I don’t loathe cleaning, but sometimes I just don’t feel like doing it.
Actually, a lot of times.
I’d much prefer to bake something or declutter anything.
On the other hand, I really love a clean home. While for some people messy means comfortable, for me clean is cozy. Over the last 5+ years of keeping my own home, I’ve found four things that are particularly effective for motivating me to clean.
There’s a chance these won’t work for your personality type, and at the end of the day you’ll be just as unmotivated to scrub your tub. The risk is pretty small, though, and the potential payoff is tidy home you actually enjoyed cleaning!
How to Motivate Yourself to Clean:
1. Make one cleaning project part of your morning routine
The best way to ensure you clean something is to do it as soon as possible during the day. Grab 20 minutes before the house wakes up or immediately after breakfast to clean the bathroom, sweep the porch, or scrub out the kitchen sink–whatever is on your list for that day. Knocking out your cleaning first thing also makes you feel really productive, which is an awesome feeling to take with you into mid-morning.
2. Don’t clean alone
If you have a family, they should be helping with some portion of the cleaning. I’ve found that cleaning becomes a lot more fun (and we actually go “overtime”) when my husband and I clean together. We don’t work on the same task at once, but we divide and conquer what needs to be done, and have a good soundtrack playing to spur us on to victory.
3. Plan a reward in proportion to your cleaning project
Anticipating a treat to enjoy when you’re done cleaning is a good motivator! The more or longer you clean, the bigger or longer the reward. If you do a quick, 20-minute cleaning project, promise yourself just 5 minutes to fix a snack afterwards. If you clean for an hour or two, enjoy 20-30 minutes of downtime afterwards to read on the porch. If you engage in an all-day workday with your family, go out to eat afterwards or make sure the whole evening is relaxing and includes pizza.
4. Use cleaning products you specifically like
For a long time, I underestimated the importance of this. I think the smell of conventional cleaning products makes a lot of people hate cleaning. Usually when companies try to compensate for their chemical-laden cocktails by adding “fragrance” it just makes it even worse. You might enjoy cleaning more if you engage your senses in a positive way; make or buy a few multi-use cleaners that are naturally scented and won’t sting your eyes and skin! Find some scents you really enjoy and can actually look forward to using.
I recently added a few Caldrea products to my modest collection of natural cleaning supplies. They contain essential oils and other ingredients I’m happy with. While I love that basics like vinegar and baking soda are cheap, sometimes it’s fun to have something a little fancier, especially if you can get them for a good price.
I hope these tips will make cleaning more of a joy for you! Just remember, you are cultivating the environment of your home when you clean, making it a pleasant place where people (including you) will want to spend time!