and dating scrapbook . . .  to name a few. We’ve even had a few laughs, most recently, after I gathered all of our electronic cables and chargers and put them in one bin.

Each day I take an hour to clean. I set a timer and get to work.

I may listen to music or watch a show. It gives me an hour away from scrolling on my phone when I cannot think of all the uncertainty anymore. To be honest, I have come to enjoy the hour I set aside each day to clean. I just never know what I’ll find!

How are you finding “joy” during this time?

Angelica was raised in West Liberty just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Iowa City. After getting married to her high school sweetheart and living in the D.C. metro area, they decided it was not where they wanted to raise a family, and moved back to Iowa in 2012. They welcomed their daughter nine months after moving back. Then in 2018 added a yellow lab to their family. Angelica enjoys running, reading, and binge watching shows with her husband. She loves Disney, Reese's, and being a mom.


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