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10 Songs for Cleaning House

Cleaning songs
Ken Harding, Getty Images
For some of us, cleaning house can be a monumental undertaking, and whether you live in decent-sized, multi-level digs or a tiny metropolitan shoebox, a high-tempo, motivating playlist certainly can take the edge off your chores and add power to your elbow grease. Since we could double our dusting time by listening to nothing but dance tunes (incorporating real moves will always distract you from the task at hand), a variety of genres seemed the better way to go for this week's Super Specific Playlist — all with a sprinkle of Mary Poppins-style magic.

Bloodhound Gang Fire Water Burn


‘Fire Water Burn’

Bloodhound Gang



Nothing will inspire you to get busy more than the prospect of the roof on fire. Rather than letting the mofo burn, you might just want to light a fire under your own ass and start covering some ground with the broom and bleach.


Morgan Page Tegan and Sara Body Work


‘Body Work’

Morgan Page with Tegan & Sara



Obviously, some dance tunes are necessary, and while body work is a far cry from housework, and this song might make it onto other playlists involving sit-ups or push-ups, it’s also the perfect soundtrack for scrubbing. You’ll be on your knees in rubber gloves, shaking your booty. Just like a happy housewife.


Old 97s Won't be Home/Drag it Up


‘Won’t Be Home’

Old 97s



Hop on your horse, people. Or better yet, ride that mop. Although it may seem counterintuitive to be glued to your kitchen, forcing yourself to rake between tiles with a toothbrush and listening to these twangy alt-country boys sing about not being home anymore, it actually makes you kinda happy that you’re making your home presentable … in case anyone shows up.


Social Distortion Ball and Chain


‘Ball and Chain’

Social Distortion



While we’re on the country train, why not throw in a little classic rockabilly from our favorite tattooed preachers? The irony — as you will surely realize as you’re slaving over a particularly resistant stain in your carpet — is that YOU are the ball and chain.


The Cure The Upstairs Room


‘The Upstairs Room’

The Cure



Although switching from commercial Social D to one of the Cure’s least-touted tunes from the early '80s may seem like a rocky transition, there's an energetic bounce to this number that will give you an extra boost, even if you don’t actually have an upstairs.


Brandi Carlile Hard Way Home/Bear Creek EP


‘Hard Way Home’

Brandi Carlile



Oops, let’s make a U-turn back to the knee-slapping sounds of country. This track works best kicking in after you’re already adequately ensconced in your chores, because whether you’re polishing wine glasses or clearing the fridge of crusty condiments, you’ll be nodding in time — if not doing some impromptu square-dancing with your vacuum cleaner.


Belly Dusted/SlowDust EP






When Tanya Donnelly wrote this song in 1993, she almost certainly wasn’t thinking about attacking her coffee table with a spray bottle of Pledge. But it does give your no-longer-very-white rags an energizing little lift, and it is comforting to know you’re not the only one dealing with dust or getting dusted.


Basement Jaxx Where's Your Head At


‘Where’s Your Head At?’

Basement Jaxx



Whether your head is in the oven, nearly being asphyxiated by chemicals, or wedged between the couch cushions, discovering faded M&Ms and $2.13 in long lost nickels and pennies, you’ll be glad somebody is trying to keep track of it. However, you must now switch to a chore that requires standing and moving … because it’s time for another dance party.


No Doubt Sunday Morning


‘Sunday Morning’

No Doubt



Do Sundays and cleaning go hand in hand? Of course. Sunday morning is an ideal time to spruce up your abode, and the rolling bass and springy keyboards in this tune — following a truly heartening extended drum roll in the intro — is a surefire way to go from being a mere mortal to an all-powerful, fearsome captain vacuum.


Florence and the Machine Shake it Out


‘Shake it Out’

Florence + The Machine



Even if you’re not actually shaking out rugs and whatnot, there's an energy to this song that will be contagious. Whatever happens to be in hand — DustBuster, toilet brush, etc. — is guaranteed to double as a microphone. Only a few more swipes of the counter left to go, right? Bury that horse in the ground.


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