Cleaning is not always fun and finding the motivation to keep up with it is so hard. Unless you’re truly a hyper-organized person with the energy and never-ending attention to cleaning that seems to be required, then you’re probably always feeling like you’re behind. We’re here for you! Hire us to help you get caught up and stay caught up, and use our tips, tricks, and lifehacks to help you make cleaning more manageable. Your to-do list of chores will be less procrastinated and feel slightly less painful.
Address Your Weaknesses
First things first, you should put yourself in check and acknowledge what your own weaknesses are because you are “the reason you can’t have nice things”. Joking aside, there’s truth to be had here. Do you leave your clean laundry in a crumpled pile on the couch? Do you not put your dirty clothes straight into the hamper but instead you leave them on the floor? Do you dump your mail on a side table until it’s sliding onto the floor? Do you not scrape and rinse or soak your dirty dishes immediately, so they sit and get stinky and crusty?
We all have flaws and there are little hacks and routines we can start to mitigate them. For instance, a simple organizer or box can hold your mail. A hamper in a better location for dirties or a small stool or chair you can drape dirty clothes on will suffice until you get better at keeping the clothes off the floor. Filling your sink half full of water always so your dishes slide in to soak is great and getting yourself into the routine of folding clothes while you stand at the dryer is a huge help too. You can figure out why your laundry space isn’t conducive to folding things as they come out of a warm dryer – like the temperature, space to fold, lurking spiders – and fix the issue.
Make a Chore List
Warning: The list may start out very long. The problem may be that you’ve let too many things slide, feel overwhelmed, and don’t know where to start. The good news is, there’s no right way or wrong way, but a list will surely help break up the home into manageable cleaning chunks and help you focus.
Start with a list for each room you plan to handle like Master Bedroom, Guest Bathroom, Laundry Room, Kitchen. And include one last list for Miscellaneous if needed. Then on each of those, start writing out every task that needs to be done. Make it as detailed as possible with small, manageable, actionable steps that will feel amazing when you cross them off. Dust light fixtures, wash the China, sweep the steps, vacuum the carpet, scrub the grout, etc.
Prepare Your Cleaning Stuff
In advance, make sure you have everything on hand that you will need for every chore. That way, if you happen to be unmotivated to get to that bathroom, but instead want to clean the home office, you’re ready with the right cloths, chemicals, and tools. Invest in a great cleaning caddy and make sure your dusters and brooms don’t need washing or replacement.
Keep Tasks Simple but Noticeable
You can always add more if you feel motivated and have the time and energy to keep going that day, but otherwise start small and don’t set yourself up for failure from the get-go. Don’t get pigeon-holed into feeling like you need to clean everything, because even a small dent looks great on paper and feels great for your mind. It’s never all or nothing, just do what you feel is manageable that day.
Start with one small, manageable task without overthinking it. It may provide the motivation you need to go bigger and the momentum to keep going. Be sure to mark every task off your list so you can see your progress.
Another trick is to choose a noticeable task. If it comes down to whether you should clean out a junk drawer or declutter the countertop, go for the counter. This provides an instant reward for your mind as it’s something you see as you walk through your space. Picking clothes up off the floor is much more rewarding than dusting a light fixture.
Try one task a day if it all seems insurmountable. If you’ve been doing nothing much for months, imagine what 6 or 7 small tasks in a week will give you. In a short time, you’ll see a huge difference and feel ready to tackle the rest.
Set a Timer or Playlist
We’ve talked about doing smaller tasks, but there are bigger ones ahead, so let’s make them more manageable too. For this, you should set a timer. 10 to 20 minutes should do it, your choice. It gives you an end goal, laser focus on the task at hand, and may even make you move a little faster! You’ll be happy to know you won’t be cleaning the pantry forever, you’ll only have to be in there for 15 minutes this time. An alternative to an alarm is to use a playlist of your favorite cleaning songs to stay focused and motivated. Either way, you have permission to stop cleaning at the end of the playlist or when the alarm sounds without guilt or frustration.
Have Someone Help You
Your partner or family really need to be involved in regular cleaning around the home. There are so many variables though, so this piece is focused on asking for outside help. Do you have a cousin that you enjoy seeing who owes you a favor? Having someone help will keep your momentum going for much longer than 20 minutes. Do you have great friend to sip mimosas with while you clean the spare room together? Trust us, getting a second opinion on things will help you get stuff tossed or packed for donation instead of hoarded. Is there a trusted neighborhood teen that wants an extra $25 so you can cut your cleaning time in half? And of course, there’s always hiring us here at Tidy Maids!
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