Music And Chore Pairings: What To Listen To When Cleaning Your House

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couple housework rocking out with broom

Need music to get things done around your house? Check out our music and chore pairings! At the end, suggest your own house cleaning soundtrack in the comments.


Plenty of studies have established a link between listening to music and productivity, especially with repetitive tasks. As someone who has listened to all kinds of music during her academic and professional careers to get things done, I know this by experience. I wrote undergraduate papers to house and techno; in grad school, I moved to classical to get things done. Since I left school, I have used instrumental jazz and classical still to get me writing and/or to shut out the noisy outside world.

But what about other stuff, like cleaning the dishes, making the bed or dusting? Sure, I listen to music doing those too. So, in a fun idea inspired by wine and cheese, or wine and chocolate, or tea and book pairings, I present to you: the music and chore pairings. For each household task, I suggest to you a song that I think goes well with it.

Washing dishes

Not everyone has a dishwasher. I do, but it’s a movable dishwasher that I pretty much just use as extra counter space.

So I end up doing all the dishes by hand–also because we have few dishes for the both of us, and waiting to fill the dishwasher will leave us with, well, nothing left to eat in.

For accompanying your hand dishwashing, I submit to you a classic gogo song from the ’60s:

Splish splash indeed… and then you can have a party when the dishes are clean.

Sweeping the floor

Sweeping the floor requires something boppy, happy and with some rhythm. Who doesn’t like to dance and/or pretend they’re signing while sweeping the floor? (Ooops… maybe that’s just me?)

For this chore, pop songs are perfect! I think this tune is awesome for a clean floor… and a boost in self-confidence:

Are you all about that broom?

Dusting the shelves

Here’s something I don’t like to do, but that has a lot of benefits, especially for my asthmatic partner. Also, with a cat, we have a lot more dust and dander than we used to.

For dusting, I like to listen to funky stuff–not too slow, not too fast, with a great beat that lets me sway my hips as I try to clean the dust between the items of our LEGO collection… without breaking them.

Super cool contemporary version of Uptown Funk? More like Uptown Dust!

Cooking dinner

If you didn’t already know after reading my articles, we’re a bit of a geeky household. So when I cook dinner (and I like to cook from scratch!), I tend to listen to Japanese pop. Yup, you read that right.

I can’t really understand Japanese, so the lyrics don’t distract me, but the beats are super catchy. Here’s a favourite anime intro song from an awesome show called Attack on Titan:

This song is EPIC, and produces equally EPIC DINNERS.

 Cleaning the bathroom

Urgh, who actually likes cleaning the bathroom? It’s the kind of chore that nobody likes to do and that we keep until the last possible minute.

But what if cleaning the bathroom could be just a bit more fun, with some awesome music? Here’s a song that a friend introduced me to. It’s a top 40 song and it’s a bit kitsch, but what’s a little kitsch if it helps us clean the bathroom?

Oh, Maroon 5. You make me believe in love again! You know, except love for cleaning the bathroom.

What are your chore and music pairings?

Do you listen to music when you clean? What are your favourite pairings when doing stuff around the house? Share your playlist with us in the comments!

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Anabelle Bernard Fournier

Anabelle is a freelance writer, writing teacher and blogger. She spends a lot of time at home, so she likes to make sure that it's cozy and nice, especially in her reading nook. In her free time, Anabelle knits, walks and learns how to write stories.