How to Get Motivated to Clean your House

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You’re tired.  

You have work to finish.  

You’ll do it tomorrow.  

It’s not that dirty.  

We’ve used every excuse in the book when we just.don’t.want.to.clean.  

But the actual cleaning part is not hard.  

It’s that first step into a cleaning mindset that’s always the hardest.  Just how do you find the motivation to clean? You might feel overwhelmed and not even know where to start.  It can be paralyzing.  

If you’re starting from a place of overwhelm, just take it one little task at a time.  One and done.  Then start again.  Before you know it – it won’t feel sooo overwhelming.  

Related: How to Clean your Oven Racks (the magic method).

Although I don’t always want to, I will be the first to admit that I love to clean.  I actually get a lot of joy out of straightening up and vacuuming.  Dusting? Meh.  Cleaning bathrooms? ugggghhh.  

How to Get Motivated to Clean your House

Today I’m sharing my favorite tips and tricks for helping you find that motivation, that spark, that whatever that needs to be lit so it’s easier to get up and do what needs to be done.  Clean!

Tip 1:  Set the mood 

Not that kind of mood.  Here’s what I mean.  

Turn on your favorite music. Or a podcast.  Or book on tape.   Even better, put in some AirPods and listen (it will drown out the vacuum).  Unless there is some reason for you NOT to wear headphones, maybe the baby is sleeping and you need to hear, you should totally try this.  

candle burning on top of books, with a lamp and a pothos plant in a terracotta planter.  On a console table

You can be completely transported while you’re cleaning.  You won’t even notice you’re cleaning!  

Here’s my current cleaning playlist for you to enjoy.  

You can also *get in that mindset* but lighting your favorite candle or diffusing your favorite essential oil.  Open a window if it’s not too cold or hot and let a little fresh air in.  

Make the cleaning process more of a meditative, peaceful experience.  

Not only is this a better experience, but it also helps you hyper-focus on the task at hand.  No distractions! 

Tip 2:  Buy some New Toys (cleaning toys, that is) 

Am I the only one that calls my new cleaning gadgets toys? They are just so fun! 

If you’re really in a rut, sometimes a shiny new cleaning gadget is just what you need. 

Case in point.  I recently got the Dyson Cordless stick vacuum over the holidays.  And I am so in love with it – ask me how many times I’m vacuuming these days? 

Here are some of my favorite cleaning tools right now:

Tip 3:  Set a Timer

A timer is a psychological hack that works.  If set your timer for 20 minutes – and your brain knows you set a timer for 20 minutes – suddenly cleaning doesn’t seem so bad.  There is an end of sight.  Tell yourself you can stop after the timer goes off.  Or don’t, if you’re feeling motivated to keep going.  

Tip 4:  Stick to a Routine

Life is just easier when we can follow a routine.  I think cleaning is no different.   

And guess what?  I made up a daily and weekly cleaning checklist for you to download free in this post.  Yay!  Print it out and follow along. 

I’m not going to tell you when you should clean because I think that’s a personal preference and what works for me might not work for you.  

I’ll tell you what I do, however.  

I tend to clean mid-morning.  That’s when I have the most energy, the light is good and it’s nice to relax in a clean home the rest of the day.  

Same with the dishwasher – I empty it in the morning, load it throughout the day, and run a cycle at night.  It’s just easier that way.  And easier on your electricity bill.

I also tend to clean in little pockets when it’s convenient.  I clean the bathroom before a shower/bath, I clean the kitchen and dishes while I’m cooking dinner, etc.  I grab my Swiffer Wet Jet when the kids and dog bring in the mud.  I clean during commercial breaks even!  

The weekends have turned into laundry days.  I’m home and around and it’s just easier to do it then. I try to fold laundry as soon as it’s finished drying.  It’s right off the kitchen so I can hear the beep and get to it. 

My clothes have changed completely with this little tip – no more wrinkles and clean clothes sitting around in baskets all week!  

When you find a routine and stick to it, you start to make a muscle memory.   You start doing it naturally without thinking.  And this is something I tell my kids all the time. 

 “Make a muscle memory!”

Tip 5:  Get some Help 

If you really hate to clean and it’s tough to fit it in your schedule, then consider hiring it out or enlisting the help of family members and friends.  

We all contribute to the mess, so we all contribute to the cleaning.  

I get it – easier said than done.  Especially when you have littles or tough schedules.  But it’s worth a thought.  I do understand that not everyone loves to clean.  If you can hire out or ask a family member to cover a few tasks off your list – that might mentally be the break you need.  

My kids are still young, but I have managed to give them a few chores.  Straightening up their rooms, making their beds, and putting away their clean clothes already takes a load off my to-do list.  And gives them some responsibility.  

Tip 6:  Make it Easy to Clean

I have a grab and go cleaning caddy at the ready.  Stash it under the sink or in the closet and you’ll have everything you need to start cleaning.  

This is my favorite cleaning caddy.  I always make sure to load it up with my DIY cleaners, microfiber cloths, rubber gloves, and a roll of paper towels.  It’s grab-and-go.  

cleaning caddy with cleaning supplies, spray bottles, and rags - how to get motivated to clean your house

If you can swing it, try to get a vacuum for both upstairs and downstairs so you’re not carrying it up and down every time.  

My favorite vacuums are the Shark Navigator and the Dyson Cordless. I used to have to unplug and replug my vacuum several times throughout the course of cleaning.  Now, I get at least 20 minutes of cleaning time right from the get-go.  No clunky plugs to deal with.  

I feel like a vacuum slinging cowgirl of the wild west with a quick draw.  Dyson has absolutely changed my life.  

Tip 7: Reward Yourself

Nothing wrong with a little bribe.  

After cleaning, you deserve that amazing dessert or that pedicure or something from your Amazon wishlist.  Go on and do it!  

You friggin’ deserve it!

Tip 8:  Forget Perfect.  

Life is not meant to be perfect.  It’s meant to be real.  

foyer with french door, red rug and wood bench.  There is a basket underneath the wood bench.

You’re doing great. 

Take some pressure off by allowing yourself to NOT be perfect.  It doesn’t need to look like a showroom. This is something I’m working on (and probably will be my whole life.)  Feel that little release of weight from your mind and body when you tell yourself to let go of perfect.  Feels good, doesn’t it?  

Xo Karen

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