TikTok and social media have become popular platforms for people cleaning and organizing. You can blame the pandemic.
The internet is home to all sorts of videos, good and bad. There’s viral content out there of pimple popping, people doing their nails and paint being applied to walls. All of these topics satisfy a strange craving. But the newest addition to these videos is also useful: people cleaning. According to some experts, there’s a psychological explanation for this obsession.
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While cleaning up after yourself is never the most fun of activities, it’s something that can help you feel like you’re in control. That feeling you get after you deeply clean up your room or your house is one of accomplishment. Watching videos of people doing the same, with the added perks of fun music and cute filters, can produce this same feeling minus the sweat and hard work.
Cleaning videos are particularly popular on TikTok, where they’re known as CleanTok, because of course. People tag these clips with hashtags like #cleanwithme, #cleaningtok, #organizeit, and more, amassing millions of views by the day.
Therapist Caroline Given told Bustle that these videos are especially effective and satisfying when people are stressed or experiencing depression. It makes a lot of sense then that these sorts of clips are trending during the current pandemic.
“To see someone finally throwing away their to-go cup graveyard and putting away piles of clothes is aspirational because we’re getting visual access to an inner healing that is beginning to take place, which is inspiring,” said Given. “At a basic level, cleaning is behavioral activation, a therapeutic technique that has been well documented to improve symptoms of depression. Behavioral activation involves the completion of specific, measurable tasks to build momentum and confidence.”
Not only are living through a pandemic, this year has also brought and election, heightened racial inequality, and an escalating global warming crisis, all contributing to our general feeling of being out of sorts. And our homes are one of the only places where we can exert control.
Even if it’s difficult and tough to gather up the energy for it, cleaning and organizing your space are satisfying activities and healthy ways of coping as long as they’re kept under control. If you find some pleasure and relief out of watching others do the same, enjoy yourself. There’s no better time to indulge, and they’re better than the news.