How To Motivate Yourself To Clean
A lot of people ask us for tips on how to get motivated to clean. Even those of us who consider ourselves “clean freaks” sometimes need help to find our cleaning motivation after a slump.
If you’ve lost your cleaning mojo, here’s how to find motivation to clean house — no matter how out of control your home feels.
Why We Lose Motivation to Clean House
Sometimes, we lose our motivation to clean house for predictable reasons. Life gets busy with school or work, for instance, and we have a temporary shift in our priorities. Once it’s over, though, we sometimes need help shifting priorities back to our homes.
There are other times when the cause is out of our control. Depression or illness strikes, and it’s all we can do to survive the day. Finding cleaning motivation isn’t even conceivable. At those times, cleaning house doesn’t seem worth the effort. We are grappling with more important, life-altering things. Honestly, that is okay!
How to motivate yourself to clean
1. Start Small. No, Smaller than That.
Start with one surface. Not one floor of the house, not one room of it, not even an entire closet or one cupboard. Start with one surface. Don’t think about the rest of the house yet, and don’t feel guilty that you’re not doing more. You are doing something and that’s the first step.
2. Commit to One Spot for Three Days.
Focus your efforts on that one surface. Clear it off. Polish it. Treat any nicks, scratches, or stains. Make a point to clean it every morning and again before bed.
By picking one surface, you’ll get past any clutter blindness. Before long, having reclaimed an area and cared for it, you can’t help but notice how the rest of the house looks. Soon, you’ll start feeling motivated to clean it, too.
3. Now, Reward Yourself.
You committed to cleaning an area, and you kept it clean on a schedule. You deserve recognition for your effort! Maybe don’t go out and buy a new car, or even a new outfit, but plan indulgence. Rewarding yourself for positive efforts tells your brain those efforts are worth continuing.
4. Expand Your Focus.
Once you regain that sense of accomplishment, it’s time to start tending the rest of your house. It’s important to do this in small, manageable chunks.
Think you’re ready to tackle an entire room? Resist that temptation! It’s just too easy to get overwhelmed and give up — and that would start the whole cycle again. Instead, set a timer for 10 minutes and spend them cleaning in an all-out effort.
Feeling more confident now? Repeat that same all-out 10-minute effort in various rooms for a few days, then start working for 20-minutes at a time. By the end the week, you’ll be getting your house back under control, and that sense of control is the source of more motivation.
5. Get Validated.
Let’s face it, we all feel ashamed when we lose our cleaning motivation. Shame makes us close up and keep to ourselves — we stop inviting friends to visit or discussing with anyone how the mess is overwhelming us.
The antidote to shame is validation.
Remember when you were a kid? Back then, validation came through gold stars, Brownie points, or praise from our parents. As adults, we must seek it out ourselves. If your spouse isn’t the type to recognize your efforts, telling a friend about your accomplishment can work.
Ready for more? Once you’re back into the swing of things, expand your cleaning efforts weekly until you’re covering the entire house. Don’t panic if it takes a while the first time!
If you need to, work in 10 and 20-minute bursts broken up with rewards and validation. It’s okay to go at your own pace, just keep going.
7. Note the Time.
The more consistent you are about cleaning on a weekly basis, the less time it will take. Don’t believe us? Time yourself the first time you work in a room, then time yourself again a week later and compare your results.
Timing yourself overcomes the fear that cleaning will take forever.
Credit to House Wives how-tos and published by PropertyePortal Editorial Team.