7 Tips to Motivate Yourself to Clean Your House

Blog written by Katchy.

Finding the motivation to clean your house can be challenging--especially if you've let it go for a period of time and are struggling to get back to normal. Often, cleaning can get away from you before you realize it, leaving you with a bigger mess than you expected. 

The good news is, your house isn't beyond redemption--not even if you've found yourself with an unexpected influx of insects and pests. Don't let the mess bug you anymore! Instead, try these great tricks to get your house looking great again.

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1. Identify the real problem areas.

When you're looking at the whole house as the problem, it can be hard to work up the energy to start. When you're looking at a specific cleaning challenge that you need to take care of, on the other hand, you may find that it's much easier to get down to business. Do you need to defeat the ants that have taken over your kitchen? (Hint: Katchy can help with that!) Do you need to tackle that pile of laundry so that you have clean clothes to wear? Has the kids' mess spread so far that you aren't even sure where one mess begins and the next ends anymore?

Identify the biggest problem area so that you can tackle it first--and reduce the odds that you'll get distracted by the other challenges you may face. 

2. Break it down.

Big-picture cleaning problems can feel incredibly overwhelming. Instead of focusing on a huge mess that needs your attention, break it down into smaller pieces. 

The whole house needs refreshing? Maybe you need to start by clearing away clutter, then sweep the floors and wipe down counters. 

The kitchen is a mess? Start with the dishes, then wipe down counters, clean expired food out of the fridge, and take care of the floors. 

When you look at your messes as smaller pieces, rather than as a massive whole, you may find it much easier to deal with the challenge in front of you. 

3. Make sure you have the tools you need.

If you're constantly fighting just to get the cleaning done, you'll find it much more frustrating overall--not to mention more time-consuming. Make sure you have the right cleaning products and equipment. That might include:

  • A good, solid broom and dust pan
  • Cleaning rags
  • Good paper towels for those messes that just need a disposable solution
  • A good scrub brush
  • Bug traps and other equipment for taking care of pests
  • Cleaning wands designed for blinds or hard-to-reach areas

You'll be surprised by what a difference it makes! Not only that, investing in a couple of new tools can help give you that burst of motivation you need to clean your house from top to bottom.

4. Seek help.

If you're struggling to find the motivation to clean your house--especially if you've had serious motivation issues due to a depressive episode or burnout--knowing that you have someone to help you can offer the push you need to get off the couch and get started. Ask a friend or family member to pitch in with you. Give the kids chores that they can take care of--even if it isn't perfect.

Can't get someone to come in and help you directly? Consider enlisting a friend or family member to serve as an accountability partner. Tell your parents that you'll be cleaning a specific area today so that they'll ask about your progress. Let a friend know that you're trying to get the house clean and tidy again. Just knowing that you have to face someone else and let them know about your progress can help push you to get the job done. 

5. Identify the barrier to finding the motivation to clean.

If you're struggling to get up the motivation to actually get your house clean, there might be a reason for it. What's stopping you from getting the job done? If there's a particular chore that you hate, why? By identifying the problem, you can often come up with a solution.

Do you hate the noise of the vacuum cleaner? Try playing music over your headphones while you do it.

Do you hate the feeling of dirty dishes? Wear thick gloves to help cover up the texture.

Does the smell in the litter box make you gag? Try solutions like litter box liners that can help alleviate the messy side of that particular chore--or wear a mask with a dab of peppermint or lavender while you tackle those stinky chores.

Get creative with your solutions! When you find something that works for you, you're much more likely to stick with it long-term--and that means a cleaner house overall. 

6. Make it fun.

Parents often use this strategy with their kids, but that doesn't mean that you can't take advantage of it for yourself. Make your cleaning day one that you enjoy. Give yourself permission to listen to your favorite podcast or to blare your favorite music and dance along as you clean. Put your favorite movie on in the background, if it won't be distracting.

Make the job a game. How fast can you get through the dishes? How many socks are knocked under the furniture in each room in the house?

Have a competition with a family member: can you get this room cleaned up before they can take care of that one? 

When you make cleaning fun, you'll be more likely to get it taken care of--and less likely to avoid those tasks in the future.

7. Set a timer.

Diving into an all-day cleaning event can feel incredibly daunting. If you're having trouble working up the motivation to get started, try setting a timer for yourself. You can start with a time that feels reasonable. If you can't get up the motivation to clean for an hour, can you convince yourself to clean for just 15 minutes? 

When the timer goes off, you can stop--no matter where you are in the process. Sometimes, when the timer goes off, you'll feel as though you can keep moving forward with the task and get it done. Starting could be the hard part! Other times, you might be ready to stop--and that's okay. Commit to doing it again the next day to help you keep going.

Final Thoughts about Finding Motivation to Clean Your House

Mustering up the motivation to clean can be a challenge, but it's also well worth it in the end. With these strategies, you can knock out some of the worst cleaning tasks and get your house back to looking its best again.