How to get motivated to clean your house
Imagine you’ve just come home after a long day and open the door to your home only to be met with a huge mess. There are dirty dishes in the sink, dust bunnies in every corner, and your pile of laundry has become more of a laundry mountain. Ugh.
We’d all love to walk into a home that’s clean and inviting, but what happens if we just can’t find the motivation to actually get up and clean?
Mustering up enough motivation to clean is a very common challenge. After all, cleaning can be repetitive, tedious, and overwhelming – all things that get in the way of finding the right mindset to get into a task.
However, using a few simple techniques can help jumpstart your motivation to tackle your messy home – and keep it clean.
Here are 7 ways to motivate yourself to clean
1. Invite people over to your house
The people who love you probably don’t care what your house looks like, but you probably care about what they think about you. Having your friends or family over for dinner can be just enough to motivate you to get your house back in order.
If you want to make sure your house stays clean you can volunteer to host a weekly wine night with friends, or maybe a monthly book club. If you’re always expecting to have company over you’ll be more likely to make cleaning a priority.
1. Watch clean with me videos or look at photos of organized spaces
Although the internet can be a distraction from cleaning, it can also serve as motivation.
The next time you’re scrolling through your phone to avoid dealing with your messy home, head over to YouTube. Video creators often post fun and upbeat “clean with me” videos that show how they go about tackling the various messes around their homes. Watching someone do the task that you’ve been avoiding can make it seem a little bit easier, and you may get some ideas for new cleaning techniques to try.
Other websites like Pinterest, Apartment Therapy, and The Spruce have lots of photos of trendy, organized homes as well as helpful advice to keep your space neat and tidy. Take a few minutes to scroll through these photos and imagine how your own home would look if you did some of the same things.
2. Break cleaning into smaller tasks
According to Locke’s goal-setting theory, small, attainable goals are a surefire way to get us motivated to get something bigger done. Big goals can feel too overwhelming and hard to visualize, which means it’ll be harder to get started. On the other hand, smaller tasks are much easier for us to try to get done because they’re much less to manage.
Instead of telling yourself that you need to clean the entire house, just focus on one room or task at a time.
For example, focus on cleaning the bathroom or vacuuming all the carpets. Although it’s not enough to get your entire house clean, it can be enough to feel accomplished and ready to tackle the next cleaning task.
3. Set short timers for your cleaning sessions
We often tell ourselves that we simply don’t have enough time to clean, so things start piling up until the house looks like a disaster. However, you can probably get a lot more done in a few minutes than you think.
Set a timer on your phone for 20 minutes or so and focus on cleaning one room. At the end of the 20 minutes, you’ll have a much cleaner space, and you’ll probably feel motivated enough to at least finish cleaning that one area – or move on to another room in the house.
Psychologists have found that competition enhances motivation, so racing against the clock to get as much cleaning done in a set amount of time won’t just keep you on task, but also get you excited to clean.
4. Give yourself a reward for a clean house
Getting something tangible in return for a job well done is a standard way to motivate people. Employees get money and benefits for the work they do. Kids get trophies for winning little league tournaments. Why not give yourself a little something for cleaning your house?
Think of a nice thing you’ve been meaning to do for yourself, like getting a manicure or taking a long, luxurious bubble bath. Now tell yourself that the only thing standing between you and that reward is a nice, clean house.
5. Set time aside during the week just for cleaning
There’s certainly power in a consistent routine. Psychologists have found that routines reduce stress, improve sleep, and lead to healthier lifestyle choices overall. That’s because routines let us anticipate and plan for something to occur rather than constantly being in reaction mode.
Incorporating cleaning into your daily or weekly routine will make it just another part of your life, like walking the dog and paying your bills. You can add cleaning to your calendar like it’s an appointment you can’t miss. You can even do things to prepare for your cleaning “appointment” like creating a fun playlist to listen to, putting on some comfortable clothes, and pulling out all of your cleaning supplies.
6. Understand why it’s important to clean your house
Clean homes don’t just look better – they also make us feel better.
In 2011, researchers at Princeton University found that clean spaces helped people concentrate and process information. A clean and orderly home can decrease mental fatigue and put you in a better mood, which is particularly important if you’re someone who works from home.
Cleaning also helps remove dust and allergens from our homes, which can have a big impact on our physical wellbeing and quality of sleep. Plus, cleaning is considered physical activity, which is another thing that’s critical to maintaining our physical and mental health.