12 Ways I Get Motivated to Do Housework
I’m a strange bird because normally I love housekeeping. Last month, there came a time when I wanted to delete that post and bury my laptop deep into the overflowing trash can. I didn’t care if I ever made my bed again in my life. Or washed a dish. Or dusted a shelf. I spent a lot of time doing the following: deeply sleeping (or strongly desiring to do so), dozing, nodding off, lying on the couch, going to bed early, skipping exercise, watching HGTV, and contemplating quitting my blog…among other things. Housework was the second-to-last thing I wanted to do. (The last: showering, putting on jeans, and going out in public.) The motivation level…it was probably negative 10.
Suddenly, one day, this thought came to me “I should really scrub down this toilet and remove these baby blocks from this kitchen drawer of tupperware.” And that is how I knew the first trimester was over; I am a practicing, organized, clean freak once again. It took two weeks to put my house back to it’s usual state, but I did it fifteen rational minutes at a time. (As Flylady says, “You can do anything for fifteen minutes!”) Thank goodness for my Flylady housekeeping system, for without it I probably would have gone on a cleaning rampage and done something irrational like try to dust the garage. Instead, here I am in my reasonably clean home writing a blog about housekeeping.
Even with the greatest housekeeping system on earth…it’s all rubbish unless I get up and do it. In the overwhelming quest to catch up on laundry, dishes and general tidiness, I found it necessary to tap into my treasure trove of sophisticated motivational tactics. The following is a list of twelve mind games I often employ to help me get motivated to start my housekeeping. I thought you might love to know what ridiculous things I do in the name of motivation.
- Shower/wash my face/ change into some “real clothes,”even if it’s yoga pants. Well, let’s not pretend, it usually is
- Set my timer! I have developed a habit of setting my timer when I’m doing my Monday once-over or my daily tidying routines. I love to see if I can beat my previous records. When my timer goes off and I look around, it just proves that housework does not need to be an all-day ordeal. Or an all-day procrastination-fest.
- Start with the easiest task to get some momentum: Mine is usually folding the blanket on the couch, straightening the pillows and picking up the toys in the living room. Instantly gratifying.
- Turn on my favorite music! Loud is good.
- Take it one tiny zone at a time: “If I can clear off the dining room table, then I’ll clean off that counter top.” And so on. And so forth…
- Talk on the phone. I put my earpiece in and call my sister to catch up. Talking on the phone makes chores go so much faster…and suddenly the bathroom has also been cleaned! (Let’s face it, I’m never on the phone with my sister for just 15 minutes)
- Promise myself a reward. It’s usually a mocha. Last time it was a cookie. By the time I’ve finished my routine, I usually feel so good I don’t even take myself up on it!
- Okay, forget that. On bad days it’s a pre-reward. A reward for my good intentions, shall we say. Anyways, in my experience, a little sugary caffeine never hurt a fast, 15-minute housekeeping spree.
- Simmer some spices on the stove. I don’t know what it is, but the aroma of cinnamon, cloves and oranges wafting through the house just motivates me to get everything feeling cozy and tidy.
- Listen to a motivating (or just entertaining) audio book, podcast, or TV show while I work. My favorites in include Dr. Laura, Dave Ramsey, Joyce Meyer, and Seth Godin.
- Start super small: Example: What can I do in two minutes? This always surprises me!
- Use TV commercials. If I’m having a truly terrible and unmotivated, overwhelming day, I do what I call commercial method. You cannot use your DVR for this, as commercials are a necessity. I allow myself to lay around and watch T.V. all day, but when I get up to dig around for the chocolate covered almonds during commercials, I force myself to get up and to do a little 5-minute something.
I usually only show you pretty pictures of my house. But how about this?
That’s my house right now. Oh, there’s more, much more. I’m just too vain to show you the smeared banana parts….
Monday’s my cleaning day…oh, yeah, that’s today.
SO, I need to know:
1.) How do you get yourself motivated to tackle your housework?
2.) What is that one chore or hot-spot that will cause your house to deteriorate into madness if you put it off?
3.) Am I the only one who gets that special feeling when I see (ahh) fresh lines vacuumed into the carpet? Anyone? Just me? Oh. Okay.