How keeping my bedroom clean during COVID-19 improved my lifestyle habits

Stressed out from online classes, cleaning became a habit I picked up and grew to enjoy since the circuit breaker.

Sarah Chan

Likes museum trips and is sometimes artsy. Can be found in pattern prints.

Published: 7 October 2020, 2:41 PM

Before the circuit breaker, I never had a penchant for cleaning.

However, that changed when I began my cleaning journey to create a more conducive environment to work, study and get through my everyday life when the circuit breaker happened.

Starting with clearing out the items on my desk, the mundane task soon grew on me as the sight of an organised space gave me a deep sense of satisfaction.

In contrast to how I would grumble at the thought of doing the chores previously, keeping clean had become more than a circuit breaker fad out of boredom. Instead, turning to cleaning has helped to change my lifestyle habits for the better.

No longer a chore, but something I enjoyed

I used to dread cleaning as it didn’t feel like an activity one may derive much joy from.

I would much rather go for a get-together with friends or head down for a swim at the end of the week, but this was impossible during the circuit breaker.

While confined to my room and looking for an escape from a stressful week of online school, I turned to cleaning.

Perhaps it was the repetitive actions during cleaning that provided me with a period of mindlessness without much care about the world.


I started documenting the highs and lows of my cleaning journey on Instagram Stories. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/SARAH CHAN


Cleaning was my form of self-care as I reflected on the week’s work while letting off some steam. It was an activity that I grew to see as less of a chore, but something I enjoyed.

As I grew fond of the activity, I even started feeling the need to clean right before the weekends.Simple tasks like vacuuming the floor were almost always present on my weekly to-do lists.

Cleaner tables for clearer mindsets

I used to think that more was better. For one, my table had almost everything I needed within reach, even if it meant a smaller workspace.

But as I juggled the stressors of online school, post-it notes and random pieces of paper gradually filled my whiteboard and a mess began to form on my work desk.


With online classes, my room was often a classroom, meeting room and lunch desk altogether. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/SARAH CHAN


It bugged me endlessly but I swept it aside since I was busy. Eventually, I found myself working from the floor and anywhere else besides my desk, just to feel some liberation from the mess.

Frustrated at my own procrastination to clean, I decided to start by organising my workspace daily and gave my whiteboard a complete overhaul during a major cleaning spree.

Seeing the empty spaces at my desk felt like a breath of fresh air. Gone were the pieces of paper stuck lazily and the neat arrangement now gave a feeling of control over my environment.


I was able to concentrate better with a workspace that was not as visually distracting. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/SARAH CHAN


Eventually, I felt welcomed by the sight of a cleaned work space each day, almost as if it was not the same space I have been in for the past weeks.

Improved buying and spending habits

Like most students, I love shopping and keeping up with fashion trends.

Gradually, however, tight stacks of clothes filled my wardrobe and every morning was like a scavenger hunt for an outfit – though I usually gave up and went with what I found at first glance.

I decided to donate some of my pieces to The Salvation Army and bags of clothes were easily filled in a day’s work.


Although it was initially hard to part with my clothes, I knew I had too many to be worn. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/SARAH CHAN


The newly-renewed space was refreshing and it made my mornings easier. I was more mindful of what I had and what I needed, which helped to curb my impulsive purchase tendencies.

Being mindful was especially helpful when I started new craft projects at home. Forced to make use of my current resources, I turned to repurposing an old blouse instead of purchasing new materials.

While it would have been easier to buy what I needed, cleaning made me realise how often I took things for granted and overlooked the possibilities of giving it a second lease of life.

Objectively, cleaning my bedroom just made it, well…cleaner.

Like the saying goes, it is the little things in life that makes us happy. To find an activity that brings greater value to your life is an activity worth doing and for me, I shall continue my habit of keeping clean.

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