Turns out, Snow White was right: whistling while you work does indeed help get the job done. Countless
Studies have looked at music’s ability to boost task performance and – more importantly when it comes to something like cleaning and tidying – make the job seem more enjoyable.
Humming a merry tune (or better yet, blasting it from your speakers) has been shown to create positive associations that can not only make you work more effectively, but actually make you feel like time is going by quicker as well.
Cleaning music 101: what to look for
Of course, finding the perfect house cleaning music isn’t just about sticking on something uptempo. Follow our top tips to find your ideal cleaning playlist:
- Keep it happy. The best music to clean to contains songs that you feel are positive, motivating and uplifting, to really build up that strong association between cleaning and being in a good mood.
- Keep it uptempo. No room cleaning playlist is complete without a song that really gets you moving. High energy tracks give you an endorphin rush, essential for getting through the more arduous chores.
- Does it have sing-along appeal? Golden oldies from your college days will help subliminally create those positive, fun associations so are often great music for tidying up to. If in doubt about what tracks to pick for your cleaning playlist, gather a collection of feel-good tracks from when you were younger to get started.
- Pump up the beat: Cleaning windows, floors or doing other vigorous chores? Studies have shown that listening to music during exercise improves results, both in terms of being a motivator (people exercise longer and more energetically to music) but also in its magical ability to work as a distraction from fatigue. This is true of cleaning too. Look for songs with a high BPM (that’s 'beats per minute’). Around 120-140 beats per minute is thought to be ideal, as it roughly corresponds to most people’s heart rate during a workout. If you’re feeling stuck, search Spotify for things like ‘80s cardio playlist’ or ‘workout music’.
- Race to the rhythm: The best cleaning tracks have both a high BPM count and a strong, constant rhythm. You’re looking to build up nice, consistent movements, especially when doing things like vacuuming, so avoid tracks with abrupt changes in tempo or intensity (goodbye most indie rock playlists).
The ultimate cleaning playlist
Of course, the most important thing is to make sure you like the music you’re cleaning to. Whether it’s 70s dance hits or 90s R&B, think about what it is that gets you in a good mood and you won’t go wrong. Here are 15 of our favourite cleaning tracks to get you started:
- Happy, Pharrell
- Uptown Girl, Billy Joel
- Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, Wham!
- Respect, Aretha Franklin
- Mr. Brightside, The Killers
- Suddenly I See, KT Tunstall
- What Makes You Beautiful, One Direction
- Dancing Queen, ABBA
- Just Dance, Lady Gaga
- Uptown Funk, Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
- I Want to Break Free, Queen
- Thunder, Imagine Dragons
- December 1963 (Oh, What a Night), The Four Seasons
- I Wanna Dance with Somebody, Whitney Houston
- The Tide is High, Blondie