There are many reasons why people put off cleaning. For some, it’s because they don’t know how to organize and prioritize their tasks. Others may be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work that needs to be done. With these cleaning motivation tips, you can overcome those obstacles and get your home clean and comfortable!
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You know that feeling — the one where you walk into your house and it’s a mess. The dishes are piled in the sink, clothes are strewn everywhere, dog hair is all over the furniture, and dust tumbleweeds are rolling across the floor in the sudden breeze.
You feel overwhelmed by everything on your to-do list, and you need some house cleaning motivation fast! There is hope! I’ve found some ways to get motivated to clean when you need some help getting started with tackling some serious cleaning. Here are seven tips for overcoming procrastination and channeling your inner neat freak (even if she’s hiding DEEP inside)! Are you ready?
Understand Your Needs When It Comes To Cleaning
If you’re serious about staying on top of your home, you will have to be honest with yourself about your cleaning strengths and weaknesses. Then, when it’s time to clean, you can work with, through, or around them and actually get things done.
Have you ever felt anxious about cleaning? Many people say that cleaning their homes can relieve an anxious and overwhelmed mind, but for some people (*raises hand), it can make things worse. The thing to remember is that it is normal to feel that way. Let’s be honest, we all have huge lists of things to do. Cleaning is only a small percentage of what you might need to accomplish in your day.
What does it take for you to feel satisfied when it comes to cleaning? Do you want your home to be a showcase of perfection or are you okay with living in a little bit of chaos?
It can be difficult to judge the level of cleanliness that’s necessary for every area, especially if you’re really overwhelmed and just see a huge mess everywhere. You might think that your living room needs a deep clean when in reality just a spruce up would do.
If you would like to have a clean home but find yourself continuously procrastinating, it’s important that you prioritize your needs and determine how much time and energy you’re willing to devote to keeping your house in order.
Take a good look around each room and make a list — or maybe a few. 😉 Write out your answers to the above questions. Decide which tasks REALLY need to be done immediately and regularly. Consider whether each task is a job you should do, or whether it’s time for a family meeting to divide up the work.
Then, use some of these motivational tips for cleaning and see what a difference they can make to your cleaning routine and your home.
1 – Schedule One Cleaning Task Before You Shower and Dress for the Day
One way to motivate yourself to clean is by getting into the habit of doing a single ‘icky’ cleaning task before your daily shower. This motivates us because it gives us a sense of accomplishment right as the day begins. It feels good knowing that we’ve already done something productive and NOT procrastinated, and it’s easier to keep up with at least some of our cleaning chores on a regular basis.
When building your morning routine, give yourself 5 or 10 minutes to do a super-quick cleaning task every.single.day.
Choose a task that usually makes you feel dirty or sweaty and do it FAST. You already know that you’ll be getting fresh and clean during your morning shower, so you can’t make that excuse of, ‘I would start cleaning, but I don’t want to get sweaty.’
Plus you’re probably on a tight time schedule, so you’ll have to finish quickly to shower, dress, and get on with the rest of your day.
What cleaning tasks are best for this situation? Maybe it’s scrubbing the tub and shower, or dusting cobwebs from the corners of the ceilings, or changing your sheets, or cleaning the litterbox. I’m sure you can think of a cleaning task that you tend to put off because of the ‘ick and sweat’ factors.
2 – Use Music As Your Secret Cleaning Weapon
Music is so powerful that even if you feel negative about cleaning, switching on some music that you love can turn those feelings of reluctance into positivity.
Music is a great thing to utilize while you are cleaning. If you want to feel motivated, switch on your favorite song, turn it up loud, and just start. Music can also motivate you to clean in a more energetic way — which will help you finish more quickly!
You may even throw in a few dance moves while you are at it. The cleaning gets accomplished AND your mood improves every time you do laundry or decide to scrub the toilet. So… a win-win in my book.
3 – Feed Your Love (of Crossing Things Off Lists)
Keep track of what you’ve accomplished by marking off cleaning tasks on a list or calendar as they are completed. When you see that list getting shorter and shorter, it feels good!
Creating a cleaning schedule checklist can make the process much easier. Once you have your list, prioritize the cleaning tasks and create a routine that allows you to work from top to bottom on your list.
This gives you something concrete and specific to work with as you get going. Doing this will help get you in the right mindset for getting down to business!
You can make your own list or have this handy done-for-you printable daily/weekly checklist delivered right to your inbox.
4 – Start Super-Duper Small — Think Tiny
If you’re starting to clean your house and are feeling overwhelmed — or you can’t even begin because everything is a massive effort — try focusing on one tiny task, and tell yourself that’s the ONLY thing you have to do.
Start in the easiest task you can think of — sorting mail, emptying the dishwasher (and refilling/running it), cleaning a bathroom mirror, whatever is YOUR easy thing. This is a great way to get started without having to tackle your entire house at once.
Will it make a huge difference? Each task on its own probably won’t, but what will happen is that you’ll build motivation. Say you clean a bathroom mirror… well, it’s pretty easy to continue on to the sink and counter. Then you may even do the toilet. And then it could snowball.
But even if you only finish one tiny task, it still matters. Every time you can do a task, you’re putting yourself into the mindset that maybe cleaning isn’t so bad and you CAN do these things without too much commitment or exhaustion.
5 – ‘Trick’ Yourself Into Cleaning With New Stuff
New cleaning products or tools are fun ways to motivate yourself to clean. Trying out new items for your home can be a great way to shift the focus onto cleaning — and then maintaining a clean home by ‘disguising’ the work.
When I can’t get motivated to clean my house, you can be sure I’ll be checking out the cleaning products aisle at the store or watching a couple of YouTube videos to see what new products are available that might make the job easier and more fun.
Do you have to try EVERY new cleaning gadget that comes out? Of course not! But neither do you have to be the person who never moves on from scrubbing floors on your hands and knees because you refuse to buy a cool new mop or Swiffer-type system.
I mean, if you have the right type of home for a robot vacuum, just imagine how great it would be to cross that chore off your list without having to do anything more than empty your new BFF’s dirt canister.
Experimenting with and testing new products works especially well if you’re one of those types who feels like cleaning is boring or you can never clean things the way you want them done. There’s probably a product out there for you to try, and your inner neat freak will thank you. 😉
6 – Bribe Yourself
Okay, call it a reward. Whatever word you use, do something special for yourself after every cleaning task is completed. The promise of a great reward will keep you motivated to start — and finish — the job.
Make the reward fit the task AND your level of motivation.
Currently camped out on the couch in the middle of binge-watching your new favorite series? It’s going to take a really good reward to make you want to press ‘pause’ on the remote and go clean the bathroom or vacuum, isn’t it? Try the bribe, and see what happens.
Psychologically, making time to enjoy little pleasures we won’t indulge in otherwise, will increase our motivation to do anything else that needed doing around the home!
Reward yourself, but only after doing the dirty work first!
7 – Hire Some Cleaning Help
It might sound counter-intuitive, but hiring help to clean your house can help motivate YOU to get more done. Hiring someone serves two purposes:
- You get help and don’t have to do everything yourself
- You’ll be motivated to keep your place cleaner BEFORE the cleaning person comes
That might sound a little crazy, but it’s true! Who wants to let anyone see a complete disaster of a dirty house, right? Trust me, you’re going to end up regularly doing a lot of maintenance tasks that you never used to bother with.
Now, don’t immediately say ‘I can’t afford that.’ Yes, hiring someone to help with cleaning CAN be expensive. However, spending that money will force you to decide what cleaning tasks are most important. Even if you can only afford for someone to come in once a month, it will make a huge difference!
Plus, since you’re paying a cleaning specialist, you’ll want to get the most for your money. Scrubbing the tub and shower or mopping all of the hard floors may take more time and energy than you have, but you realize that you can fairly easily tidy up end tables and clean kitchen counters.
Work out a list of cleaning tasks for a cleaning service to handle that will bring the greatest benefits to you and your home, and I can almost guarantee you will start doing a lot of ‘little but important’ things between visits that are ‘easy’ but you used to let slide.
After all, you’re paying a good chunk of change for a clean home… you will want to keep it that way in between scheduled cleanings.
More Cleaning and Decluttering Inspiration
How to Get Kids to Clean Up Their Toys With a Family Helper Jar – Organizing Moms
My Favorite Cleaning Products
We may not have the same needs when it comes to cleaning products, and that’s okay! These are some of the products I love for my household of 3 adults, a cat, a dog, and a lot of dust.
I love Method daily wood floor cleaner for spot-cleaning my floors and wood trim. I also use Method multi-surface cleaner every day all over my kitchen. While you can buy these on Amazon, you may want to check your local store first to avoid having to deal with shipping liquids.
My wood floors need to be dusted quite often. I’ve found the quickest way is with a Swiffer and the heavy-duty dry pads that grab extra dust, dirt, and pet hair. These products also now come in a wider width to make the job even faster. Also, there’s nothing stopping you from using a regular cloth or DIY pad instead of the disposables.
I actually don’t care for the Swiffer wet pads. They tend to leave my wood floors dull and streaky. I’ve recently purchased an O’Cedar spin mop & bucket, so we’ll see how well that motivates me to actually mop a little more often. 😉
We have hard water. Even with a water softener, cleaning the tub and shower can be a challenge. I try to remember to use a daily shower spray, but that doesn’t always happen with three people on different schedules. When it’s time to clean ‘for real,’ I grab a regular old scrub brush and The Works shower cleaner or a 50/50 mix of Dawn & vinegar. I’m definitely looking for suggestions for an easier tub & shower cleaning method, so leave me a comment if you know of anything!
I also use printable cleaning checklists, planning pages, and flow charts from my Essential Cleaning Planner. I love having lists so I don’t have to think about what needs to be done next!
Getting Motivated To Clean
Life can be messy. It’s not always easy to stay on top of things or find your cleaning motivation, especially when you’re juggling a million other responsibilities.
As we’ve talked about here, one key is knowing your strengths and weaknesses so that you can work with them instead of against them. This will help make cleaning more manageable for overthinkers who struggle with procrastination or an inability to focus their energy where they need it most!
All of us have a different way we like to clean, from the supplies we use to how often we do it. Experiment to figure out what’s best for you personally. If you’re not sure where to start, try something new! Pick and choose from these tips until you’ve found something worth incorporating into your routine.
I hope these cleaning motivation tips have helped give some clarity into how you might break the cycle and get your home cleaned up — and keep it that way!
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