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The 'Queen of Cleaning' comes to South Florida

A woman squats in a pile of trash.
Courtesy of Auri Kananen
Auri Kananen has become famous for going around the globe and cleaning some of the messiest homes. Her book is titled “Happiness Cleaning: How to Embrace the Mess and Love the Cleanup.”

You’ll never say your house is messy again after you’ve seen the homes that Auri Kananen cleans on YouTube.

Auri cleans the dirtiest homes you hope never to see. Dirty isn’t even the right word. Clean isn’t either. She digs people out of their messy spaces. And usually, she helps dig them out of their depression.

There’s a reason tens of millions follow her on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram. And it isn’t just for shock value. Auri steps in when a person is overwhelmed — usually after an unexpected tragedy. A painful loss.

We usually never meet the person Auri’s helping. She doesn’t want people to sell their pain to get her help.

She uses sponsorships on her social media to cover the costs. She recently came from her home country of Finland to South Florida, where she’s cleaning houses for free.

She knows the power of what she’s doing. Cleaning and organizing helped Auri through her own depression.

On the Jan. 29 episode of Sundial, Auri tells us about helping others, one offensively dirty bathroom at a time.

On Sundial's previous episode, Nathan Sawaya joined us. He is a contemporary artist who uses LEGO bricks exclusively for his art. His global exhibition The Art of the Brick comes to Miami at the Olympia Theater.

Listen to Sundial Monday through Thursday on WLRN, 91.3 FM, live at 1 p.m., rebroadcast at 8 p.m. Missed a show? Find every episode of Sundial on your favorite podcast app, such as Apple PodcastsStitcher and Spotify.

Carlos Frías is a bilingual writer, a journalist of more than 25 years and the author of an award-winning memoir published by Simon & Schuster.
Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.
Elisa Baena is a former associate producer for Sundial.