Finding the motivation to clean your home can be like a chess match with your mind. Or perhaps a procrastination match. Either way, there’s strategy involved (whether you know it or not) for your next move or justification for putting things off. Then sometimes it comes right down to your feeling that you’ll be on the next episode of Hoarders if you don’t get motivated soon!
But once you get started, you often realize it really wasn’t as hard as you thought it would be. The biggest barrier was all in your mind. So we need to turn that strategic thinking around into getting things done instead of dragging your feet to the point where what would have been spot cleaning turns into an overwhelming whole house clean-up.
Change Your Thought Patterns
Instead of sinking into despair and negativity about what lies ahead, think about how great it feels when things are done. Instead of thinking about how no one else appreciates your efforts, start thinking about how you’re cleaning for yourself, your peace of mind, your own happiness, pride, and sanity. Once your space is clean, you feel productive, calm, less stressed, and organized. You will not be instantly flooded with embarrassment if that doorbell rings or rushed to get things done when someone’s coming over.
Take Before & After Pictures
Just for yourself, for next time, take pics as you clean. Then next time you’re feeling unmotivated, scroll through some to get you back into the right frame of mind. See how beautiful that dining room table is when it’s clear of the day to day clutter? Get moving!
Start Small & Easy
Choose something that’s in your line of sight (not a drawer or closet) and that’s super easy first. Like clearing the coffee table, watering the plants, or putting wayward shoes on the rack. Do a few smaller chores to get you started and in the motivated mood to keep going.
Keep a List of Everything You’ve Done
While you can certainly make to-do lists ahead of time, the best way to motivate your brain is to see what you have done. Write down every little thing you do and tick a box next to it or cross it off. Keep the notebook intact and don’t toss those lists! Keep adding to them. Imagine your motivation soaring as you turn the fifth page of things you’ve done to a clean, crisp, new sixth page just waiting to be added to.
Get in The Mood
Using some mood music usually works well. There are podcasts and audio books or even TV shows and movies you could play on your tablet as you move around your home that will give you just enough distraction to make time pass. If you only allow yourself to listen to a particular book or podcast while you clean, you should pick a really great one and use it as motivation to clean regularly so you can catch up.
You can also simmer something on the stove like lemon slices or spices you love. Check out concoctions online or simmer oranges, cloves, jasmine, or cinnamon to get you in a cozy cleaning mood. Likewise, perhaps you have a favorite tea that you’ll only allow yourself to sip while you clean. Or you will let yourself have a fizzy drink once everything is done for the day. Take a run to Starbucks for your favorite drink, but ONLY after you’ve finished your housecleaning to-do list.
Another trick is to buy a new cleaning product you’re jazzed about and upgrade your equipment. For instance, if you buy a product with a Wow! cleaning factor or an amazing scent, you’ll be happier to use it. And if your broom is just ho-hum or your duster isn’t doing the best job, go for broke and get something that comes with awesome reviews that you can get excited about.
Post Your Efforts Online
Don’t worry about what others think, just use this as motivation. If you announce that you’re going to declutter your bedroom today, you’ll be more motivated to get it done. And you’ll definitely get things done if you promise to post pics! Nothing says motivation like everyone online holding you accountable. Or think about starting an Instagram account just for your home so you can post pics of your progress and feel proud and extra motivated every day or every week.
Set a Timer
Whether you complete the chore or not, once that timer goes off, you have permission to walk away. But often you’ll stay to finish. The goal here is that you know this chore has an end. So, set it for 5, 10, 20 minutes – whatever you desire – and give it your best.
Let the Light In
It’s like waking up the house, and yourself, to get in the mood to clean. Not only does natural light reveal more so you can see your way to better cleaning and be more motivated to get it all done right then, but open blinds and windows can give you an energy boost too.
Get Dressed for It
If this works for you, get in the groove by putting on your cleaning gear. And we don’t mean the ripped pajamas you were already in. Wash your face, put your hair up, grab some comfy clothes you set aside for cleaning, and a good pair of walking shoes. Whatever works to tell your mind you’re serious about cleaning and you don’t have bare toes to stub or baggy clothes getting in the way while you work.
Phone a Friend
Find one of your friends to be an accountability partner where you talk on a headset while you (or both of you) cleans. Or use the cleaning time to catch up on phone calls you never find time for like calling your Grandma or a long-distance friend from high school. Use the time to catch up with someone special.
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