cleaning, cleaning tiktok, acts of kindess

The Queen of Cleaning improves people's lives, one kitchen at a time.

Ever watched a cleaning TikTok? Man, are they satisfying. There’s nothing like seeing the grubby bathroom getting scrubbed and buffed into something spa worthy. It’s just so cathartic. Is there such a thing as visual ASMR?

Not to mention that having a clean home just feels so good. Having things tidy makes the daily stressors of life seem more manageable.

But for many of us, this basic comfort is an impossible luxury. Things pile on, both literally and metaphorically. Being a single parent, having depression and illness are among the many obstacles that can drain someone of their time and energy to really take on a thorough cleaning. And once things spiral out of control, it can be very hard to get back on track again.


Cleaning enthusiast Aurikatariina proudly describes herself as “The Queen of Cleaning” on TikTok and YouTube. Yes, the transformations are wild. Yes, she has some great tips and tips. But the truly remarkable thing is that this woman uses her passion to help others: by offering to clean their homes for free.

Her free home makeover videos not only feature the Queen of Cleaning doing what she does best, they also share the stories of those she’s helping. And watching them feels like a good soul cleansing.

@aurikatariina

This lovely was crying from happiness 🥺👵🏻🙏 I just LOVE to help people ❤️ ##elderly ##helping ##homecleaning ##takecare ##satisfya ##satisfyingvideo

♬ Home - Edith Whiskers

Like when she helped an 80-year-old couple who had no support to manage their home. So Aurikatariina got to work, and made the kitchen immaculate (in the video above).

Her caption reads “my heart melted when this lovely lady was crying from happiness.”

I mean, it’s one thing to get this much joy from cleaning your own home. But for a stranger? That’s next level. And it really goes to show that giving to others rewards everyone involved.

@aurikatariina

One of the saddest but the best cleaning ever 🥺👩‍👧‍👧❤️ ##cleaningtiktok ##cleaning ##makeover ##oddlysatisfying

♬ Survivor - 2WEI & Edda Hayes

In another video, Aurikatariina helps out a single mom. She explains that the father left her alone with two kids, and (understandably) the home had gotten in bad condition.

What seems like a million toys litter the floor. A Coke can in the medicine cabinet. An ironing board that’s become a table for junk. Yeah, it’s bad. But Aurikatariina cleans it all, staying kind and compassionate the whole way through.

Her video ends with “if there is a mother struggling I‘m here to tell you that you are not alone.”

One person commented “as a single mom of 4 thank you for helping her. These messes get outta hand so quickly when you’re the only one doing literally EVERYTHING.”

@aurikatariina

The reaction of the cat at the end 😭😻👏🏻 ##story ##storytime ##touching ##forfree ##happycat ##homecleaning ##homemakeover

♬ Home - Edith Whiskers

Aurikatariina cleaned the home of a cat owner, who was really sick. Both kitty and the young girl were swimming in mounds of food packaging and cat hair. But with Aurikatariina’s help, along with some generous donations of supplies from her followers, the home became spotless.

You’ll wanna stay for the end of this one if you want to see one happy cat lounging in a pristine bathroom sink, after being thoroughly confused to see his new home.

As many people noted in the comments, the cat was also clearly healthy and well loved. This woman was able to take care of her cat, just not herself.

@aurikatariina

Hope is the best medicine of all 🙏 ##forfree ##homecleaning ##satisfying ##hope ##cleaningtiktok ##deepcleaning ##kitchen ##kitchencleaning

♬ Summer - Instrumental - Devinney

Aurikatariina captions this one with “hope is the best medicine of all.”

As she declutters and scrubs, Aurikatariina explains that this homeowner suffers from anxiety, depression, a physically demanding job and financial problems. Yeah, that’s a lot.

“He didn’t have the strength to put effort into his home…so here I am,” she writes.

@aurikatariina

THE MOST AMAZING TRANSFORMATION EVER!! 😍😍 ##forfree ##cleaning ##clean ##beforeandafter ##motivation

♬ Cinematic Trailer - Saltonbria

This home was labeled “dirtiest house in Europe.” A cleaning job this massive would have cost about $15,000, Aurikatariina tells us. And she did it for free.

She even flew from Finland to Switzerland to do it. Cleaning brand Scrub Daddy paid for her plane ticket and hotel. But still, that kind of generosity is beyond inspiring.

Aurikatariina is offering people not only a freshly cleaned home, but a fresh start as well.

As the saying goes, “helping one person might not change the world, but it could change the world for one person.” And that matters.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go organize my closet.

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

Laverne Cox in 2016.

When kids are growing up they love to see themselves in the dolls and action figures. It adds a special little spark to a shopping trip when you hear your child say “it looks just like me.” The beaming smile and joy that exudes from their little faces in that moment is something parents cherish, and Mattel is one manufacturer that has been at the forefront of making that happen. It has created Barbies with freckles, afro puffs, wheelchairs, cochlear implants and more. The company has taken another step toward representation with its first transgender doll.

Laverne Cox, openly transgender Emmy award winning actor and LGBTQ activist, is celebrating her 50th birthday May 29, and Mattel is honoring her with her very own Barbie doll. The doll designed to represent Cox is donned in a red ball gown with a silver bodysuit. It also has accessories like high heels and jewelry to complete the look. Cox told Today, “It’s been a dream for years to work with Barbie to create my own doll.” She continued, “I can’t wait for fans to find my doll on shelves and have the opportunity to add a Barbie doll modeled after a transgender person to their collection.”

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Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

Actions speak far louder than words.

It never fails. After a tragic mass shooting, social media is filled with posts offering thoughts and prayers. Politicians give long-winded speeches on the chamber floor or at press conferences asking Americans to do the thing they’ve been repeatedly trained to do after tragedy: offer heartfelt thoughts and prayers. When no real solution or plan of action is put forth to stop these senseless incidents from occurring so frequently in a country that considers itself a world leader, one has to wonder when we will be honest with ourselves about that very intangible automatic phrase.

Comedian Anthony Jeselnik brilliantly summed up what "thoughts and prayers" truly mean. In a 1.5-minute clip, Jeselnik talks about victims' priorities being that of survival and not wondering if they’re trending at that moment. The crowd laughs as he mimics the actions of well-meaning social media users offering thoughts and prayers after another mass shooting. He goes on to explain how the act of performatively offering thoughts and prayers to victims and their families really pulls the focus onto the author of the social media post and away from the event. In the short clip he expertly expresses how being performative on social media doesn’t typically equate to action that will help victims or enact long-term change.

Of course, this isn’t to say that thoughts and prayers aren’t welcomed or shouldn’t be shared. According to Rabbi Jack Moline "prayer without action is just noise." In a world where mass shootings are so common that a video clip from 2015 is still relevant, it's clear that more than thoughts and prayers are needed. It's important to examine what you’re doing outside of offering thoughts and prayers on social media. In another several years, hopefully this video clip won’t be as relevant, but at this rate it’s hard to see it any differently.