How to clean when you don’t feel like it
We all have those days, when the thought of cleaning, cooking or tackling any house chores gives us chills. Days when we would definitely burst into tears if we had to do it. The mess is everywhere and although it is bothersome, the will power to do it is just not there. Do you need some home cleaning tips for when you don’t feel like it?
It is like there is a huge bear resting on the top of our backs and is not leaving any time soon. You’re one step away of calling a house cleaning service, but really can’t swallow the cost. Does it sound familiar? I bet it does!
When you feel paralyzed not knowing exactly what to tackle first, starting a simple cleaning plan to build your cleaning routine goes a long way. At this point you will not be doing the cleaning job yet but you’re already taking the first step towards doing it, with a plan that hopefully you will be able to use for a long time.
1- Acknowledge the fact that you do need a cleaning routine
People who have nice and tidy homes do have a routine they follow every day. It might not be strict but they built it over time according to their lifestyle. It is like they don’t need any home cleaning tips, they were born knowing them all!
As any other good habit it takes will power and some discipline, the same way to get to exercise or eat healthy. The first step is to take some time to come up with a plan.
The easy way, which is what probably most of us do, is to tackle some chores, immediately, just doing the minimum.
Changing the habit with a plan will also ensure that you keep motivated to clean the house every time you need to do.
2- Be realistic about how you want your place to be, looking good is different than being perfect
Set your cleaning expectations based on your reality and life style and not on dream like homes we see on Pinterest. Life isn’t perfect or predictable. It is a big step just being aware of the effects of the media in our lives, sometimes our expectations about having the “perfect” home become guidelines for a life that is not realistic.
3- It might be a good idea to get some help to start your cleaning plan
Make your own plan. You will feel good starting one, you’re not physically cleaning yet – the bear is still resting on your back – but it is a good start to put in paper.
Simple tips to facilitate your cleaning plan
1- Keep everything easy to reach
Keep a few products in each bathroom or room, easy to reach. You’re sitting in the toilet and see something very dirty.
The tools will be already there. It is super easy to go ahead and tackle this one small task like: wash the sink, dust the baseboard or reach for the spider webs on the vents. Fast, simple, you will leave the bathroom feeling better.
Make the list of the cleaning products you want to keep handy, you don’t need a lot.
What I keep in each of my bathrooms:
Garbage bags and a roll of paper towel.
I actually hide the brush on the side of the toilet, hanging on a small hook so the brush doesn’t drip inside the cabinet.
Another life saver product is this cleaning paste, it lasts forever and makes everything shiny and spotless clean. If you’re taking the time to clean it might as well look shiny and pretty!
2- Don’t be too ambitious on setting long tasks
Long tasks like cleaning the whole house or cooking for the week in one day become overwhelming. Start (somehow) on one thing and you will see how the need of continuing will be triggered (most of the times).
Our brains have a type of obsessive mechanism that welcomes the cleaning process by calming the mind down and sending the message that we should keep doing it until is finished. It is amazing, you will realize that you kept doing until is done, not feeling overwhelmed at all.
The end result of the cleaning process always brings a mental relief that is very pleasant.
3- Set a home cleaning time frame
Whether your plan is to do at least one room a day or more than that, set a realistic time frame to do it and stick to it. Pushing to do more faster or prolonging a cleaning day might make you feel annoyed and less productive.
It is when the temptation to stop hal way happens. If you keep procrastinating to clean the house, learn more about why we procrastinate.
It is important to associate a boring task like home cleaning with a good feel result, not the other way around. People who have clean and neat places all the time are like that, their well being is connected to a clean and tidy home, which becomes their motivation.
4- Find ways to simplify the work
- For example, consider using paper towel instead of cleaning cloths.
You will be skipping having to wash the dirty cloths, it is also way more hygienic. It might seem more expensive but it is not. By having to wash your batch of dirty cloths, you’re increasing utilities bill.
- Get a second wireless vacuum so you won’t have to be dragging the main one around. I keep one in the garage, easy to reach on the wall and it is a breeze to reach it for a quick daily vacuuming.
- Set a schedule for the whole family to follow on participating in the home cleaning, every week. A good way to do this is to simply ask every family member what is their option. You might be surprise to see that people can pick different tasks and make this task easy and quick.
- Declutter the house as much as possible. Less stuff out mean less dusting, less furniture moving and faster cleaning.
- Keeping doubles of floor mats or any other larger items that you don’t wash so often is another great idea. It is easy to replace with a clean one, when you’re running out of time. Again, instant gratification to see a clean mat on the floor! This is very useful during these long winters we have in Canada. I keep doubles of dog towels and blankets for this reason too.
- Keep garbage bags to be replaced easy to reach. Is there anything more unpleasant than taking the garbage out and putting the new bag in? My solution for this is to keep a few new plastic bags at the bottom of the trash cans, ready to go. I love this trick, I do it in all my bins and manage to stuck almost 6 or 7 there. Don’t use groceries bags for this, they normally have holes that will make your garbage drip. I learned the hard way.
6- Clean in phases
Let’s say you have a dead line for your cleaning or cooking. You can’t procrastinate any more.
The “bear” is still sitting on your back, but you have to do. Here is my simple secret. Start slow. Put everything away in your bedroom, take the mats out of the floors, make room for the cleaning that is coming… soon. When you come back to the room later you will see that everything has been started, there is no going back now.
Believe me it will be way easier to keep going. You will feel obligated to do so and faster than you realize, you’re done.
7- Reward yourself
After your list is done, have some fun and plan ahead on how you will reward yourself in a small way after a longer cleaning routine. If you need some inspiration, find it here. Allow at least 30 min to reward yourself and let your mind be happy with the thought of the clean house.
Cleanliness brings order and peace. Somebody has to do it, though.