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Do hate housework? Some people naturally love anything on their to-do list but let’s face it, most of us just flat-out hate cleaning. Organizing has always been my thing. But cleaning? Not so much. It’s always been a necessary evil. Since I have a long list of hated chores I’ve had to find cleaning motivation tips and tricks that work for me and my family.
How to Get Motivated to Clean
Housework can seem never-ending. But chores actually take less time than you think. When people hate cleaning, they tend to overestimate how long each task takes. Write down how long you think each chore will take and then time yourself doing them. I bet you’ll be surprised.
By timing your chores you’ll have a better perspective of how long it really times. This makes the dreaded chore more bearable when you know it’s only going to take a few minutes to complete it.
Then make a little game out of it by trying to beat your time (while still doing the chore well). Time challenges can also be a great way to get your family involved in keeping the house organized and clean.
Invest in a stopwatch to time each task. I don’t recommend using the timer on your smartphone because there are too many distractions on your phone to lure you away from your chores.
Cleaning Motivation Tip #1: Chores take less time than you think. Time yourself doing each chore, then try to beat that time.
Have Family Help
You may think getting your family on board with cleaning is more of a hassle than it’s worth. I’m here to tell you that the effort you put in WILL pay off in the long run.
All members of the household should have responsibilities to keep the home tidy. They help make the mess, they help clean it up. Of course, there are exceptions but most people are capable of doing some things around the house, even toddlers. It is so important for kids to have chores. Chores teach kids responsibility and important life skills.
If you need some direction on what type of chores your kids should be doing, Becky at YourModernFamily provides great information on age-appropriate chores.
You may also need to develop a done is better than perfect when giving responsibilities to other household members. It’s not my husband’s chore to fold the laundry but when he does, he doesn’t fold clothes the same way I do. But I’d rather have it done his way than another chore on my list.
Cleaning Motivation Tip #2: Have all family members pitch in. Repeat this mantra: Done is better than perfect.
Rewards are a great motivator when you are trying to develop new habits. People tend to think of rewards for kids but don’t forget to treat yourself. You are working hard to make positive changes and motivate your family to do the same. Don’t feel guilty about giving yourself a little treat.
Rewards don’t always need to cost money. Sometimes prefer to reward myself with time to do things that I enjoy doing but don’t always have time to do, like time alone to read or work on a house project.
Cleaning Motivation Tip #3: Rewards work! Don’t forget to reward yourself.
Turn Up the Music
This is an oldie but goodie. I rememb.er dancing around to Michael Jackson while doing chores and loving it. We weren’t always allowed to crank the music but chore time was an exception.
As an adult, I often forget how good it feels to turn the volume up while cleaning up. My kids often remind me and then we actually enjoy getting stuff done and get it done quicker.
So curate a playlist or tune into your favorite station on Apple Music, Pandora or wherever you prefer. We prefer to listen to Amazon Music Unlimited since there are no ads and tens of millions of songs. Connect a phone via Bluetooth to a sound bar or use Amazon Music hands-free with an Echo smart speaker and then get started on your chores. Bonus: the Echo can be used for so many other purposes to help make your life easier.
Cleaning Motivation Tip #4: Crank the volume on your favorite music during chores.
Listen to an Audiobook or Podcast
I love to read but there isn’t always time for it. Or maybe you’d rather work on personal or professional development. Combine something you love with something you are less than thrilled about. There are audiobooks and podcasts on a ton of different topics. Find a topic you’re interested in and then get to work on your chores.
Bonus: Try Audible for free and get 2 free audiobooks and 2 free Audible Orginials!
Cleaning Motivation Tip #5: Clean while listening to an audiobook or podcast.
Watching TV isn’t going to work for most chores. But for the ones it does, it makes them so much more enjoyable. Let’s be honest, you were going to sit down to watch HGTV anyway, so why not knock out one of those dreaded chores?
For me, laundry is always folded while watching TV. I absolutely hate folding laundry but watching TV while doing it makes it more bearable. I also grocery shop on the Walmart or Kroger apps.
Other possible chores: ironing (which I never do, with or without a TV), paying bills, organizing your digital life – computer, phone, email, photos, etc.
Cleaning Motivation Tip #6: Watch TV while doing select chores.
Buy a New Cleaning Product or Try a New Cleaning Hack
Even though I hate cleaning I can get pretty jazzed about a new cleaning product or technique. Name something in your house that you hate cleaning and then find a product or hack that will make the chore bearable.
I hate to mop. I have tried SO MANY different types of mops and hard floor cleaning products. A steam mop made the process better but I still dreaded it and quite honestly didn’t do it as often as I should have. Enter the iRobot Braava Jet robot mop. I’m kicking myself for not investing in this product earlier. Now, I don’t even have to do my most dreaded chore!
Not all chores are going to have an option to have a robot do it for you. But there are better products and cleaning hacks to make your chores bearable.
Cleaning Motivation Tip #7: A new cleaning product or cleaning hack can make cleaning bearable.
Don’t Do it All at Once
The quickest way to kill your motivation is by engaging in a marathon cleaning session. Make a list of all of your chores and break it down by how often each task needs to get done.
You can find lots of lists that will tell you how often you should clean everything. Either ignore those lists completely or use it as a really rough guide. You may not have young kids so your kitchen doesn’t need to be swept multiple times per day. You may have pets so your couch needs to be vacuumed weekly instead of every three months. Do what makes sense for your family and house.
Then make a schedule for each day of the week, spreading chores throughout the week. Try to stick to the schedule as much as possible but realize that you are going to need flexibility when life gets in the way.
Cleaning Motivation Tip #8: Avoid a marathon cleaning session. Create a cleaning schedule so you only have a little to do every day.
Cleaning Motivation Tips Recap
There are ways to make your chores bearable so you don’t hate cleaning so much. I won’t promise that you’ll fall in love with cleaning but you will love having a cleaner house!
- Chores take less time than you think. Time yourself doing each chore, then try to beat that time.
- Have all family members pitch in. Repeat this mantra: Done is better than perfect.
- Rewards work! Don’t forget to reward yourself.
- Crank the volume on your favorite music during chores.
- Clean while listening to an audiobook or podcast.
- Watch TV while doing select chores.
- A new cleaning product or cleaning hack can make cleaning bearable.
- Avoid a marathon cleaning session. Create a cleaning schedule so you only have a little to do every day.
- If you’re always too tired to clean, check out how to get energy to clean your house.