How to feel motivated to clean your home
A lot of people ask us for tips on how to get motivated to clean. Even those of us who consider ourselves ďclean freaksĒ sometimes need help to find our cleaning motivation after a slump.
If youíve lost your cleaning mojo, hereís how to find motivation to clean house ó 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 itís 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 itís all we can do to survive the day. Finding cleaning motivation isnít even conceivable. At those times, cleaning house doesnít 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. Donít think about the rest of the house yet, and donít feel guilty that youíre not doing more. You are doing something and thatís 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, youíll get past any clutter blindness. Before long, having reclaimed an area and cared for it, you canít help but notice how the rest of the house looks. Soon, youíll 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 donít 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, itís time to start tending the rest of your house. Itís important to do this in small, manageable chunks.
Think youíre ready to tackle an entire room? Resist that temptation! Itís just too easy to get overwhelmed and give up ó 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, youíll be getting your house back under control, and that sense of control is the source of more motivation.
5. Get Validated.
Letís face it, we all feel ashamed when we lose our cleaning motivation. Shame makes us close up and keep to ourselves ó 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 isnít the type to recognize your efforts, telling a friend about your accomplishment can work.
Ready for more? Once youíre back into the swing of things, expand your cleaning efforts weekly until youíre covering the entire house. Donít 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. Itís 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. Donít 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.