How to Get Motivated to Clean (Easy Steps to Follow!)

Finding the motivation to start cleaning can be difficult – whether you’re staring at a messy house right now or you’re typically a neat freak.

Whatever your situation is, it’s good to know that you’re not alone! Everyone struggles with keeping their home clean from time to time. The next time you’re in a cleaning rut, here’s how to get motivated to clean.

unmotivated woman standing next to a bucket of cleaning supplies

Why You Don’t Want to Clean

Let’s face it – cleaning probably isn’t the most fun thing on your to-do list. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t necessary.

And even if you do enjoy having a spotless house, finding the motivation to get started is often easier said than done.

That’s because we use excuses that keep us from starting something we know we have to do.

There are a variety of reasons you may have for not wanting to clean your house, like:

  • You’re feeling overwhelmed. The longer you go without cleaning, the bigger the chores become. And it makes it easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be done.
  • Life gets too busy. When your family’s schedule is hectic, finding the time to clean your home becomes much harder. And it makes it easier for you to put off those cleaning tasks for more important things.
  • You feel like you’re in it alone. Often, all the housework begins to fall on the shoulders of one person, in spite of the fact that everyone in the house is contributing to the mess. It can be easy to feel alone when it seems like no one is there to help you out.
  • You don’t know where to start. When you have a messy house, it can be hard to know which spot to clean first and even more difficult to get started.
  • A clean house isn’t that important to you. Telling yourself a clean house isn’t important is another challenge you’ll need to overcome when it comes to finding the motivation to get cleaning.

Whatever your reason is for putting off your cleaning to-do list, take a few minutes to mull it over, then let it go!

We all know that cleaning your house is a necessary evil. So instead of putting it off, try one of these motivational tips to get you started.

woman standing in the middle of a messy living room, with cleaning gloves on and looking confused

How to Get Motivated to Clean

Finding the best motivation to clean your house really depends on you and your situation. And once you know what’s holding you back, you may be able to use it to your advantage.

Think about the reasons you put off cleaning and battle that distraction with one of these motivational tools:

Start with Something Small

When it comes to motivation, it’s all about the small wins. Tackling one small cleaning task will give you confidence, which can help motivate you to finish another, and another, and another until you’re done!

When you’re not feeling any motivation to clean, start cleaning up one small area of the house. Pick a spot that’s been bothering you or an area that is visible to the majority of the house to make it even more satisfying!

Once you have picked the spot you’ll clean, start by decluttering the area and returning everything that doesn’t belong there to its correct location.

Then, dust the area and everything located in the space. After that, clean the floor underneath.

Expand Your Focus

Now that you have one small spot clean, start expanding your cleaning area to include the space surrounding your clean spot. Continue working your way outward until the whole room is clean and decluttered.

Image that says "motivation to clean" with a sad woman next to a bucket of cleaning supplies

Don’t Start with a Task You Hate

Whether you think doing dishes is the worst or you absolutely hate folding laundry, don’t start with your most dreaded task because it will only make your lack of motivation worse.

Instead, pick a chore that’s simple and bearable. Once you finish the easy chores, you’ll be more motivated to wrap up those tasks you can’t stand at the end of your cleaning spree.

Get Some Help

There’s no reason you have to start cleaning alone!

One of the best ways to get yourself motivated to clean is to enlist the help of other people in your home. Designate different chores to each family member to make cleanup quick and easy.

Get Rid of the Kids

While it may be great to have some help as you clean, let’s face it, sometimes kids just make the mess worse.

If you feel like your kids will be more of an issue than a help, send them away and get to cleaning alone. Tell your kids to go play outside or ask a family member to take care of them while you clean to ensure the job gets done.

Try the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Method

When you’re overwhelmed by the amount of cleaning you need to do, it’s easy to become paralyzed by the task at hand.

With the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 method, you simply pick five small tasks to do in succession. Don’t even think about what you’ll do, just do them!

As you start a task, count it until you’ve reached five. And that’s it!

This simple method could give you the motivation you need to keep going, even if you just keep counting five tasks over and over again until you’re finished cleaning.

Set a Timer

When you’re trying to talk yourself out of cleaning, you can drastically overestimate the amount of time it’s going to take to finish a task.

The next time you’re dreading getting started, grab your phone and set a timer for 30 minutes. Then, just start cleaning.

Do whatever tasks seem natural to you without thinking about it. And when the timer goes off, take a look at everything you’ve accomplished.

You’ll be surprised how much cleaning you can actually get done in such a short amount of time.

woman's hands setting a timer

Get Rid of Distractions

If you’re feeling unmotivated to clean, the last thing you need is distractions!

Seeing that your favorite show is on or hearing a notification on your phone may become the excuse you need to put off cleaning even longer.

Instead, turn off the television and put your phone away until you’re finished cleaning. After that, you can reward yourself with all the distractions you want!

Listen to Music

While watching TV and looking at your phone may keep you from cleaning, using music often has the opposite effect.

Playing your favorite songs can actually make cleaning a little more fun, which will encourage you to keep going.

Create a cleaning playlist to help motivate you to clean, even when you’re not in the mood.

Get a New Cleaning Product

Finding a new product or cleaning gadget to test out is another simple way to encourage yourself to clean. The next time you’re lacking the urge to start cleaning, head to the store to check out the cleaning aisle.

Look for a cleaning solution in your favorite scent or a new tool that claims to save you time. Grab the tool and head home to try it out!

Invite Someone Over

One of the best motivators to whip your home into shape is knowing you’re going to have company. You wouldn’t want to entertain your guests in a dirty home, after all!

To give yourself a cleaning jumpstart, invite a friend or family member over for dinner. The deadline will force you to get to work, even if you’re lacking motivation to get started.

smiling woman welcoming guests

Motivational Cleaning Tips

Once you’ve nailed how to get motivated to clean your house, you’re going to want to keep it clean! But that will be hard if you have to muster up motivation every time the house gets dirty.

Instead of working so hard to find motivation, try changing up your cleaning routine to ensure you don’t fall into the trap of being unmotivated to clean ever again.

  • Create a cleaning schedule. One of the best ways to ensure your home stays clean is to create a cleaning schedule and stick to it. Outlining a schedule for cleaning each room of your home will ensure you get everything done and that you stay on track from day to day.
  • Do a little bit each day. Although taking a day each week to thoroughly clean your home will ensure your entire house is clean all at once, finding the motivation to spend an extended period of time cleaning can be so hard! Instead, try spending 30 minutes every day cleaning one section of your home. These smaller cleaning sprees will ensure every part of your home gets cleaned throughout the week without forcing you to dedicate an entire day to cleaning. And although your whole house may not be clean all at once, you will be more likely to stay on top of your cleaning tasks from week to week.
  • Put cleaning on your calendar. If your family’s busy schedule has been your excuse for not keeping up with cleaning, remedy the situation by blocking out a time for cleaning in your calendar. Adding cleaning to your family’s calendar will give it more importance in your mind, ensuring the task gets done on a regular basis.
  • Develop a cleaning route. As you plan your cleaning schedule, think about the route you’ll take while you clean. Following the same route through your house each time you clean will help you stay on track and avoid wasted time zig-zagging from room to room. To create your own cleaning route, first think about where you’ll start, then plan out each spot that needs to be cleaned along your path to ensure you tackle all your jobs without backtracking.
  • Do it first thing in the morning. The longer you wait to start cleaning, the harder it will be to get started. That’s why it’s a good idea to do your daily cleaning first thing in the morning. You can get your chores done, mark them off your list, and move on to more fun activities.
  • Make cleaning part of your routine. While it may take some time to get used to, working cleaning into your daily routine is the best way to make sure it gets done. Repeating the same tasks each day or week will help you establish a cleaning routine that will become second nature the more often you do it.
  • Create a cleaning caddy. One of the most time-consuming part of cleaning is often searching for the supplies you need to get the job done. But creating a cleaning caddy reduces that wasted time, allowing you to focus on cleaning. Think about the cleaning solutions and tools you use on a regular basis as you clean your home. Grab a caddy or bucket with a handle and fill it with everything you need for a regular cleaning session. Store the caddy in an easy to find location so you can simply grab it and go the next time you’re ready to clean.
  • Don’t aim for perfection. There is no way that your home is always going to be perfectly clean – especially if you have kids. And striving for a perfectly clean home will only drive you crazy! Not to mention the fact that aiming for perfection can actually cause you to put off cleaning because you think you don’t have the time to thoroughly clean each room of your home. Instead of trying to make your house look like it came out of a page in a magazine, do your best to clean each area of your home without attempting a perfect clean every time.
  • Use your downtime. The couple of minutes you stand in the kitchen waiting for your coffee to brew or the time you spend sitting on the couch watching your favorite show can be use to take care of small cleaning tasks throughout the day. The next time you’re watching television, grab a basket of laundry to fold. Or scrub your kitchen sink while you wait for your toast to cook. You’ll be surprised how much you can get done during your daily down time.
  • Never leave a room empty handed. Clutter can be a big issue when it comes to keeping your house clean. And one of the simplest ways to tackle clutter around your house is to remind yourself to never leave a room empty handed. Every time you get up to move to another room of your house, scan the room your in for things that are out of place. Grab an item that belongs in the room you’re going to and take it with you. Once you reach your destination, put that thing back where it belongs. And when you leave that room, don’t forget to grab something to take to your next destination!
  • Start decluttering. Often, your lack of motivation to clean stems from the fact that you’re overwhelmed by your messy house. And that’s usually because your home is too cluttered. To help keep the mess under control, it’s a good idea to tackle all that clutter. Taking the time to declutter your house is a great way to ensure it stays clean between deep cleaning sessions.
  • Buy new organizers. Once you start decluttering, you’ll see how important it is to be organized, too. Finding new organizers is a great way to sort and store everything you plan to keep in each room. They’ll help you keep items out of view and make cleaning each room much easier, too. Decorative organizers are a great way to add some style and function to any room.
  • Create a chore chart. There’s no reason you need to take care of all the household cleaning alone. If you have kids at home, get them involved in keeping the home clean by creating a chore chart. Find age-appropriate chores for each of your kids to do, then make a list of daily and weekly tasks they each can be responsible for.
  • Reward yourself. You probably reward your kids for doing their chores, don’t you? Then why not do the same for yourself? It’s true that cleaning is a fact of life, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give yourself a pat on the back when you finish. After a good cleaning session, treat yourself to something you enjoy. Order takeout to keep yourself from messing up your clean kitchen or tell your partner to keep an eye on the kids while you relax in your clean bathtub.

The bottom line is you have to do whatever is necessary to figure out how to get motivated to clean your place. It doesn’t have to be complicated, you just have to do it!

Ready to get started? Check out Spring Cleaning with Kids (No Complaining Involved!)

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