8 Ways to Stress Less About Cleaning

8 Ways to Stress Less About CleaningAfter finances, cleaning is one of the biggest sources of stress and anxiety in a home. No matter what mad pace you adopt, you can’t quite seem to conquer that mountain piling up in the hamper or the tower of dishes in the sink. If you’re lucky enough to have people around who can help, you may still fight about who does which chores and how often.

We know how hard it can be to keep your home tidy, so we’ve gathered a few tips to help you stress less about this frustrating but necessary chore.

1.     Work In Short Sprints

If you wait to clean things until they’re a disaster, the stress will never end. You’ll get palpitations at work thinking of the hours you have to spend cleaning your home on the weekend. And that’s just no way to live.

Instead of setting a marathon pace for yourself once or twice a month, designate time to clean certain parts of your home or tackle different chores throughout the week. Break down larger chores (like cleaning out the garage) into smaller, more manageable tasks.

This will help you feel more accomplished in less time. Instead of 5 hours on the weekend, designate 10 or 15 minutes each day to clean something in your home. It may not make things perfect, but it will make a huge difference in your outlook. And after a week or two, you’ll actually just be maintaining things instead of completely overhauling.

If you think you’ll get carried away, set a timer and stop when it goes off. If you feel inspired, set another 10-15 minutes and keep going — whatever will help you get the job done!

2.     Set Up a Reward System

One way to make the chores more enjoyable is to have something to look forward to when it’s over. If you clean for your designated 10–15 minutes each day, give yourself an hour of free time on the weekend that you spend doing what appeals to you most — reading, painting, doing crafts with the kids, watching a movie, enjoying a special snack. When that anxiety hits and you feel like groaning, remind yourself of what you’ll be able to do afterward and keep that in mind while you clean as a little extra motivation. Stick with it!

If you have kids that should be helping, you can set up a reward system for them too. It doesn’t have to be monetary rewards, but even a trip to their favorite store, cooking their favorite meal or an extra 20 minutes of TV before bed can do the trick.

3.     Choose Discipline Over Elbow Grease

If you keep seeing new stains on your furniture or carpets, or people are leaving their plates everywhere, lay down the rules and insist that everyone eats in one or two designated areas (i.e. kitchen or dining room). This way you can clean your furniture one final time and then maintain the cleanliness with simple vacuuming, which is must less back-breaking than scrubbing stains.

4.     Get Rid of Stuff

Clothes that don’t fit. Clothes you just don’t wear. Old toys. Decorations you never use. Gifts you never wanted. It’s okay to get rid of it all. If you have less stuff in the house, you’ll have less stuff to clean. So if you don’t absolutely need or want it, get rid of it. This will cut down on the amount of time you spend on unnecessary tasks, which can be put to better use.

And if you feel bad throwing things away, find a way to donate them or plan a garage sale and use the extra cash to do something you’ve been putting off doing or add it to your savings account!

5.     Distract Yourself

If you can find a way to keep your mind busy while you clean, you won’t focus so much on what you’re doing and time will pass a lot more quickly. Put on headphones and sing along to your favorite songs.

Get an audiobook and let someone tell you a story while your body’s busy. Or choose something inspirational that gets you thinking about your life and what’s really important. Or choose something that teaches you a new skill you can use in other areas of your life.

Learn something new, keep your mind active and forget that you’re doing something repetitive. It will help time pass, we promise!

6.     Create a Schedule

After a while, the schedule you create will simply become a routine and you won’t even need it anymore. Remember: that which gets scheduled gets done. So if you set an appointment with yourself to do something, you’ll be much more likely to do it. You can make Mondays for bathrooms, Tuesdays for bedrooms, Wednesdays for laundry and so on.

Creating a schedule will also help you find time to do the important but often forgotten maintenance tasks like changing your HVAC filters, cleaning range hood filters, testing your smoke detector, vacuuming your refrigerator coils, cleaning gutters, cleaning the chimney and testing your water heater.

7.     Set Priorities

Don’t get caught up in feeling like your home has to look like a spread in Home & Garden. It really doesn’t. Being realistic about what you need to do and not focusing on perfection will really help you alleviate a lot of the stress that comes with cleaning.

If there are certain messes that drive you mad, make sure those get cleaned. If there is other stuff that isn’t so bothersome, leave it be until you have time to address it. Find chores you enjoy doing or which rooms give you the best feeling when they’re clean and focus on those.

If your home is full of others who aren’t as clean as you, just do what you can and focus on that. Trying to take on everyone else’s chores will only burn you out and make you feel bad.

8.     Hire a Professional Housekeeper

This is probably the easiest option, even if it costs a little more. You just have to evaluate the cost and value of the service to the importance of your mental health. When you hand off the chores to someone else and don’t have to nag anyone else to keep things tidy, you’ll open up a lot more time to focus on things that truly make you joyful. If that’s the most important thing to you, then this may be the right choice for you.

You can have a maid service come in and do a big, one-time cleaning to get you started on the right path or set up recurring visits to have them clean your home as often as you’d like.

If you’re in the NYC area and want to learn more about what a professional service can do for you or get pricing, contact 1st Class Cleaning today! We’ll talk to you about your options and how much each will cost and answer any questions or address any concerns you may have about an outside housekeeper.

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