Saturday, February 16, 2013

6 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Clean

We're getting a puppy in two weeks. Two weeks! I want to bring her home already! I am the least patient person in the world... Anyway, having a puppy is going to demand us to keep our home in check. Puppies are a lot like toddlers; they'll eat everything in sight. I can just see her slurping away at my Mod Podge or happily chewing those heels I forgot to put back in the closet... And there's not only going to be the matter of keeping our stuff neatly put away, but the added cleaning that is needed due to loss of fur, paws bringing in mud and so on.

I'm the worst at motivating myself to clean, even though I loove organizing... Weird right?  But I've slowly discovered ways that help me, and I thought there might be others out there who would appreciate the same tips:

1. Never bribe yourself to clean.

"I'll just watch one episode of (insert favorite tv show here) and THEN I'll vacuum".

More often than not, that one episode will turn into two. Or three. Since keeping my home clean is important to me, this bribing behavior will just make me feel guilty in the long run. When I feel guilty (aka feeling something negative), I'm even less likely to do anything about it. Ultimately, the mess will just pile up. And I'll watch more tv shows

So, always reward yourself after cleaning instead; you'll enjoy your tv show/girls night/trip to the shops even more when you feel like you've overcome a great hurdle, and don't need to look at the mess anymore.

"First I'll vacuum, and then I'll get to plonk down on the couch!"

2. Start with just one item.

The hardest thing when getting to the dishes/cleaning your bathroom/organizing your closet etc is to start. So, just commit to one thing: washing the biggest dirty dish/scrubbing just the sink/stacking only your jeans. Once I start, and then see the one thing that's clean/sparkling/organized, I feel silly not to keep going. I'll just do this "one more thing"... you get the picture.

3. Make a cleaning playlist.

I think music can make forming a habit so much easier. I have a playlist filled with songs that get me moving, and I play it every time I need to get something done (think Eye of the Tiger moment!). So now it kind of feels like my mind is conditioned to be effective when I play it. "It's crunch time!"

I thought of this since I go to dance classes at my gym, and every time I hear songs from the class it feels like my muscles almost urge me to start doing the choreography. So it might even be good to have specific songs dedicated to specific tasks?

4. Make lists.

Okay, so I might be a bit obsessive when it comes to lists sometimes. I just have too many thoughts going on in my head and I often forget them, so lists are my way of keeping track of what needs to be done. But I feel so proud when I can check off things from the list, and even better when the whole list can be thrown away.

5. Put stuff away.

This is something we're working on. We should throw away all trash the second we "produce" it (the bag where the carrots were, the cap of a bottle, the wrapping of a postal package); these things seem small but when left unattended... And to put away things we don't use; the salt I took out of the cabinet while making dinner, the screwdriver Husband used to hang up a painting etc. It's difficult enough to just clean, and it's even worse if you need to clear everything away before you can even start.

6. Invite guests. Often.

There's nothing more effective than inviting people over. This gets both me and Husband in some weird "We can do it" kinda spirit, with vacuums and brooms going left and right. It doesn't feel as boring when doing it for a greater reason than "just because we should". And hey, the guests will be our reward!

How do you motivate yourself to clean?


  1. Nr 6 är nog den enda som verkligen fungerar på mig! Haha!