How To Get Motivated To Clean

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Cleaning Headspace! (Uh, what’s that?)

A while back, we made a video about cleaning your roomand in that video I said that you shouldn’t even attempt to clean if you are not in the right headspace.

Since then, many of you have asked what exactly I meant by that, and many others have asked how one gets into the right headspace.

Keep in mind, we all have different things that motivate us. But I wanted to share my favorite tips that I use to get myself motivated. Please share in the comments what you do!

How to get motivated to clean:

Clean in the Morning

I read somewhere that if you put the most daunting task of your day at the beginning of your day, it’ll get done quicker. The best part? You get to go through the rest of your day with a wonderful sense of accomplishment.

 Set a Schedule—and Stick to It.

Things that get scheduled have a better chance of getting done. Schedule yourself an hour each week that you dedicate to cleaning. For me, it’s usually Sunday morning at 10:00. This way, I never have to worry about when I will get around to cleaning. If it helps, you can even make a detailed list about what you want to accomplish during your hour. Once Sunday rolls around, and I’ve cleaned for an hour, I can keep going if I feel like it—but if not, I’ve done my time!

Prepare your Stuff

Have all of your tools and products in one spot and make sure you everything’s ready for action: Cleaning cloths clean, product bottles full. As I’ve mentioned in several videos, a cleaning caddy is a super-handy addition.

Have A Routine

A great way to effectively use your time while cleaning is to have a routine—a list of cleaning tasks that you will follow to help you stay on track. Think of it as a Google map for your cleaning—it’ll help you get where you need to be in a quick, efficient manner! You might also find it helpful to do a little research beforehand to learn some techniques for cleaning an item that you have questions about. That way, you will reduce frustration during your cleaning. Along with all of the videos that we have on our Youtube channel, we have tons of terrific posts on our blog, as well as handy printables!

First Thing First (You’ve Got to Start Somewhere)

Have you ever noticed that when you finally get around to doing something that you’ve put off for a long time, that it isn’t really as hard as you thought it would be? The biggest barrier to cleaning your home is getting started—everything after that is pretty straightforward. It’s kind of like going to the gym. Getting into that headspace to even put on your gym clothes and go can be tough, but once you are there, you’re pumping iron like it’s no one’s business.

Avoid Distractions

These days we have more distractions than ever. While checking your text messages might only take you 10 seconds, it takes you away from your cleaning just long enough to completely lose focus. So now, you have to go through the re-starting process all over again. To avoid temptation, turn off your cell phone, TV, laptop, tablet etc. This is your time to care for your home. I like doing this—you might find you do too. It’s nice to take a break from these distractions.

Whistle While You Work

The Seven Dwarves had it right. A little music can go a long way. Play your favorite tunes while you tend to your cleaning, and turn it into a dance party. We’ve actually created 3 Songza playlists for you to clean to, with one for the seventies, eighties and nineties. Enjoy!

Don’t be Perfect

Remember, you are not trying to prepare for a visit from the Queen (or Will and Kate, which arguably would be more exciting). You’re trying to take an hour each week and clean as much as possible—without spending too much time in one particular place. Don’t get caught up for 20 minutes treating one carpet stain when you can spend that time vacuuming, making beds, and clearing clutter from the living room. We’re looking for more bang for your buck! Frustrating yourself over one small thing can lead to losing interest in the whole process—and that’s what we want to avoid!

Have Someone Help You

I’ve heard it all before: ”I’ll never be able to get my kids to help me clean.” Or, “My partner doesn’t have time to help me.” Maybe that’s true, or maybe you’re just telling yourself that’s true. Maybe it’s time to re-examine how cleaning gets done at home, because everyone who is able does need to contribute. Having just one other person help you clean cuts cleaning time in half!

Reward Yourself

All too often, we accomplish things and never give ourselves the much needed pat-on-the-back that we deserve. When you’re finished, it’s a perfect time to reward yourself by going out for lunch (eggs Benedict anyone?), or spending some time watching a movie—maybe even pouring yourself a cocktail or glass of wine to unwind in your tidy living room! Whatever it is, it’s an important part of the process, because next week, when cleaning time rolls around again, you’ll remember that a reward is waiting for you when it’s over, yet again.

Remind Yourself Why You’re Doing It

I often hear from our viewers that they hate cleaning because no one appreciates the work that they have done. Here’s the thing: You do it for yourself. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks or does. You are cleaning the house for your own peace of mind, pride of ownership, and sanity. It’s about that moment when someone happens to stop by unexpectedly: you get to say, “Come on in!” as opposed to, “OMG I am so sorry, the place is a mess!” Reframe the task—instead of saying, “Sigh, I have to clean my house today,” think about standing in your clean home 1 hour later and saying, “I cleaned my house today!” Be proud of your work. You’re doing this to create a better space for YOU.

And finally, think of all the positives that come from cleaning. It’s been proven time and time again that a clean home leads to a happier life. Therefore, the process of cleaning is actually the process of building a more contented life—and trust me on this one, it’s MUCH easier to enjoy your time in ANY space, be it a living space or even your workspace, when it’s a clean space!

Please share your cleaning motivation ideas with me and those reading this post—I think everyone can benefit from it! Happy cleaning. 🙂

PINTEREST-MOTIVATION

Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.

91 COMMENTS

  1. I have too much stuff! Getting rid of the stuff is my issue. I’ve hired someone to clean the house but I need to clean out the closets where I hide the stuff when they come. I need the people from that old show, “Clean House”.

  2. I’d rather read than clean, my problem. Who’s with me and holding me accountable right now? I know anybody reading this would cheer me on and say put down your device and go clean that pile in the corner! I’m going to do it. For all the wonderful people that I’ve read about that have trouble cleaning too. It’s just too big for my own brain. All of your comments have helped me. I swear to you in the next 15 minutes I’m going to clean up that dopey pile!

  3. I needed motivation to clean, and while grasping at the straws of procrastination I googled it and found this article. Even having an old boyfriend coming to town wasn’t getting me off my a**. But I read this, and I feel so much better about doing it. I’m disabled, live by myself, and I don’t get many visitors. But what you say is absolutely true–I clean for me, not for anybody else–it’s all about the feeling you have afterward. I was just putting the cart before the horse. Now, if you’ll excuse me…

  4. I find that buying some new cleaning products, or even just a new air freshener or something, really helps get me motivated. Seems silly, but there it is.

  5. I find myself just rearranging the clutter and not actually cleaning.The task shouldnt be a negative. I took your advice to get into the right mind set. Before and trying to motivate myself I would think “My husband works his butt off all day the least I could do is clean and try and stay busy.” Needless to say that rarely worked to get off my butt. It actually made me feel guilty and depressed. Staying positive and actually figuring out what is the hold up. I took the time to assess what needed to change and where. For example, I took the cleaning task as a circle (I call it the ring of clean). Let’s think of laundry. The order of the ring clockwise for me is: sort,wash,dry,fold,put-away. Next step is to identify where that ring is broken. My broken spot was the put away. Knowing that, I was able to specifically work harder during that step.At first I felt a little stupid that I had no issue with the first 4 steps except the last and probably most gratify step. Your tip of it doesnt have to be perfect was helpful in getting the motivator to qork on that step. Getting started on the cleaning task was huge for me. Another motivator is thinking that I don’t want my child to have the same issues as an adult. My feeling and habit is the exact same thing as my mother. Example was set. And the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.Good luck everyone who has a house to clean. Assess your ring of clean. You might surprise yourself. Another fun thing I found out was that my husband and his ring of clean is broken aswell. However,his favorite part is the put away. So getting a person to help has worked cause I don’t mind the first steps and I hate the final one of put away. So I do most all and he does the last step. It works out perfectly.

    • Thank you for sharing your story, Sharon! We all have our hangups when it comes to cleaning, but the important thing is we don’t give up 🙂

    • @Sharon Lee, the ring of clean is awesome, thank you!!! It completely made the light bulb go on for me. Laundry is the exact same for me.
      I realized all the tasks I struggle with aren’t actually the task as a whole I loathe but i avoid a step so it’s always a problem. With some creativity it all seems fixable now, thanks again.

  6. Bro I was going to clean my room before I started thinking about the times I actually WANT to clean my room and how i wasn’t bored. I looked up this website and got distracted doing this. Otherwise, this website helped and gave me good tips

  7. Your great tips are helpful to many, but there are people who have ADHD who need other tips, so here are a few (and some of these may be good ideas for others, too):

    1. Use a timer.
    A simple kitchen timer, or one on your phone, can help you stay focused and ensure that you won’t get “lost” in your task. When your time is up, you can always re-assess and set it again if you wish.

    2. Break your cleaning time down into smaller segments that allow for quick breaks.
    The Pomodoro Technique uses this method, and it’s a good one: break down your allotted cleaning time into smaller bits, based on your optimal unit of attention and energy. For example, if you prefer to work in 30-minute segments, set your timer for 25 minutes, then allow a five-minute break (to drink water, to sit for a minute, whatever). Then set the timer for 25 minutes again, and so on until the full time has been reached. Your cleaning segments can be very short — five or ten minutes — or as long as you want. Just don’t allow yourself to go off task during the breaks; keep them short to stay focused.

    3. Use distraction!
    For many folks with ADHD, keeping a TV or other media on in the background is actually helpful. As long as it’s something that doesn’t keep you from cleaning. This is because the ADHD brain craves stimulation, and cleaning rarely provides it for long. Music is certainly a good accompaniment (as suggested in the blog post), but a good YouTube talk — not something you need to watch, but something that keeps your “monkey mind” occupied while you clean — can be an excellent adjunct to cleaning.

    4. Use a “body double.”
    This is similar to distraction, above, but with a twist: use a live person, either in person or on the phone. Have a friend come by, but not to work with you (necessarily). Or make a phone date with a friend to just talk about anything (although not “deep” conversation) while you clean. It’s amazing how much this can help an ADHD-er get stuff done. Taking the brain’s focus off the cleaning task (and on to something much more engaging) while physically doing the task works for many people. I have ADHD, and arranged with another ADHD-er to have a one-hour phone call (we used speaker phones or headsets to keep our hands free) so that we could both talk while we work. She cleaned her kitchen while I hung up clothes. We both got so much done and had a “visit” at the same time. Awesome.

    5. Take a moment to enjoy the results.
    Allowing the pleasure of having a clean environment to sink in, and feeling good about your accomplishment — even if you just clear off part of a surface, or get some clothes put away — helps build your brain’s ability to connect to that pleasurable feeling the next time you decide to clean.

    6. Take “before and after” photos.
    This is something decluttering professionals do. Often, especially with ADHD, we literally don’t *see* clutter or dirt. Our brains adjust to it until something calls attention to it — often, embarrassment in front of friends or family. When you take a photo, you actually see the clutter differently. Then, when you’ve done some cleaning, take a photo of the result. You can be so proud! Having the photos also helps you stay motivated to maintain a clear and clean spot.

    • This is fabulous! Thank you! I have learned that my messy surroundings are not because I don’t like things clean or am a bad house keeper, I am just highly ADHD and don’t see it! My brain is usually on to the next thing! Thanks for your comment and tips!

    • I loved your comments Hungry Minds. Im totally ADD X-FILES LEVEL!! UGH!! I dont notice the obvious clutter and disorder until I have to see it from a 3 person perspective… I love the photo idea. Take a quick pick of a spot in your environment, take a look and sit for 5 min with it. Then ask yourself what that same photo would look like with just 15 min of dedicated time. Take another photo after 15 min… if it takes more time and photos… just proceed. If you give up, wait a few days and notice that you’re back to square one instead of accomplishment… I have even printed out these photos and placed them near where my known Clutter traps are. Being overwhelmed is classic ADD. I know logically that if you can just START…the rest is easier than it seems. Its always that first photo that helps me identify the START.
      Peace, Love, and Happiness!
      T.

    • I used to be married to a man like that. Cleaning became soooo much more rewarding when I stopped caring what he thought and only cleaned it for my own gratification. In my case, I divorced him, in your case it could just be as simple as, “Hey, you want it done your way, you better do it yourself.”

  8. Thanks for this article. It allowed me to pinpoint that my motivational problem is that i dont get any satisfaction or pride from a the finished job. So its pointless. From now i am giving my self 2 hours on a sunday morning, and instead of paying a cleaner that has never worked out in past, i am going to pay myself the same amount and have a weekly treat with it. Also love the pick up party idea, except mine will need to be a disco as older kids!! 😂

    • Yeah I absolutely hate it too but there is no such thing as a child refusing. The may try but not accomplish. If so they will always look for you to do everything for them. Imy not saying I know more about it and actually I probably don’t as I am a young mother. Mother of 5 actually. I’m sure 28 then I have a 13 yr old daughter 12 yr old nephew (I raise) 12 yr old daughter 9 yr old son and 4 yr old daughter who I might add is like a bull in a China shop. Anyways like I said I hate cleaning and it was more of a task to make them pick up thier mess than it was to actually clean the house. The hardest part was doing my part but also staying on top of them to make sure they didn’t disappear on me and did thier stuff. One day I watched my husband as he cleaned. He was making it fun for the. He was cleaning but he had a Lazer light in his hand. As he did his part he would see something they needed to do and would say Ex: “Maria pick up that drink bottle and take it to the trash.” As he pinned to it with the light. “Mike grab that shoe and that shoe and take it to whoever it belongs to room.” So he directed them without leaving his task. And when he was done he sat down and continued to point and direct until they finished. It kept them on thier toes and motivated as well. Was kind of like a game. The problem with children is they have to be told every little move to make or they are so easily distracted. I know this method may sound weird but I use it to this day. May work for you may not. BUT do find something that works. You are your daughters mother. Not her friend and definitely not her MAIR! GOOD LUCK HUN!!!

  9. Thank you Alisha duVall!!! I have a full house of teenagers and I’m going have to try the 10 minutes pick up party!! 😀

  10. Cleaning in the morning thing doesn’t work for me. Most of the times, I delay waking up because I know I need to do that “Big” task right when I wake up. It’s too complicated to make your mind work.
    Let’s be honest. Cleaning tasks are not that big. Our procrastination problem is the big one. I totally agree with all other points you have mentioned. I think they’re great to start. Fingers crossed. I hope I will stick to them.

  11. If I could just finally get that one junk room cleaned out…I keep looking in, and then pulling the door closed in despair. I have determined to work on that room for thirty minutes, by an egg timer, per day until things look better. Maybe it won’t be perfect but that’s okay…you said. 🙂

  12. I HATE cleaning. My kids are SOOO messy. BUT- I have recently come up with what I call, the ’10 minute Pick-up Party’! Out of nowhere, I turn off the tv, and set the timer on the microwave and I tell the kids (ages 14, 12, & 10),’Pick-up party time! Ok, hurry, let’s see how much we can get done in 10 minutes! And I’ll get a treat from the store!” It seems to be like a game, and I was surprised when it worked! About every other minute I yell out, “Hurry, only 6 minutes left! ,hurry!” (whatever the timer says). They also are warned before we start, that if they aren’t participating or moving briskly, ‘party’ is over and we just clean for a half hour (or more). Now, the house doesn’t get spotless by any means, but, I can walk thru it again. It at least motivates me to keep cleaning after they have stopped. It gets some adrenaline going. I wouldn’t recommend over using it. Everyone does help with dishes, or cooking, or laundry during the week, but, I use this method when it’s starting to look like an avalanche came thru the house. Hope this helps someone with TOO many kids, like me! Haha.

  13. Hi, Sandhya here from Bengaluru, India. I liked the morning routine of making the bed. I have a before bed routine, that is I clean the kitchen spic and span every night. My kitchen will be ready to welcome any member of my family in the morning.

  14. Wow, I’m off to clean my bedroom, which has become out off hand, its harder than ever to get motivated, I have only had older homes, but they were clean, spotless, and always welcoming, my children have grown up and I don’t have what it was that drove me to want it clean for my self. Its a mind set, and you have given me alot to think about, thank you Melissa

  15. My problem is I hate to clean and if I’m not on my ADHD meds I find its hard to stay forces long enough to get something done .. How can fix this and actually stay forces

  16. When I am in a cleaning mode, I lové listening to CBC radio. As I am working away and feeling good about it, I am at the same time connected to the other real world.

  17. Fun! Here I was about to drag myself around cleaning this evening….and now you’ve just given me an excuse to put it off till tomorrow am! Prob now I should look for a video on finding the motivation to get out of bed early enough to clean before work. Anyway, glad I found your blog, Carry on!

  18. I’m so happy I found your page, all your ideas are really good, I feel motivated from just reading these 11 steps, I look forward to the morning when I’ll start cleaning , thank you.

  19. I guess I’m lucky ’cause once I start, I don’t stop. My biggest struggle is getting started, hence why I felt the need to search for motivation. So thanks for that (:

  20. I have a 6 month old and it feels like every spare second I have is spent cleaning but for some reason I can never get on top of it. I’ve tried splitting my routine into one room a day but there’s always something that stops it from happening. My house is a mess and I’ve been struggling since the day we came home from hospital. No one will help or even watch my bubba for the day so I can get it done. How do other single mums do it?

    • You can’t think about how much is left, so what you can. I am a single working mom of two, a 4 yr old and 2 yr old. When my 4 yr old was an infant, the laundry was always piled up and eventually made cleaning my Zen place. I would zone out to light music and clean during a nap time and slept better when I could because I did not have a “chore” having over my head. I thought of the fun I would have with him on a clean floor or without the cleaning distractions. It took time, but forgive yourself of the imperfections and just do what you can.

    • Have your kids help u . Since my baby came home from hospital i would clean while she was sleeping then as she could hold her head up i have had her in one of those baby carriers you put on your chest.. Only i put it on my back so i can reach the sink and such. Just dont bend over lo

    • When you have little kids in your house is difficult to keep it clean and organzined. I am single working mom of 4yrs old and it was a completely mess when he was younger. Now it is easy to keep it clean and organized because he is older. But still… is a mess sometimes because that’s normal when you have kids. When he was a baby I felt overwhelmed until one of my friends told me to relax, because it’s very difficult to have everything clean and organized when you have a baby. I recommend you to sleep and relax as much as you can because it’s very exhausting when you are a single parent. It’s better to be rested and a happy parent to take care of your baby than having an impeccable home with a grumpy mom. Relax, babies grow up so fast, enjoy this moment, you will have time to clean your house later. Enjoy parenting! 🙂

    • We stomp around with a sad face, drinking wine. Cleaning is my most hated activity. Sounds your little one is too young to get it, so I’d say throw on some old gangster rap. Not sure why, but that shit is motivation! Need to clean, gangster rap. Need to fold laundry, gangster rap. Need to stab someone….clearly u need gangster rap! Lol

  21. I struggle with motivation to clean I have to do 4 to 5 hours a day in my large home and if I’m sick or busy and miss a day I struggle to keep up, my son is autistic and leaves a whirlwind of mess everywhere he goes, I’m jealous of people that only have to do an hour, if only haha thanks for these ideas I’m going to get to work straight away 🙂

    • I agree with you Kathy. I have a large home and two girls that are fifteen months apart. They are now teenagers and don’t help me with chores. Only every once and awhile. I have not had them diagnosed but I do think they have some kind of Autism. At this point in my life I’m struggling with motivation, because I feel like I’m the only one doing the cleaning! I do love this site and it has helped me get through some of my cleaning routines. I also really love the flylady. You should check her out.

  22. I have recently retired from a job where I worked long hours for eight plus years. Unfortunately, not only am I much less energetic, but my house has suffered severely. My husband is a goer, so any time off work, he loves to do recreational things, like camping. Long story short, my house needs massive cleaning, and I can’t seem to get motivated. I also need to get rid of a lot of clutter. I never considered myself a hoarder, but lately, my family has been hinting to me that I am. I’m going to try your ideas. They seem very sensible. Wish me luck. I desperately need it.

    • I understand. I went through everything, cleared out two rooms of stuff and reorganised and clean the whole house. It was a full time job, now it’s really easy as everything has tidy homes and it’s actually takes 15-30 mins and we I don’t tidy it’s still pretty tidy because nothing’s really out of place in the 1st place.

      I started with the wardrobes, laundry cupboards ect and did a serious tidy. I needed to create as much space as possible. I focused on one room at a time and found homes for all stuff I actually wanted to keep. I created specific areas, travel items, arts, liquor and created display areas for my partners collectables. He arranged of them of course. It took some arguing but eventually he was on my side and motivated to declutter too.

      Looking at houzz and reading articles about how wonderful it was to declutter and live the minimalist lifestyle ready helped. I would finish each room with decor (often found around the house) as a treat but was careful and may even buy a new item. But I was careful not to buy too much and undo all my work!

      I’m sorry this is a long post but hope it helps. I remember feeling so overwhelmed and even crying because I couldn’t stand it. It’s a full time job for a month and then it’s sooooooooo nice!

  23. I like to way you put things, it seems so hard sometimes to get motivated to clean, but when you get started everything you are trying to accomplish just falls into place.Now me being a guy, i love a clean home, to me a clean home is a Happy home, i love that feeling, the “Look At What I’ve Done” feeling for me the motivation is to start with the least of the clutterd rooms of the house, it get’s me started, i have three kids, so for those of you that have kids, you know that those kids will most likley come in behind you, and start making those little messes, well i’m still working on that, but it will show them in the long run that if daddy can do it, so can i, and maybe they will, maaybe they won’t, but for your video, it really does help, i try to view it as much as i can to get new idea’s, thanks for your motivating tips.

  24. When I get something new wether it is something big like a new recliner or something as small as a candle it motivates me to clean. Sometimes I wait all week long to clean on a fr or sat because I go to yards sales and buy things that used but New to me. This gets me motivated. Like getting a yard sale table cloth it changes everything plus I’m rewarding myself. By buying something old or New big or small it always motivates me…. I enjoyed your blogg.

  25. My mom gave me a good tip – think of cleaning as taking care of your belongings! If you love your clothes, take pleasure in caring for them (In my case, hanging them up instead of throwing them in a ball on the floor!). Super hardcore rap playing in the background helps too haha
    xxlc

  26. I have A.D.D. (Medically diagnosed by a doctor, not a term I throw around lightly, but I digress) and I find that the best way for me to get motivated is to get up and get dressed. Even if I get to stay home and not leave the house for once, If I know I have stuff to do, I get up and get dressed as if I am leaving. I try to not be so dependent on my medication so little things like this really help me on the weekends.

    Sometimes, even if I do take my meds, I will find myself stuck on the couch in my pajamas watching tv and playing on my phone. next thing I know, its almost 4:00 and I’ve wasted my day. If I wake up with a plan of action, it really helps me to not get distracted so easily.

    Also, Making a list helps me to function as well! even though I know that the dishes and clothes need to be washed and the floors need to be swept and so on, It helps me to stay on task. I also find the lists helpful when I am feeling particularly spacey or lazy. Instead of procrastinating my cleaning by watching tv or whatever else, I use the list to procrastinate (if that makes sense). I say well, “I don’t feel like tackling this big pile of clothes, so let me skip to number three on my list.” It helps to get the work done, even if its not how I planned.

    Great list! for something that some would think is so simple, It really does make a difference to people like me!!! Thanks a lot!

    • Thank you so much for your tips! I also have ADD, and I HATE when people stupidly joke, “OMG I’m SO ADD! Look a squirrel!” >:( Also, I second Melissa that if kids don’t learn to clean from their parents how to clean, it carries on later in life. I’m one of those kids.

  27. Also! Set a timer and do little tasks at a time! It s amazing how much quicker you can get things done when yr racing the clock… And it feels more like a game! 🙂

  28. Great vid! Thankyou! I also think that on those days when it s really hard to decide what to do out of a whole load of urgent things in a limited time, housework before the family comes home or get those parcels wrapped up to go before the last post etc etc… Sometimes just saying ’10mins cleaning, then the parcel and whatever time i have left I can choose to carry on cleaning or send 3 emails… Or whatever!’ That way you don t feel utterly rotten that you haven’t done ANY housework or that you have ONLY done housework, you can do the best with what time you have and get a sense of achievement.

  29. Thankyou for the insight of positive cleaning because I was growing up with the feelings of why bother cleaning the bedroom when other family members didn’t. Other family members of mine got away with stuffing things where they weren’t suppose to go but my mother had looked all over my room just in case I had stuffed things where they weren’t suppose to go to later put them away. I hated the fact that my siblings got away with things but I couldn’t it really had annoyed me that’s why I don’t really feel like cleaning because of being afraid of being picked on & no motivation except when I choose to clean. As my parents (mother) would say – please do it for me & that’s what’s stuck in my head but why should I then I just learnt to accept it while growing up. Now it’s affected my life as a grown woman with a small family but I’m trying to turn the tables around to make things better for myself & my family.

  30. HELP! I currently work 6 days a week. My “husband” is at home with our girls, one of which is school age the other is 3. My house looks like that of a horder. I am so ashamed of myself that I am crying as I write this. I don’t know what to do. My husband refuses to do anything but look after his own mess and blames me, saying that it’s my house not his and its not his mess to clean up. Has anyone else encountered this kind of thing? I am at my wits end with everything. I had a house inspection today, which I was unaware of. Now I have a couple of days in which to get the bomb site cleaned up before they return. I was thinking of just chucking everthing that is on the floor out. then chuking out anything that we no longer use or have not used for 6 months.
    Please help me, I am not a very good house keeper

    • I feel for your situation. I kept going to auctions and filled up my space with so much stuff that I could barely get around.

      I also hated cleaning, doing dishes and organizing recycling and garbage.

      All this in a very tiny dark basement one bedroom apartment. I became so overwhelmed and depressed that I just curled up on the sofa and slept my life away.

      Finally I hired an organizer/cleaner to get me sorted out and it was the best thing I ever did.

      We threw out over 50 bags of stuff, donated stuff and trust me, this part was most difficult.

      I had become a hoarder.

      Two months later I moved to a brighter and bigger space and all the furniture I had left fit in and left lots of empty floor space. It was great.

      I then hired a house cleaner to clean the heavy stuff twice a month and even though I struggle with cleaning I do my best to keep up to what I can.

      Hire a cleaning person to help you. Toss out anything you truly don’t need or use and you will be well ahead.

      Talk calmly with your man and tell him how his apathy makes you feel. Don’t nag or threaten. Just talk.

      Good luck. Linda

  31. THANK YOU! # 11 especially helped since I am a wife and stay at home mom of 4. I always feel like nobody really cares or appreciates what I am doing, but I can do this one thing to make my already pretty great life a lot better.

  32. Loved this article. For me, I found taking a picture of a messy room motivates me to clean it up so I can have a before and after picture for comparison. The “after” photo will boost your confidence because u can see the dramatic affect. Note: the “before” photo might cause you to feel embarrassed and ashamed. But use those feelings to motivate you to clean up.

  33. If I ask anyone in my family to help me clean, they always say: “it’s your room clean it yourself,” and I’m not always able to stay focused on my own

    • Well if it is just YOUR room you’re cleaning then they are right. As for other rooms in the house, they should partake.

  34. When I have an unusually nasty mess (like the kitchen after cooking up a storm), I make myself a list in my head of all the reasons I should get it cleaned up right now. It’s pretty easy to come up with ten good reasons (it will get smelly, the longer I wait to clean the harder I have to scrub, it could attract bugs, it won’t be hanging over my head, I can start with a fresh kitchen tomorrow without having to clean it first, it would be embarrassing if my friends saw this, anything I would rather be doing will be more enjoyable in a clean home, I’ll feel accomplished, if I leave this mess I run the risk of the dog jumping up to lick plates). The more I think about it, the less I feel like UGHHH and the more I feel like I might as well just get it done.

    I’m also motivated by guilt/embarrassment, so sometimes I’ll intentionally invite someone to come over in a few hours or say tomorrow night, and knowing that I want them to see the clean version of my house motivates me to get to scrubbing.

  35. I sometimes have a really hard time motivating myself to clean so I’ll set up a cleaning “circuit.” I’ll clean in one room for ten minutes (or do 10 or 20 things to clean) and then play a game of Candy Crush. Then I’ll do another ten minutes either in the same room or in another room, and play another game. The short bursts of cleaning keep me 100% focused on that task because I know I only have so much time and the short breaks of a game keep me from getting bored or thinking negatively. I also have music blaring that I love to sing to. Sometimes I’ll do a certain task between games, like wash one sink’s worth of dishes, or clean the toilet or fold one load of clothes. Speaking of clothes, I like to let them pile up so I can watch a tv show or movie while folding.

  36. I live alone. I am disabled in my back, hip, neck, and knee. I am quite lonely, because I am ashamed to have someone see the mess in my home. I don’t have a lot of money..but have lots of cleaning supplies. How do I get this work done, without hurting myself, and be able to have friends again? And what do you think of the hurricane spin mop? Was wondering if I should buy it.

    • you suffer from chronic pain, chronic pain suffers tend to do as much as poss on “”good days resulting in another “bad day”. Only clean or tidy in small amounts at a time, only do the time/amount you can manage on a bad day even if your pain is less. so say for example on a bad day you can manage standing at the sink for 5mins then go sit down and do some ironing for 5mins then go back to sink for 5mins. that way you will have more good days than bad. tidy as you go along so less work overall. get friends and family to help with large tasks such as changing bed sheets and cleaning behind furniture, check area for charities who provide help for disabled persons.

  37. I use a little trick I call ‘commercial cleaning’. In an evening of TV watching, every commercial break I get up and clean something. In addition, in between my PVR’d shows I spend 3 songs worth of my favorite music on the most disastrous area in my house. The three songs usually give me approx 15 minutes of non-stop cleaning. Its amazing how much you can get done in one evening.

  38. For some reason I clean best while wearing sneakers, lol. I think maybe it puts me in that energetic, physical work mode!

    I can agree with first thing though… love that sense of accomplishment for the day instead of rushing before bed.

  39. Thanks for the great article! My favorite tip is to work clockwise around each room. Otherwise I get easily distracted and scattered in different directions. Working through in one direction gives me focus.

  40. Great video! I love the quirky humour and helpful tips. One thing that motivates me is I turn on some upbeat music and start with a trash bag. I go around the house picking up any garbage first, and typically this gives me just enough instant gratification to start organizing the bigger stuff. If any of you are like me, you take one look at your place and don’t even know where to start. The mess becomes overwhelming, and you struggle to get any of it done. The trash bag thing works for me and it might work for you too. If you focus on one project at a time instead of the big picture, the task seems less stressful. Here’s my list.

    1. Pick up all garbage
    2. Put all laundry laying around into a hamper (I’m the type that leaves my clothes where they happen to fall)
    3.Now choose the room that is most disastrous or is larger in area. I typically choose the kitchen, starting with dishes first. The rest of it doesn’t seem so bad when you’ve eliminated a sink full of clutter.
    4. Work your way down from the biggest room to the smallest. Toward the end. It seems like cleaning is getting done faster and easier.
    5. The important thing I’ve found is to take it all in baby steps. Small goals are easier to accomplish than big ones. Take one task on at a time and drive on. Before you know it, your home is clean and you weren’t so stressed doing it.

  41. Thanks Melissa. All these years and I still hate cleaning. It seems endless. However, since I recently found your website, it has become easier. Thanks for the motivation. It is about me and what I want. I should stop the talking and distractions – stay on target. I have a routine, but blow it off most of the time. I should time myself. Maybe by putting a pot of oranges on the stove and having the house smell wonderful will help make it feel like I am accomplishing a lot more. I going to try that. Thanks Melissa.
    Karen

  42. I have a problem I use to be able to clean house very good and then it started piling up on me and I could not figure out why. Then a light bulb went off years later the REASON. I am NEVER ALONE to CLEAN. I ALWAYS have someone in the house who is my husband. I can not clean as well since he became disabled and is home 24/7 so what would u suggest for that?

    • Ask your local council to put you in touch with home help or respite services – you should be able to get some funding for someone to come into your home and help out with cleaning or look after your husband so you can get a break as well as do the housework

  43. While I don’t love the process of cleaning itself, the results (especially of something as obvious “before and after” as dusting) are worth it. I motivate myself by watching “Hoarders” or inviting people over who have never seen inside my home before.

  44. I get myself into the “ready” mode by putting shoes on, hair in a pony tail, wearing an apron and taking one big drink of water. That’s my ready, set, go! Very helpful article. Thanks for sharing!

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