Dirty Room

I wouldn’t say that my wife and I are slobs, but we aren’t exactly the most organized couple. When I come home and check the mail, I tend to open items and leave the remnants on the coffee table, and my wife’s shoes are practically a repeated decoration throughout the house. Such habits have led us to establish a routine that you might find quite helpful if you’re ever in a similar situation.

We call it the “’80s Cleaning Montage.” It’s simple, really. Think back to your favorite ’80s movie and that part where the teens want to go out to cause some trouble, but their parents won’t let them leave until they finish their chores. Some terrible song comes on, and in fast motion they finish in no time. It even seems fun! These are the songs to put you right in the middle of that montage and get you out of that clutter.

5. AHA – “Take On Me”

Just listen to the beginning of this song. It is a perfect moment of inspiration while you grab your broom and dust rag. As ridiculous as this song is, it will make you move, and it doesn’t hurt to try to nail that high note in the chorus. AHA never had another big hit, but they are still good for something!

4. Starship – “We Built This City”

One of my favorite bad ’80s songs. I love the fact that Starship is an off-shoot from Jefferson Starship, which is an off-shoot from Jefferson Airplane. It’s kind of like what happens when you make a copy of a copy of a copy, but that third copy still looks kind of cool in a weird, distorted way. Regardless, put on a neon bandana and get to work.

3. Phil Collins – “Sussudio”

As a drummer I have a serious soft spot for Mr. Collins. He was kind of a badass in Genesis. That being said, No Jacket Required is an album that is just as amazing as it is ridiculous from start to finish. Watch the video below to see what the song does to the crowd. I’m sure that same ’80s magic will turn you into a cleaning machine. Side note: look for a fantastically young Tarantino at about 0:55.

2. Culture Club – “Karma Chameleon”

I love this song. I can’t help it. I know it’s ridiculous but what can I do? That upbeat pace gets me going, and when they hit the chorus I compulsively need to hop from foot to foot. This might help if you are trying to break up a dirt clot in your carpet. And let’s face it, you’ve been cleaning for a solid 15-20 minutes straight at this point. When they hit that breakdown, take a little break yourself and clap along. It will give you that last little bit of energy you need before you have to tackle your bathroom.

1. Kenny Loggins – “Footloose”

You had to expect this. You’ve “been workin’ so hard” it’s officially time to finish up and party like it’s 1984. Put on your leg warmers and slide across your freshly mopped kitchen floor. That dried spaghetti sauce isn’t there to stop you now. Kenny Loggins had a few good cleaning songs from the ’80s, but “Footloose” is hard to top. Anyone who can sit still while this song is playing is either in a coma or just a bad person in general.