Updated June 24th, 2020
Reading time: 10.5 min
Scroll down to find the 9 motivating tips I use when I can’t get motivated to clean my house.
Having a clean, tidy home is something we all want. We are mentally at our best when our environment is free from clutter and grime.
How much time do you spend procrastinating on cleaning up?
There are several surveys on the average amount of time people spend each week cleaning, cooking and doing laundry. That number is not important, because it’s going to take as long as it takes.
There are lots of cleaning hacks and tips to speed up that time, but in general you are going to spend anywhere from 7 to 20 hours cleaning house each week, depending on the size of your house and the number of people in that house actually helping you.
The important number is how much time do you spend not cleaning your home but how much time you spend, thinking that you should. It’s that time that makes cleaning seem to take even longer than it does, it’s that time that is robbing you of joy.
Clean or Don’t Clean, Just Don’t Try
It is interesting to note that there are physical health symptoms that sometimes accompany procrastinating. People who chronically procrastinate often experience depression or even a compromised immune system. That is why the most important number around cleaning is how much time you spend procrastinating on it. Having a house cleaning schedule and routine is the biggest step to getting that time down to zero.
The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment. Marie Kondo
No Motivation To Clean My House
It is human nature to procrastinate. Try to remember that procrastination is not considered a sign of laziness. The main reasons for procrastinating on house cleaning are that it feels too daunting, we are undecided on where to start and we focus on the fact that even if we do get great motivation to clean, we will just have to do it all over again.
That’s my biggest issue, why clean it up when the kids are just going to create a disaster again.
Cleaning with Kids is like Brushing Your Teeth while eating Oreos.
I know it’s my job to teach them to clean up after themselves, but by the end of the day all willpower is gone, and I don’t have the energy to stay on top of them, making it worse in the long run. The more I stick to the cleaning list the better it gets for everyone.
Having a physical list on the fridge, I can see daily and up and coming tasks that are appropriate for each kids age. My partner can see what needs to be done and what has already been.
A daily cleaning routine is a busy person’s best friend. See, here’s the thing about cleaning house: the more often you do it, the less you have to do. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a quick, daily cleaning routine that will keep your house looking beautiful all the time. House Wife How Tos
My House Is Messy, Where Do I Start
One of the main reasons we tend to procrastinate cleaning house is a lack of direction. When the project looms in front of you, it is much easier to go and see what is on television than it is to concentrate on cleaning the whole house. The messier you feel your house is, the more daunting it is to begin. Finding a starting point is the first step. This process begins with being decisive. Choose a place to begin your cleaning and stick to that spot to create a sense of accomplishment.
That is where the Motivated Moms cleaning list makes it easier to just get started.
The daunting chore of cleaning the whole house is broken down into smaller tasks on a list that you can choose from.
Once you complete a single cleaning task, like cleaning the living room, you are rewarded with the action of checking it off the list.
Right now, Motivated Moms just has the downloadable PDFs, the app is currently being reworked and hopefully coming out again soon. But, back in the day I had the paper copy printed out for everyone to see on the fridge and I still used the app.
Double checking off, extra motivation. I’m not the only one who would do this right?
This is where the fun begins.
Depending on the day you are having and the amount of motivation you need, your goal doesn’t need to be to complete everything on the chore list. Some days you will get it all done and other days you won’t, that is ok. The most important thing is to create a cleaning habit.
Have fun with your house cleaning checklist. I love to mix in my chores with other things. Example: One of my favorite things to do is take two things I don’t feel like doing and mix them together. Like weight training and chores. I have a set of dumbbells at home and on the days I lift heavy, my rest breaks are 2-3 minutes long. If I was sitting in the gym, I’d probably be scrolling Facebook during my rest breaks, instead at home I can set my timer and start going through my cleaning list. When the timer goes off, I do another set, then go back to cleaning or folding laundry.
In some cases, people perform best when under extreme pressure. So if setting a timer for 20 minutes and racing the clock helps you to work more effectively and focus on the task at hand, take advantage of that push.
It helps limit procrastination because it’s only 2 or 3 minutes at a time, but it really adds up in the end. I’m able to check off several things on the Motivated Moms Checklist.
Yes, Susan did put workout on the Motivated Moms list as a daily task.
Cleaning House Rewards
Don’t forget to use rewards to get yourself moving and taking action. Rewards can be as small as a game of Candy Crush. Or sitting down to watch tv after all the chores are done. Knowing that cleaning the whole house has been broken into manageable pieces makes a gigantic difference in your mindset as you approach cleaning up. Seeing your work as bite-sized pieces rather than a huge whole is the key to overcoming that lack of cleaning motivation.
Distractions, Distractions, Distractions
Cleaning the house, watching television, cooking dinner; all of these things can feel more enticing than working on something like a business proposal. Use that to your advantage to clean house. Instead of procrastinating on cleaning house. Clean house to procrastinate on something else you should be doing.
I often pull out my house cleaning checklist and my to-do list. It’s either clean the counters or work on finances. Clean counters it is.
It’s also good to take a break from other tasks for a bit. This could mean that while you are scrubbing that kitchen floor, your brain is mulling over that problem that has been plaguing you at work.
Ideas that may not have been on the surface have time to ruminate and move up in your psyche. Disconnecting from work to clean up can actually speed up the creative process. With the body occupied with tasks that do not require immense thought, the mind can be free to form new ideas. Cleaning can be a form of meditation.
If you use the time spent procrastinating to accomplish tasks that have been nagging you like todays task of cleaning your purse, you’ll feel as if you have finished something important. That feeling of accomplishment can lead to more productivity throughout your day. Even cleaning the stove can give you a little mental boost. Just marking a task off of your to-do list is beneficial to your well-being. This form of procrastination is perfect for the person with a huge list of projects. Even taking one small thing off that list can lead you to a more focused mood.
Flexibility = Success
Flexibility is the key to completing your cleaning list. Remember that no matter how well defined and organized your cleaning list is, there will be times that you will not be able to finish everything. At those times, flexibility will carry you through the day, so you don’t become discouraged. Being flexible enough to move or change a goal is something that many people find difficult. Don’t let your list make you feel like a failure when you cannot finish everything. Guilt can be an excellent motivator, but only if it does not cripple you.
The motivated mom chore list is a great tool and it will always be there for you to come back to when you can.
8 Tips on How To Get Motivated To Clean When Overwhelmed By Mess
- Have a cleaning schedule
Even if you create your own checklist somewhere, on paper, on your computer, on your phone, follow a cleaning checklist and weekly cleaning schedule. Your brain is less likely to procrastinate if it doesn’t have to decide what to do in the moment. Having a prewritten checklist, means you have already made the decisions.
- Music to motivate cleaning
Everything is more fun with a good playlist, or audiobook or even a podcast. When I’m working-out I like to listen to podcasts on working-out. When I’m cleaning, I like to listen to podcasts or books on cleaning and organizing. Try out some different audio distractions and see what best moves you into action.
- Prayer for motivation to clean
Instead of praying for the motivation to clean, why not try that two birds with one stone thing and use cleaning as a time for prayer. Intentional by Grace has prayer cards you can print out for each room.
Room-By-Room Spring Cleaning Prayers
- See cleaning as meditation time
Just like most things we know we should do or need to do; we often feel like there is never enough time. Learning and accepting that we don’t have to do it all, and that we can blend somethings together without it being the bad type of multitasking, to make them more enjoyable and save time. Monks use cleaning as meditation every day. Try to be 100% present in your cleaning tasks. Focus on your breathing and the movement of your body. Focus on how your hand is holding the cloth, how the cloth feels, the texture of the cloth and the different sensations you get wiping the cloth over different surfaces.
You can even choose a meditation chant while cleaning or an affirmation.
“WHERE THERE IS NOTHING, THERE IS EVERYTHING. BY LETTING GO OF EVERYTHING, YOU CAN OPEN UP A UNIVERSE OF UNLIMITED POSSIBILITIES.”
― Shoukei Matsumoto, A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind
- Buy a new cleaning gadget or audiobook
I’m hesitant to recommend this one, because often just buying a bright shiny new object gives our brain the chemical cocktail feeling of success and making progress, even when we have accomplished nothing. However, sometimes, buying something can give you just enough momentum to get moving. Once you start momentum can build. As you know, objects at rest tend to stay at rest.
Use this tip with caution. Try it once, maybe twice but if you keep doing it without actual motivation to do more, then you need to stop.
Some of my favorite cleaning gadgets and books I have gotten myself are (note: please always check on Facebook MarketPlace first to see if you can get your awesome motivational tools and gadgets way cheaper they paying full price.):
I don’t have this version yet. I wish!!! We have the 890 which is still awesome. After I finish cleaning a room, putting down the Roomba is like a final touch reward.
- Set A Timer
Momentum, momentum. Even if you just set the timer and clean for 2 minutes, it gets you moving. Once you get going, it’s easier to keep going. It’s the second-best tip to get going when you’re really struggling, but you’ve got to want it. When you really don’t want to clean, picking up your phone to open your timing app can seem impossible.
- Count to 10
If you can’t even bring yourself to set a timer, believe me I’ve been there. Like every Monday. So when you don’t have enough motivation or willpower to pull out your phone or ask Google to set a timer, it’s time to count. Tell yourself you are just going to put 10 items away or even 5. Sometimes I say I’m going to count to 10 and then I end up counting to 50. The act of counting occupies your brain, that way it can’t discourage you with all the negativity as to why you don’t want to be doing this.
- Watch or listen to a show
This can be a challenge for some. But sometimes I like to put a tv show or movie on my phone. I have my earbuds in so I can hear it while I’m moving around. Sure, I miss some stuff. It’s best to pick a light show or a movie you’ve already seen. Again, this occupies your brain. A nice distraction that keeps you from thinking about not wanting to clean.
Be sure to check out motivated moms cleaning house schedule
This is not your average stagnant house cleaning schedule. Susan from Motivated Moms has anticipated many of the tasks that need to be done throughout the year and put them on a number of different printable list layouts.
As a motivated mom member, you get access to all the printables for each day of the year and the future app coming out.
This way you don’t have to think about or schedule things like changing or stocking up on furnace filters.
Spring cleaning or taking on the project of decluttering your house can often feel overwhelming and lead to procrastination, but with the motivated mom cleaning list, she has already broken down these types of larger tasks into daily smaller chucks.
Above all, the Motivated Moms Chore Planning System is NOT intended as a guilt planner! Motivated Moms is all about reducing stress, not adding to it, and making home management easier. Motivated Moms
I hope you have found some inspiration and motivation to get up and get moving. I know you will start to feel better once you do. It may seem overwhelming right now, but with consistency, a little bit each day will make big changes.
Again, don’t try to do it all at once, you will burn out and not feel like doing anything tomorrow. Start with a little each day and build momentum.