How to Get Motivated to Clean Your House

Part of: Homemaking for Beginners (3 of 4)

This article contains a three-step process to help you get motivated to clean your house. If you struggle with feeling lazy and unmotivated to clean, this article is for you! This three-step process always works for me, and I hope it works for you, too.

Step #1: Don’t Force Yourself

I used to get frustrated whenever I felt unmotivated to clean my house. I couldn’t understand why my emotions wouldn’t cooperate with my cleaning schedule. I would ignore my emotions, and I would force myself to clean my house.

But overriding my emotions did not serve me well. Whenever I forced myself to clean, each task took longer, the results were subpar, and I felt terrible all the while.

By forcing myself to clean, I was making an enemy of my emotions. But emotions needn’t be your enemies. If you choose to work with them, emotions can be friendly beacons that guide you back towards feeling motivated.

Whenever you feel unmotivated, don’t force yourself to clean your house. Instead, pause and ask yourself two questions:

  1. Why do I feel unmotivated to clean right now?
  2. What can I do to make myself feel better?

These questions can help you to uncover the underlying issues that are causing you to feel unmotivated. Once you become aware of an issue, you can take targeted action to resolve it.

Embrace your emotions; don’t push them away. Being cognisant of how you feel is the first step towards allowing negative emotions to finally melt away.

Step #2: Adopt the Main Event Mindset

When I feel unmotivated to clean, I tend to rush. I try to fly through my chores as quickly as possible.

But rushing never produces ideal results. The results of cleaning depend not only on what you do, but how you do it. The best results come from wholehearted application to the task.

If you notice yourself rushing, apply the main event mindset. Treat cleaning like it is the most important, most exciting part of your day. Act as though cleaning is the best part of your day.

Here are three easy ways to apply the main event mindset:

  • Start early in the day. Don’t wait until the end of the day to begin cleaning your house. You will feel more tempted to rush if time is short. Start your cleaning as early in the day as possible, so that you can clean at a leisurely pace.
  • Walk, don’t run! When you are cleaning, there is no need to frantically sprint from room to room. Running induces a needless air of urgency, and to make matters worse, the time savings are probably absurdly infinitesimal. You will feel much calmer if you intentionally slow down to an elegant, dignified walk.
  • Make cleaning a meditative practice. Here’s a mental exercise that you can do when you are cleaning. As you clean, visualise kind, loving, happy thoughts flowing out from your hands, through your cleaning tools, and into everything you touch. When you pour love into each task, cleaning becomes a dignified act of creating a home that nurtures you and your family.

When you apply the main event mindset to cleaning, you will stop rushing. Instead of haphazardly hurtling through your chores, you will slow down and savour the experience. After all, you wouldn’t want to rush through the best part of your day, would you?

It is possible to be peacefully productive. Rushing is merely an illusion of productivity; when you slow down, the chores can still get done on time, and you will feel calmer, happier, and more motivated to clean.

Step #3: Use the Momentum Method

Cleaning is a task that is never finished. Many cleaning tasks—such as folding laundry and doing dishes—are recurring tasks that you need to perform over and over again. On top of that, if you scrutinise your home, you are bound to find something else in your home that you could clean.

Cleaning is a process, not a destination. This means that you need to learn how to pace yourself. You need to plan your cleaning in a way that allows you to be effective not just today, but also tomorrow, next week, and next year.

You can use the momentum method to figure out how much cleaning to do each day. As you are cleaning your house, pay attention to your energy levels. As you clean, there will come a point where you begin to flag. At this point, you will start to feel more fatigued and less enthusiastic. When you notice yourself starting to lose momentum, it is time to stop cleaning for the day.

The momentum method prevents you from overexerting yourself. When you clean until you are completely drained, you will find it difficult to recover sufficiently before the next day. This makes it difficult for you to consistently feel motivated to clean. But when you use the momentum method to manage your energy levels, you will consistently have enough energy, making it easier for you to feel motivated to clean.

It Is Possible to Enjoy Cleaning

Enjoyment is the panacea for feeling unmotivated. That’s why this three-step process focuses on making cleaning pleasant and enjoyable.

Cleaning your house doesn’t have to be drudgery. There is no need to expect cleaning to be unpleasant, even if you have found it so in the past. Today is a new day, and if you choose to, you can adopt a new approach today.

Give yourself permission to enjoy every part of your life—including cleaning your house. The more you enjoy cleaning, the more you will feel motivated to clean your house.