How to Motivate Yourself to Clean

How to Motivate Yourself to CleanIf you’re feeling down in the dumps or tired or just all around blah, taking care of that pile of dishes, that mess you call a closet, the piles of laundry, the muck in the bathroom…really anything related to cleaning can seem positively overwhelming.

You know it needs to get done, but you really just don’t want to do it. And while we’re hardly motivational speakers or psychologists, we do have some tips you may find useful in getting the house clean with as little fuss as possible.

1.     Create a Playlist

Music can have a profound impact on your outlook on life. Put on something upbeat and positive, something you know you’ll be singing along to within a few minutes. Like Johnny Cash said, “Singing seems to help a troubled soul.” Things always seem less overwhelming when we’re feeling positive. The trick is in allowing yourself to change your state of mind. It won’t work if you resist it. It’s okay if you feel silly at first. Just turn it on, turn it up, get into the song, collect your cleaning supplies, and get to work!

2.     Clean in the Morning

Willpower isn’t an endless well. You have a limited supply throughout the day, which can make it difficult to feel like doing anything aside from making dinner and plopping down in front of the tube. If you dread cleaning and know you won’t do it when you get home, do it in the morning. Doing your most dreaded tasks first thing won’t give you enough time to think about it, which means you’re more likely to do it. You’ll get it done quicker and enjoy the rest of your day more, feeling the sense of accomplishment that comes with a clean home and the knowledge that that task is behind you.

3.     Set a Schedule and Keep It!

Whether you clean in bulk on Saturday or Sunday morning or do smaller chores throughout the week, having a schedule means you’re more likely to get it done. A schedule will eventually become a habit, so if you’re able to dedicate even just an hour to cleaning one morning on the weekend, you won’t have to wonder about when you’ll get it done – you’ll just know! And that means you’ll always get some sort of cleaning done. And if you feel like you want to keep going you can, but even if the motivation runs out, you will at least have accomplished something!

4.     Have a Plan 

The most difficult part of any job is getting started. If you have a plan, you’ll already know what you want to tackle and won’t waste time, energy, or motivation wondering where to begin. It’s true what they say about the stuff you put off not being as difficult as you believe it will be. It’s all about getting into the right mindset and sticking with a task until it’s done. Sometimes the motivation won’t come until after you’ve started, so the key to success is to just start!

5.     Eliminate Distractions

We can’t emphasize how important this is. Avoid the temptation to procrastinate because that will kill any motivation you may have had. One minute you’re trying to decide where to start (see #4) and three hours later you’ve talked to you mom, your spouse and distant cousin AND made it the next level of Candy Crush. But you’ve also lost focus. Turn off your phone, close the laptop, put the tablet in a drawer. It’ll be there when you’re done – we promise!

6.     A Little Prep Goes a Long Way

Invest in a cleaning caddy. Stock it with all of the things you’ll need to clean – sprays, clean cloths, paper towels, scrubbing utensils…all of that good stuff! When it’s time to clean, simply grab it out of it’s hiding place and get to work. This will keep you from running around assembling things as you clean, which can be tiring and distracting. The less time you spend running around looking for supplies, the faster you’ll get the cleaning over with.

7.     Enlist Help!

Unless you live alone, encourage others to get in on the action. Sometimes you won’t feel motivated, but giving a pep talk to someone else who’s willing to help can go a long way. If you have children, turn it into a game. Not only will this teach them the basics of cleaning, it will turn it into a task that’s actually fun for them now and later in life. You don’t have to skip making memories to clean the house; turn cleaning into a memory itself! If it’s just you and your partner or a roommate, turn it into a race – whoever finishes cleaning last or takes the lazy way out has to cook dinner!

8.     Strive for Continuous Improvement Instead of Perfection

We couldn’t agree with Kim Collins more! This is where many people lose motivation. Why treat one carpet stain for half an hour when you could have thrown on a load of laundry, cleaned the toilet, made the beds and run the dishwasher in the same amount of time? The Queen isn’t coming over anytime soon. Frustrating yourself over one small thing can lead to you losing interest in the whole process and that’s what you want to avoid. Set a time to clean that carpet stain some other time and focus on getting as much clean as possible without spending too much time in just one place. Once you’ve got a regular routine and your house is always semi-clean you can focus on the more time-consuming and specific tasks.

9.     Remember Why You’re Doing It 

We can get so bogged down in the little details that sometimes it can be hard to see the bigger picture. We often hear our clients say that they don’t want to clean because no one appreciates the hard work they’ve done – it’s a mess two minutes later! But that’s kind of missing the point. You’re doing it for yourself. For your own peace of mind, pride, and sanity. For the moment when someone unexpected stops by and you say “Come on in!” rather than apologizing for the mess and the pleasure that brings. It’s about taking care of your home and taking pride in your place and yourself. It’s for the accomplishment, not the admiration. (And if you really do want to be appreciated, see #7!)

10. Reward Yourself

You don’t need validation from others. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done and treat yourself to something you usually wouldn’t. Whether that’s a day spent on the couch enjoying your clean home and a glass of wine, a tasty snack you usually won’t allow yourself (it’s okay! Cleaning burns calories!) or a new outfit – you’ve earned it! Letting yourself have a particular treat after cleaning will keep you motivated week after week after week – and that’s exactly what you want!

Still Having Trouble Getting Around to Everything?

It’s okay! That’s what we’re here for. If you’re in the New York City area, you can hire 1st Class Cleaning to come clean your home as often as you’d like. We can even organize closets and cabinets for you. Contact us today to learn more about our services and pricing and never worry about when you’ll have to clean again!

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