Something that I know causes a lot of frustration and anxiety in a home is cleaning. I mean, money is up there too, but so many arguments centre around who does what and when and how often. And yes guys, even I stress about cleaning. So here are 5 ways that help me stress less when it comes to cleaning.
1. Short Sprints Not Marathons
No one wants to think about setting aside 5 hours to clean the whole house. If that were the case, no one would ever clean! The key ingredient to an easier cleaning experience and avoid that deer-in-headlights paralysis, is to divide cleaning into a series of smaller spurts. Pare down larger jobs into smaller sections, and that way you can feel more accomplished (faster). So what this might look like is, setting aside 10 or 15 minutes a day to clean as opposed to 3 hours over the weekend. It won’t be perfect, but 10 minutes goes a long way. That’s what Chad and I do when we have to speed clean the house, and it makes a big difference – we make those minutes count. And yes, if you can get someone in on it with you, you’re that much farther ahead.
2. Keep Your Eye On the Prize
One of my secrets to handling any cleaning job is I think about and truly savour how I’ll feel when I am done. I think we can all agree that the feeling of a clean place and a job well done, is truly a good one. Taking that quick moment to set myself up for that feeling helps me get to it. So even though I know it’s going to be hard work, I set my goal and focus on getting there. For example, when I go to boxing class and moan and groan about the crazy exercises I’m doing, I keep at it because I know my arms are going to look that much better in the end. Remember, no pain, no gain. Mind you, cleaning hurts way less than boxing.
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3. Keep your mind busy
When I first started CMS services and was cleaning 5 days a week, I put a bunch of audiobooks on my iPod and plugged in, all day. I was listening to a lot of motivational, inspirational and leadership books and it really helped me focus and keep positive which I was building my business. I also liked that I could learn and keep my mind active while I was doing something that was rather repetitive. Chad on the other hand enjoys rocking out to some music while he’s cleaning, so for all of you music fans, it’s also an excellent way to pass time! It helps you multi task and hey, nothing feels more efficient than that!
4. Schedule It
I am often asked to share my cleaning routine or schedule. And, while I haven’t formalized it yet for you and yes, I promise, I will do it and you will love it, I have an informal one that I follow. Until then, remember this. That which gets scheduled, gets done. Whether you set reminders in your cell phone or have an old fashioned paper calendar, schedule in your cleaning like you would anything else and you will get it done. And for frequencies, I know that each week I roughly do 1-2 loads of laundry, I give the kitchen a good thorough deep clean, and I give my bathroom a quick wipedown. Chad takes care of his laundry and his bathroom, and we give the house a quick speed tidy a couple times a week too. He usually vacuums, thankfully (‘cuz I hate it), and then we pitch in and do the larger tasks as needed. But roughly, we know that’s what has to get done each week, and we make time for it. It’s for our own good.
5. Do What You Can & Be Realistic
I think a lot of us get caught in the Martha Stewart trap. Now, she’s lovely but be honest, does your Thanksgiving dinner look like hers? I didn’t think so. So, neither will your house. I know you might think I am perfectly clean, but I assure I am not. I just take a realistic approach to it. I know what I’ve got to get done in a week, I know what drives me bananas, and I know what I can let linger until I’ve got more time. For example, a dirty kitchen makes me mad, so I like to spend my time cleaning that. But, my home office can sometimes get a little out of control and I leave that for when I’ve got a chunk of time I can dedicate to it. If I told myself I had to do both, perfectly, I’d never get any of it it done and just end up feeling bad about myself. Also, if you share a home with others who aren’t as clean as you are, just do what you can and focus on that, it is not worth getting angry or upset about what they are not doing, or feeling like you have to take on more than you can or should (easier said than done, but it’s the truth!). Or on the flip side, if you’ve got the time and the motivation, do everything and really relish your hard work and do it just for you, not for them. Heck, if you’re a kid and you like to clean, ask your parents to give you extra allowance to clean. I used to do it!
Why Audible.com is perfect for stressing less about cleaning
Our friends over at Audible.com know that audiobooks help handle the mundane, and they have generously offered up a free audiobook download and 30 day trial for Clean My Space readers! When I started Clean My Space services, one of the first books I listened to was Good to Great: Why Some Companies make the leap and others don’t, by Jim Collins. It served up over 10 hours of listening enjoyment while I scrubbed like a madwoman. Visit audible.com/cleanmyspace to get your free audiobook and start your 30 day trial, and of course, stress less about cleaning.
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