2 ways I make house cleaning more fun

I’m an easer-inner to the new year, but as I think about things like goals (or non-goals), plans, books I want to read, and new things I want to try (I’d love to find a just-for-fun hobby this year), you know what I do?

I clean.

I know, it sounds boring or tedious, but I’m telling you, my brain percolates better when I’m moving my body and doing something basic.

Sometimes, I go on a drive to think. Other times, it’s a long walk. For a new year, full of fresh starts and possibilities? It’s cleaning the house, baby.

Don’t get me wrong—I don’t love to clean. But I love having a clean house. A clean living space feels like permission to think deep and wide. My soul craves dusted shelves. My eyes better focus with clean kitchen counters. The lack of clutter and grime is a visual treat for me to think through the year ahead.

Want my shallow secret to making cleaning-while-thinking a treat and not a chore?

I use pretty-smelling cleaning products. I have super-heightened senses, so things like good music in the speakers, open windows to let in natural light, and sticky-free counters are a better treat than a day at the beach for me.

grove collaborative january 2017

Clean smells, without the chemical ick and toxicity, are my favorite treat to making me actually want to clean my house.

Right-hand raised, my favorite smelling cleaning products are Mrs. Meyers—I’ve got their apple cider stuff going in the fall, the Iowa pine for Christmas, and basil for the summer. This time of year? I’m a big fan of honeysuckle.

So, I’ve got three fun things for you today: two new cleaning playlists, a way to get $40 in free cleaning stuff (including Mrs. Meyers), and a free short book of mine.

1. The best cleaning supplies

I use Grove Collaborative every month—it’s a subscription service for your pantry, where you can find fantastic deals (the best I’ve found) on healthy household products. They’ve got brands like Dr. Bronner’s, Acure, Seventh Generation, and of course, Mrs. Meyers.

grove collaborative january 2017

I buy things I use already, but at better prices, and personalized so that I get our particular staples every month (or every other month) without me having to think about it.

I get my Moroccan Argan oil for my face, our toothpaste, our body soap, dish and laundry detergents, and vitamins here. I’ll also occasionally treat myself to their natural candles and lip balms, too, because they are heaven.

From January 3-8 (so, this week), Grove is giving $40 in cleaning supplies to all new customers! It includes:

  • Free Mrs. Meyer’s Hand Soap
  • Free Mrs. Meyer’s Dish Soap
  • Free Mrs. Meyer’s Lotion
  • Free Grove Collaborative Cleaning Caddy
  • Free Grove Collaborative Walnut Scrubber Sponges
  • Free Shipping
  • Free VIP Trial

All you have to do is sign up for a new account, make your first order of at least $20, and your free gifts will be automatically added to your shopping cart:

Sign up for Grove!

(Also, that Mrs. Meyers lotion? Is completely brand new. You can’t get it anywhere else but Grove right now! I’ve wanted them to make a lotion for awhile now, so I’m stoked they’ve finally done it.)

mrs. meyers

For those of us who are already Grove users, they want to give you a free Mrs. Meyers hand soap added to your shopping cart! Just because.:

Claim your free hand soap!

So nice of them.

2. Get-off-my-seat music

I love music, and cleaning music is a genre of its own, I think. I want motivating, dance-worthy, almost silly stuff I don’t always listen to. Here’s what I often listen to when I clean:

Of course, then there are those thinking-cleaning times—this is the beginning of the year for me. I don’t always want silly then. I need mental space to think as I scrub. Here’s what I listen to for that sort of cleaning:

My simple seven!

When you use my specific link to sign up for Grove, I’m also giving you a copy of my free short book, Simple Seven.

Simple Seven

It’s a 35-page explanation of the first seven things I do when I’m feeling overwhelmed. These seven things are actually gifts to myself—basic, in-front-of-me things I do when I just need to hit pause and recollect my sanity.

Sign up for Grove using my link (here it is again, to make it easy for you), then let me know by adding your email below so I can send you my book:

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I just love new years and fresh starts, and for whatever reason, clean sinks and counters make this time of year the cherry on top. And I’m grateful for companies like Mrs. Meyers, who make lovely-smelling, ethical products.

grove collaborative january 2017

If you feel like the chaos outweighs the calm in your home,

first, take care of the basics.

You already know what to do—you just need to do it.
Focus on just ONE thing at a time, and you'll conquer the overwhelm.



  1. Sarah

    Hi Tsh,
    Is this Simple Seven book available anywhere else for people who already have Grove accounts? I really like the sound of it 🙂

    • Lina

      I was wondering that too! I signed up Grove this past year based on your recommendation earlier. I would love to read that book!

      • Tsh Oxenreider

        How about this—if y’all already have Grove accounts, go ahead and do the email thing in the post, and I’ll send you the book. We’ll do the honor system here! 🙂

        And thanks, Lina and Sarah. XX

        • Heather

          Thank you Tsh! I’m a Grove subscriber and have been following your site for many years. Happy New Year!

          • Tsh Oxenreider

            I’m so glad, Heather!

        • jen

          I’m with them on this! I signed up last year, based on your recommendation…and I’d love the book, too 🙂 Thanks for including us current Grove subscribers!

        • Sarah

          Wonderful! Thank you 🙂

        • Aimee @ Whispers of Worth

          Thanks, Tsh! I think I started my subscription to Grove back in the day because of you. I’m looking forward to reading the book, too!

        • Lisagrace

          I signed up for Grove through you this time last year! I’ve been LOVING it. I would love a copy of the Simple Seven, thanks for being so generous to offer it to us!

  2. Rebecca

    For the hobby, may I suggest urban/travel sketching with watercolor? Marc Taro Holmes is an excellent teacher with a simple, unfussy style. He has a book and blog. Liz Steele is another great teacher with both book and blog. She works in A5 sketchbooks, keeping the whole system very small. Either way, the equipment is minimal and fits in a purse or messenger bag. The state of flow during sketching & painting is incredible–everything else just falls away!

    • Tsh Oxenreider

      Ah! That sounds amazing, Rebecca! Off to look her up….

    • Jenny

      I second this! I tried watercolor sketching last year with simple supplies ( http://a.co/6mb8fuy) and watching youtube videos (the artists listed above and Peter Sheeler are my faves). I love it for focusing. When I want a meditative practice, I like to hand-stitch (“big stitch”) simple quilts (like this http://tiny.cc/mk4aiy). As a bonus, you get to snuggle under the quilt while you stitch it and it’s very portable!

  3. Kimberly Knowle-Zeller

    Thanks for the link for the free hand soap! I signed up for Grove last year per your recommendation and have not been disappointed!

    • Tsh Oxenreider

      Hooray, Kimberly! I legit use Grove all the time, so it’s easy for me to promote it. It’s made our family’s life easier!

  4. Holly

    I understand the catharsis of cleaning! And I’ve been enjoying your playlists – I think the family road trip one got me through what started out to be just some steam cleaning and ended up being a complete living room change around! Haven’t boogied like that in a while! ??

  5. Carol Backer

    Sounds good to me, I want to be happy cleaning house as I feel it’s a chore that’s not fun but I feel this could help.

  6. Jo

    Lovely post which sort of makes me want to clean. A bit. Maybe. The products sound amazing though… any chance any of this is available to Australian readers? Melbourne based, so kangaroo delivery is not required.

    • Tsh Oxenreider

      Let me check with Grove and I’ll get back to you, Jo! Love your city, by the way…. wished we could have spent more time there! Reminded me of Portland, Oregon. 🙂

  7. Andrea

    Lovely post to get me cleaning and jiving! Sadly, Grove doesn’t ship outside USA. Not even a stones throw across the 49th. I’ll look for same products way up here in Canada.

  8. Stacy

    Hi Tsh,
    Thanks for your words! You are inspiring me to do some deep cleaning…beyond wiping off the table, counters and cleaning the bathrooms. Ha! I checked into Grove and sadly they don’t ship to Germany. We, hubby and two kids) moved here a year ago partly through your inspiration (I’ve been a big fan of your blog, podcasts and books)!
    I would love to read your email book but I can’t signup for Grove and haven’t seen most of these brands here in Germany though we do try to find other good alternatives. Is there another option? Thanks for all you do!!!

  9. Tsh Oxenreider

    Womp womp about not shipping outside the contiguous U.S., you guys! Such a bummer; sorry about that. I know we have quite the international readership at AoS, so I wish I could change this….

  10. Sandy

    I am so ready for a deep cleaning day but have grandkids for 5 more days! Then I will be stripping and scouring with abandon.

  11. Aimee @ Whispers of Worth

    I am SO excited about the hand lotion! Honeysuckle is my favorite scent; it started with Bath & Body Works and has transferred to Mrs. Meyer’s products. She has a great book, by the way, about how she cleans; she has a very easy-going approach and is conversational in her writing.
    I also appreciate your take it slow perspective on ringing in the New Year. I just wrote about allowing January to be a time of rest and reflection, rather than a continuation of the reckless pace of the holidays.

  12. Carol

    Thanks for the free soap! I signed up for Grove Collaborative under you initially and am excited to get a freebie this time, too.

    I’m currently reading The Life-Giving Home by Sally and Sarah Clarkson. Great read and I wish I had this resource earlier in my life. I have a highlighter in my hand as I read this book.

    Blessings on your new year!

  13. Libby

    I’ve been using Grove since they were ePantry and I love it. It’s the only place near me that I can get organic tampons! And all the discounted natural cleaning products are an absolute perk! Plus I love, love having Mrs. Meyer’s hand wash at every sink in my home. Basil is my favorite scent.

  14. Sarah

    Just wondering what Grove would look like for me in Canada? Anyone have experience with this?

  15. Jenny

    Thanks Tsh! I just started your OCM this week as part of a renewed evening routine, and I noticed you listed ordering Moroccan argan oil from grove for your face. Do you mind sharing what part of your skin routine you use the argan oil for?

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