“Junebugging” Is The New Trick To Keep Your Home Cleaner

Monica Gray - January 19, 2024

Several years ago, the homeowner world was swept away with a new term called Junebugging. It was introduced on Tumblr, and only recently made its way to TikTok, where it gained popularity. This is a life-changing productivity method to help you clean your home and stop dreading the inevitable chore. This word is based on the behavior of June bugs, who return to the same site no matter how many times they wander off. To use this in cleaning terms means always returning to the same location no matter how many times you get distracted by other things. You can do this by choosing to focus on one aspect of every room, for example, the bathroom sink in the bathroom as opposed to the entire bathroom. It acts as an anchor point to help when we get distracted, which will happen.

Nikki Pebbles, business psychologist, said “That is your anchor point and you’re always gonna come back to that anchor point because we’re working with our brain. We know that we’re going to get distracted. Essentially, Junebugging is doing what the Junebugs do; you go all over the place, but you always go back to your set spot, so you’re working with your brain instead of against it.” It’s natural and normal to get distracted. If you’re someone who easily gets distracted while cleaning, then junebugging is the hack you’ve been waiting for.

Pleated Jeans

Clean Like a Junebug

TikTok user Jumpingjacktrash, the one who came up with the idea of Junebugging, promises you’re likely to get a lot of cleaning done using this method. The point is to slow down and notice when you get distracted. If you do get distracted, several tasks later, just return to your first task, which is the starting point.

They said, “Not only will the bathroom sink almost certainly be clean, and probably the mirror and soap dish too, you might’ve swapped in a fresh toothbrush, a new soap, you might’ve unclogged the drain — you will probably also have cleaned or fixed up several things in the near vicinity” (via House Digest).


Removing The Shame

One of the most important parts about Junebugging is the fact that it removes the shame that comes with distractions and cleaning. Nikki Pebbles writes, ” “You’re removing the shame [of cleaning] and just giving yourself a little bit of grace. All you’re doing is building trust and creating a safe space for yourself.” The nicer you are to yourself and the more you give yourself grace, the more likely you are to succeed.

Furthermore, it also prevents the executive function or the issues that arise with poor planning, struggling to stay organized, and being highly distractable. Clinical psychologist Sabrina Romanoff wrote, “It is okay to wander, but the key here is to always return to the main spot you’ve decided to work on.” And once you start practicing returning to the same spot, it gets easier and easier to clean (Well and Good).


Tackle The Disaster

How often have you walked into your room, your kid’s room, the kitchen, or the bathroom, only to experience an overwhelming sensation of stress? You’ve probably picked up a few things, tossed them back on the ground, and completely gave up on the task at hand. Tackling the disaster is one of the toughest places to begin. But that’s where Junebugging comes in.

Because most people struggle with staying focused on one thing, it’s best to pick one small area and focus just on that. Junebugging will reframe your perspective on cleaning and make it fun, easy, and engaging. Instead of fighting against your distractive tendencies, you use them to your advantage. You’re allowing yourself to jump from task to task, but making sure you always come back to your focal point. It’s a gradual process. Marla Mock, president of Molly Maid said, “Every task accomplished becomes noteworthy, reducing the feeling of being overwhelmed.” And feeling overwhelmed is not something that pairs well with cleaning (The Family Handyman).


Allow Yourself To Wander From Task To Task

Homeowners of Reddit use Junebugging and say it’s the best thing they’ve ever come across. This one Reddit user in particular wrote, “I have undiagnosed, unmedicated ADHD (good tester as a kid so they never caught it) and I’m also the primary housework person in my marriage. A while back, I read about Junebugging to make housekeeping easier.” They decided to give it a shot.

They advise other homeowners out there since this method worked tremendously well for them. They wrote, “Pick a spot in your home where the most important task you need to do is generally located. This is your porch light. Begin doing tasks, but ALLOW yourself to wander from task to task, and don’t try to force yourself into a linear plan. Whenever you find yourself pausing or starting to freeze, head back to your porch light and start over. You won’t complete everything. You will leave a few things half-done. But you will get SOME things done and have a decent shot at finishing your primary task. It’s not perfect, but some is always better than nothing. Give it a shot next time you’re feeling overwhelmed.” It’s your time to give it a shot and see what you can accomplish (Reddit).


Getting Started Is Easier Than You Think

Cut yourself some slack and give Junebugging a try. First, select a task and decide where you want to start cleaning. Don’t pick an entire room, since it’s more likely to fail. Pick something manageable, like your bed, and start there. Imagine you’re tethered to that spot. Start cleaning that one spot and always remind yourself to go back to that spot, no matter how distracted you get. If you end up putting the dishes away, don’t worry and go back to bed when you remember. You can also use a timer and every time it goes off, you return to the starting point.

Bloggers of the Family Handyman write, “Continue with the TV stand. Clear off the top, and wipe down the glass and wood. If you drift off again, drift back to this singular task. Set a timer if needed. Organize the remotes and coasters, and you’re done. Move to the next area. If you’re still in the bedroom, this could be your bed, or a corner of the room with the overflowing hamper — but not both. To “Junebug” is to find a center, a place to return to. Choose a small section and focus on that.” No matter how often you get distracted, keep repeating the process and only move on to a new focal point when that original one is clean. Don’t look at the entire house as the end goal (Family Handyman).


Imagine A Bungee Cord

One way to get back to your starting point, and to laugh it off, is to imagine yourself tethered to a bungee cord. Every time you get off task, imagine the bungee cord pulling you back to the starting point. Even if going back to your starting point takes some time, you’re still accomplishing something. You’ll likely have one fully completed chore, too.

TikTok user jumpingjacktrash says, “You’re done when you feel done, or you’re too bored to live, or it’s bedtime, or any number of other markers, you get to pick. But the thing is, by returning repeatedly to that one spot, you harness the ‘hyperactivity’ part instead of wasting all that energy battling with the ‘attention deficit’ part.” You can also use reminder notes to stay grounded or set a timer to remind you to go back to the starting point (House Digest).

Apartment Therapy

Junebugging Tips From People That Have Tried It

This blogger from Apartment Therapy tried Junebugging in their own home. They wrote, “Armed with a microfiber cloth, I began to dust the upright piano. So far, so good. I almost pulled up Facebook Marketplace to look for art to hang in that space above my fireplace, but I resisted.” Remember, you’ll probably get distracted at some point, but try not to feel shame or guilt for something that’s naturally going to happen.

They’re very honest with their junebugging experience, and wrote, “When I moved to the bookshelf, I realized I needed a stepstool, which required a trip to the kitchen. An empty milk jug caught my eye and set off an entire cycle of kitchen tasks, but I regrouped.” The entire point of Junebugging is to always remember to go back to where you began. You’re going to get distracted, it’s inevitable, but it’s part of the process. As they continued to clean, they wrote, “After reliving 2020 in photos, I got back to work. The next dusting stretch was full of brief interruptions to deal with clutter, but I always returned to my one true task. I thought Junebugging would teach me to ignore distractions, but it didn’t. Instead, it helped me complete the cycle on the one task I prioritized from the beginning, despite the distractions.” And their Junebugging experience was a success (Apartment Therapy).


There Are Different Focal Points You Can Use

Some examples, written by the blog Well and Good, suggest different areas of the house to focus on and different ways to get started cleaning. For example, you can wipe the floors, wash the bathroom linens, and clean the bathtub and shower in your bathroom. In the bedroom, you can make the bed and pick up any clothes left out for a while.

Wipe the counters in the kitchen, put away leftovers, and sweep or vacuum the floor. Once you’re in the office, clean the top of the desk and put away the papers. In the living room, fluff up the couch pillows, return the remotes and books, and dust any surfaces (Well and Good).


Pro Tip: Set A Timer

To maintain focus while employing the Junebugging method for cleaning, one effective strategy is to utilize a timer. Setting a timer ensures sustained concentration on deep work, eliminating the need to constantly think about when to take breaks. The timer acts as a guide, indicating when it’s time to pause and rejuvenate.

Alternatively, collaborating with a cleaning partner can enhance your focus and motivation. Working alongside someone who shares the goal of cleaning provides mutual support, keeping both individuals engaged in effective cleaning techniques. This collaborative approach not only boosts motivation but also allows for sufficient breaks, resulting in a more thorough and accomplished cleaning of various areas within your home. (Essence).


It’s An ADHD Cleaning Dream

It’s not about getting everything done, and it’s not about getting things done in a step-by-step manner. It’s about getting something done, even if it’s not the very thing you set out to do. Instead of trying to tackle an entire room, the point is to tackle small tasks and get those done.

Blogger from The Mighty wrote, “You might start 20 different small cleaning tasks and only finish five, but that’s way better than if you got overwhelmed at the beginning and didn’t do anything. Maybe I didn’t get the dishes loaded, but instead, I started laundry because I saw my husband’s socks, or maybe I picked up my son’s toys because I tripped over them as I was walking from the couch to the laundry, or maybe I even went grocery shopping because I realized we were out of dishwasher tablets.” Either way, this method is here to help you, task by task. And who knows, over time you might clean the entire house, attic, basement, and all (The Mighty).


Reddit Users Give It A Shot

Junebugging is taking the internet by storm. Reddit users on the internet are trying out Junebugging. Setting a timer was the method that worked the best for them. They wrote, “I recently heard about “junebugging,” a cleaning method where you break down each room into pieces instead of cleaning the room as a whole. For example, instead of cleaning your bedroom, you say that you’re going to clean your bed. When that’s done, you move on to the next part. Whenever you get distracted, you tell yourself to come back to the part that you are working on.

I set a timer for 15 minutes and cleaned the counter next to my fridge, then I set a 15-minute timer again and cleaned the area around my oven. I was really happy with the results after just 30 minutes. It made it less overwhelming to just focus on the part of the room I was working on instead of thinking about the whole room needing to be cleaned.” If you’re struggling to clean, try using this method (Reddit).


It Works Well If You Have ADHD

While some users of Reddit are using this method with a timer, others are thrilled with the potential to have a cleaning method that works. This Reddit user wrote, “I thought in return I’d give some great cleaning advice once I got from another ADHD friend that has improved the state of my apartment. It’s called “Junebugging”. Have you ever seen a Junebug climb a screen window? Their legs get stuck, and they end up moving sideways and backward and moving all the wrong limbs. They get to the top by hanging on to one spot with one leg while the rest of the body moves haphazardly.”

Then, they described their cleaning method. They wrote, “I pick up a postcard from the dining table. I go and hang it on the fridge. I realize there are dirty dishes that need to go in the sink and do that. Then I notice the dirty dishcloth and go put it in the laundry. Then I folded a shirt and vaguely remembered I was doing something; oh right, the table! I finish folding and go back to my “Junebug” and begin sorting more mail. Not only is the dining table being cleaned, but I have also sorted some dishes and folded some clothes! Sure it’s not all in the same order, but eventually everything gets clean and I can stop feeling bad about living in a mess. Bonus points if you put on music or a podcast while cleaning as a reward/focus tool!” (Reddit).


This Person Used It For Their Kitchen

This personal account shares how they used Junebugging for their kitchen, which was a game changer. They wrote, “I was doing the dishes, already kind of an achievement, but the rest of the kitchen was gross. Cluttered, crumbs everywhere, splatters on the stove, a whole farm’s worth of seeds in the toaster, etc. There was a cup in which some utensils with gunk on them were soaking for easier wash. My elbow caught the top of one of the utensils, and spilled that nasty-ass water all over the floor.” If this sounds familiar, keep reading! They managed to clean their home with Junebugging.

They wrote, “Even I can’t leave it like that. That way lies lost security deposits, ill cats, bugs, etc. I now needed to mop the floors. If I was gonna mop the floors, then I might as well clean off the counters. I couldn’t clean off the counters without moving what was on them. This triggered hyperfixation and one of the most thorough cleaning jobs I have ever done. Toothpicks in crevices, hand washing, everything. I walked in there this morning and was shocked, then remembered that it was me. My home office is a disaster, and I’m thinking I might just throw a whole box of stale cereal up in the air to see if I can trigger the same instinct.” But they managed to clean their kitchen, even if it took them a while (Reddit).


The Users Of TikTok

Because Junebugging has taken the TikTok world by storm, many vloggers and people on the internet are turning to Junebugging to clean their homes. One TikToker captioned their Junebugging video with, “If you are neurodivergent, deal with anxiety and depression… using the June bugging cleaning method has CHANGED the game for me. You are VERY specific with what you are cleaning (for example, your bed) and you make that your anchor point. We work WITH our brain in that we know we will get distracted but we ALWAYS know we go back to that anchor point. We repeat that process until we finish the anchor point.”

She recommends people be very specific with their tasks and starting points to have the best results. In her video, she reminds everyone that “you’re not cleaning your kitchen, you’re cleaning your sink.” This is a great reminder to help people who get distracted easily remember to focus on one thing instead of the entire room (TikTok).


You Can Even Use It For Work

This Tiktok Vlogger uses the Junebugging method not only in her home but in the workplace, too. If you’re someone who struggles to get things done at work, she recommends picking one task and prioritizing it over the others, as opposed to trying to get many tasks done all at once.

She says, “Even if you wander off to other tasks, make an effort to gravitate back to your priority task. This greatly increases your chances of completing a task by the end of the day which is much more rewarding.” This is a tried and tested method that’s here to help you finish your tasks (TikTok).


You Can Even Use The Junebugging Method To Study

Several TikTokers endorse the application of the Junebugging method to enhance study sessions, particularly for individuals grappling with constant distractions during exam preparation. This strategy is particularly recommended for those prone to frequent procrastination tendencies while studying. Embracing self-compassion has proven to be a valuable aspect of this approach. By eliminating feelings of shame, individuals can better manage their workload and achieve greater productivity.

The key lies in teaching oneself to concentrate on a single task, mirroring the principles of the cleaning tactic. Similar to how the cleaning method encourages a return to the primary task, the Junebugging study technique emphasizes consistently coming back to the main focal point of one’s studies. This cyclical process not only aids in overcoming procrastination but also fosters a more focused and effective approach to studying, ultimately leading to improved academic performance. (TikTok).


A Sense Of Accomplishment

The best part about Junebugging is finishing your tasks and getting them done. Marla Mock, president of Molly Maid, said “You experience a sense of accomplishment and heightened productivity, motivating you to proceed to the next area.” This is not only good for your home, but it’s good for your mental health and your feeling of productivity and purpose.

How often have you berated yourself for not getting your cleaning tasks done? This is why Junebugging is such an important hack for cleaning a home, that it’s surprising it hasn’t been discovered earlier (Family Handyman).