Cleaning is by far the most unpleasant thing I’ve ever experienced. I think in my former life I had a maid. A butler. A driver. A cook. Like, I had help! I must have been a princess or something because I hate cooking and cleaning with every fiber in my soul. My boyfriend will set up our speaker system and blast trap music while he scrubs our walls but me…I procrastinate beyond belief when it’s time to get our apartment together. You know what else annoys me. Cleaning is a weekly, sometimes daily task. Who has time for this?
So if you’re not naturally prone to neatness (who are you people), you know how tough it can be to put away the dishes or pick up a duster. To help you (and me) out, here are three tips, tricks, and strategies that have helped me tackle that terrible, awful job called cleaning the house!
1. Set a timer.
One of the main reasons I hate cleaning is that it feels like a never-ending process. Like the act of dusting is a daily thing. It’s really overwhelming and since I tend to focus on all the things I haven’t done instead of what I have done, I rarely feel like the job is finished or rewarding. The best solution for this problem? Budget a time, set a freakin’ timer, and clean your little heart out until it goes off. This strategy keeps me on task, forces me to clean for a consistent amount of time, and allows me to see exactly how much I can get done in a limited time span. I like to use my Fitbit timer this way I can also count steps!
2. Have a dance party.
This is my boyfriend ONLY way to cleaning up and happens to be the best–if most cliche–way to inject some fun into your chores is to dance while you do them. Shake your booty while you dust the bookshelves. Practice your bellydancing while you unload the dishwasher. Bonus: you’ll burn extra calories!
3. Break it up into smaller jobs (very, very small jobs).
I always thought this advice was kind of annoying until I tried it myself and realized it totally works. Basically you just turn your regular to-do list into a ridiculously specific and detailed task list. Like, instead of just writing, “Clean living room,” my to-do list might include: “Clear off coffee table, wipe down coffee table, dust bookshelf 1, dust bookshelf 2, dust TV, Swiffer floor, put away DVDs, fold blankets.” At first it seems ridiculous and overwhelming, but it actually demystifies the cleaning process, and trust me: once you start crossing off little jobs left and right, you’ll feel super productive and motivated.
The good thing about cleaning (who knew I’d be writing those words) is that most cleaning tasks don’t require your complete concentration. This means you can clean while you chat with your best friend on the phone, watch a favorite episode of “Martin,” listen to a book on tape, or memorize your favorite poem (just because that’s what writers do). Cleaning sucks because it’s boring. Anything that can make it less boring is good!
5. Reward yourself.
I’m a strong believer in rewarding yourself for completing anything. If cleaning is an unpleasant task for you, make it worth it by rewarding yourself with a relaxing bath and a glass of wine, or set a monthly cleaning goal and treat yourself to a pedicure or a new pair of earrings when you reach it. A luxurious treat plus the satisfaction of a clean home will have you reaching for the vacuum in no time!
So what will I be doing this weekend….cleaning up! With the help of Fantastik Scrubbing Bubbles, me, my floors and my kitchen stove are now in a healthy cleaning relationship!
P.S. This stuff smells like the air in Heaven. Makes cleaning not so horrible!
Ok so now it’s your turn. Any favorite cleaning tips to share? How do you stay motivated to get your household chores done?
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Fantastik, but I really do need to clean my house!