12 Ways I Get Motivated to Do Housework

I’m a wierd-o because normally I love housekeeping.

Except when I’m in my first trimester of pregnancy.  Then I never care.  I don’t shower for like four days at a time and my plants all die.  I just hit my second trimester.   After a couple of months of basically sleeping on my couch, I looked up and my house was in line for the next episode of Hoarders.  Or maybe just it was really dusty and had a lot of gross stuff in the microwave.  Yeah, probably that.

Either way, when I started feeling normal again I was overwhelmed.  Flylady pretty much saved me with her “You can do anything for fifteen minutes mantra.” (Go here to see how I tackle a really messy house!)

Want to know how I motivate myself to start on housework?

Motivation Collage

1.)  Shower/wash my face/ change into some “real clothes,”even if it’s yoga pants.  Well, let’s not pretend, it usually

2.)  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.


3.)  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.

4.)  Turn on my favorite music! Loud is good.

5.)  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.  (I am a compartmentalizer, so I use this one the most.)

6.)  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)

7.)  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.

8.)  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.

9.)  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.

10.)  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.


11.)  Start super small: Example:  What can I do in two minutes?  This always surprises me.

12.)  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 during commercials, I force myself to get up and to do a little 5-minute something.

BONUS: The Basket MethodSince writing this post, I found another way to get myself motivated!  Have you ever heard of the basket method?  Here’s how to get yourself motivated using my basket method.  This works great for a super messy house!


I usually only show you pretty pictures of my house.  But how about this?



Messy House

Messy Table

Toys 2

Messy Nursery

That’s my house right now.  Oh, there’s more.  I’m just too vain to show you.

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 fresh lines vacuumed into the carpet?

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  • http://www.lymemeariver.blogspot.com Jen Antoniou

    Oh poop. I just experienced the exact reason I comment on FB and not on the actual blog. It totally bumped me and my forming comment… so I am temporarily retiring the iPhone, and have hunted down my laptop. Which I located on Audrey’s bed. With Club Penguin on it. And thankfully, this time it was plugged in to charge. Which means she snuck into my room twice, early this morning, to thieve. haha

    Okay, so here goes. And this is just proof of how much I love you. I rarely log into the laptop during the day… the time thief! It sucks it away from me….. :)

    Because I have been overcoming a serious illness, that has caused me difficulty in so many areas, I have had to be very cautious about how I spend my time. There have been times I grabbed the vacuum (I LOVE VACUUM LINES! I get that feeling in my stomach when someone says pudding, babies, puppies, or I bought you a gift certificate for a massage!) and proceeded to vacuum ONE SQUARE FOOT. And it was too much. I feel sick to my belly. So off to bed I went, disappointed and disillusioned. After a cry and a nap, I slowly came to myself and got my head on straight. I realized that baby steps are baby steps, and every little victory should be celebrated. So I celebrated that square. One little section of lines. And I think I celebrated with Ben and Jerry’s maybe. ;P

    I might be kidding about the ice cream, but it is hard to say. My recall was still way off. It has improved. Enough where I can answer these questions above. Haha. So here goes:

    To get myself motivated, I do a few things. One, I think of my super hard working hubby. The one who often has had to cook, do laundry, housekeeping, side work, and help with the kids… once he is done with his full time job. This is an easy motivation, but I have to be careful. In my desire to bless him, I can put too much on myself. So I try to be careful.

    Sometimes the only way I can motivate myself, is to just take one little task, and do it. Then another, and another… sometimes a contest with the kids to get them to do their part (since mine are all preK age and above) can make it easier to get it going. Once I see a space that is done, or well started, I can get excited and enough of a boost for something else.

    I light yummy smelling candles, and have been known to do the spices in a pot warming trick. If I am feeling strong, maybe start something easy in the crockpot, so the aroma warms me to my core and helps me keep my focus.

    A huge motivation for me, is something that only comes once I put out some effort… and that is a clean floor. Not a whole lot derails me like a dirty floor. It is so unappealing to me, that I find little to no motivation to do it.

    Another tool I use, is taking some quiet time on my balcony. Looking at the sky, the trees, the birds flying around, etc, grounds me and calms my spirit and soul. It is very soothing to me. Then I feel more focused.

    Another one I cannot overlook, is eating a healthy, but not heavy meal. The bit of energy I get, if used right away, can yield favorable results.

    Dishes put off, in this tiny kitchen, causes an avalanche of neglect to fall onto the home. Along with food in my carpet (GROSS! Never happened pre-kids… and pre-hubby, haha), or clutter on the flat surfaces. Clutter on flat surfaces is a huge issue for this family. Bottom line, we need a bit more organization here, because the reason the stuff is up there is because nobody knows where to put it. I will get there, and always appreciate volunteer organization freaks… anyone? Lol

    I already responded to the question about vacuum lines, because I got so excited when I read it, that I was motivated to respond, and responding as quickly as I can so I can go make my own vacuum marks. And if you saw my floor (oh the horror, as I exited my bedroom!), you would see I cannot afford to waste the mental boost that will help carry out the little bit of energy I have. So goodbye for now, I have to do a quick floor hotspot clean up, so I can make pretty vacuum marks. Hmmmm… now I feel like I do when they say PSL are back at Starbucks. If you know that abbreviations, then maybe you know that feeling too.

    Thanks Rachael, and BTW… GORGEOUS job on the photos. And they are all hers, folks. I recognize them all, and that beautiful home. You are doing an amazing job, and I am proud to call you family. XOXOXO

    • http://www.frugalfaye.com Rachael

      Pudding…babies…puppies…massages…vacuum lines!

  • Daniel

    Dear Rachael,
    While I enjoy your blog, it’s sometimes hard for me to relate to. I often am accused of “over-cleaning” my house. When my mom visits, she says things like, “Why don’t you put down that blasted 409 for a minute!” or “The lack of cobwebs in the corners make me feel like I’m NOT visiting you in college…you ARE still in college, aren’t you son?” Usually, I can’t traintrack my house just once (and for those of you who never had the pleasure of a Connie Seibel chore-list, that’s where you run a wet dust-rag over all the baseboards). In fact, I often put on a lil Duke Ellington “Take The ‘A’ Train” and chug a few laps around the house. And then run ’em backwards just for kicks. And while I’ve never been pregnant before, I doubt very much THAT would stop me. I imagine, if I were pregnant, I’d probably run the vacuum all day so my baby can feed off the joy (that little love-parasite!).

    When things get really going, and I realize that I’m starting to scrub the designs of my linoleum again, I have to do a little decorating. And that’s easy…just put a bird on it! http://www.putabirdonit.com/


    • http://www.frugalfaye.com Rachael

      1.) I was too clever to be fooled by “train tracks.” Micah, on the other hand…well, I hope my kids are as easily fooled
      2.) Mom definitely does not clean your house twice a year when she visits you
      3.) I was really considering putting a bird on this post and now that you’ve said it, I think it’s a confirmation of my intuitions, so that, or I might get someone to draw me a cat for the custom banner I’m getting.

      http://iwanttodrawacatforyou.com . (You should at least consider getting a portrait of Lord Chesterfield for Christmas cards.)

  • http://www.freckledgirldesigns.blogspot.com/ House of Freckles

    Are you using Photoshop? What editing program do you use for your pictures, they look great! Also what lens do you have on your DSLR?

    • http://www.frugalfaye.com Rachael

      Hey Katie!
      LOL no, I tried Photoshop, it was horrible! I got so mad! Now I just edit the pictures right in iPhoto with the “adjust” tool. I usually just crop and adjust the lightness and darkness with the histogram. For effects, I wanted something quick and easy so my husband got me a program for the Mac called “Analog.” I LOVE IT! It’s just a simple little program with filters…a lot like Instagram, but a little better. It was $9.00 I think. You drag the photos from iPhoto into the program.

      I mainly use the “nifty fifty” lense (50 mm). It doesn’t zoom, but it gives that depth of field I like! It didn’t come with the camera, but my friend who is a photographer said I needed it.

  • Lisa

    Love simmering spices on the stove! Cinnamon sticks and orange peels do WONDERS for your house! And I am cracking up at the Connie Seibel chore list…hilarious. The great Julie Suderman often dialed up the “Speedy Quick Company” for super fast cleaning services (aka: Kim, Lisa, and Dana answering the bedroom phone while mom was on the kitchen phone). Good times.

    • http://www.frugalfaye.com Rachael

      LOL! I love it! I wonder what games we’ll play with our kids to get them to clean! I just tried the cinnamon sticks, but I used lemon peels. I’m gong to try the orange!

  • http://www.ecochicbabyandhome.com Eco chic chrissy

    Monday used to be my cleaning day also (when i was a stay home mom)
    Now its 15 min before we leave the house and 15 min before bed routine… then on the weekend we all clean as a family. Though one day a month on my day off I try to have a “stay home day” which involves cleaning, organizing and a reward of a dvr show and ice cream!

  • Linda Alsbury

    Just so you know, even your messes look clean. Just saying.

    • http://www.frugalfaye.com Rachael

      LOL well, thanks! Everyone else’s messes are never as intimidating as my own!

    • oracle

      They look so clean that I wonder if they were ‘staged’ with clean stuff made to look messy for the blog…my messes sure don’t look that pristine….:(

  • Sarah McLain

    Oh Rachael! This post is absolutely wonderful… besides the great tips (Simmering Spices on the stove, I LOVE that! Brilliant!)… I seriously almost started crying looking at your pictures! Your honest shots were refreshing. My home, with dishes piled high and baby things scattered. well…. everywhere, and feeling like I’m a complete failure at being a wife and mother because the toilets haven’t been scrubbed in a month. actually, I’m not gonna lie… we’re going on 2 months now. hanging my head in shame :/ Thank you for being real and for giving me motivation to be better at the same time! Love ya girl!

  • http://www.frugalfaye.com Rachael

    Girl, I’m preparing myself for a hot mess of a house here pretty soon…as soon as I have this baby! It’s going to be a whole new level, LOL!

  • Nicole Abele

    #1 – I do a lot of the stuff you listed. Even the commercials thing, though I don’t have a TV, there are commercials on Hulu, so it works.
    #2 – Kitchen counter (kitchen sink overflow) and kitchen table
    #3 – You’re not alone and neither am I :)

    I just found your blog about 30 minutes ago, and I think we are kindred spirits. 😀

    • frugalfaye

      YES! Kindred spirits are my favorite :)

  • Charolina

    great post, love it! very helpfull tips!

  • lauren kramer

    Thank you ! And yes your mess is clean compared to my mono induced disaster of an apartment. Usually for me all hell breaks loose after my bedroom gets messy then the living room and so in and so forth. And yes yes yes sweeper tracks and fresh carpet is one of my favorite things to see , also a dish free sink and sparkly wiped down stove and counter top. Thank you for this post!

  • Judy H

    Faye, I am getting excited about housework after reading a few of your blogs! I had totally forgotten about the fly lady stuff! I have a 6 month old (who is teething, none the less) and an 8 yr old and I work a crazy schedule as a dispatcher for a sheriffs office. I am blessed to have a hubby that recently just started a daytime (regular schedule, yay!) job. I took 10 weeks maternity leave but you know what? I did not vacuum my carpets until Baby Girl was about 5 months old. Seriously! Floors weren’t a priority and nobody else was picking up the vacuum, so it just had to wait. But she’s getting closer to trying to crawl, so all of the sudden floors are going to be a priority! Just wanted to let other Mom’s know that nobody is perfect in the housekeeping area. We do what we can. Thanks for the great tips and encouragement. I do want to be able to enjoy my house with my family again. I’m going to start w/ the kitchen table…it is a mess and it’s the first thing we see when we come in.

    • Amy Hossack

      Its nice to hear someone else acknowledge that if you’re not doing it, and nobody else is doing it, its just not getting done!!! I always feel like “I’m not doing it” but the reality is that there are TWO other adults in my house!

  • http://www.candacebarnett.com Candace Barnett

    Glad I found this blog. I just got out of the shower as my first step in my day full of chores and was already feeling overwhelmed. First step – get dressed! Haha it was just motivating to see your list. I’m going to try the simmering spices thing too – sounds like a great idea! Thanks for the motivation!

    • Cecile Rasmussen

      Go hard Candace and great idea going for a shower first why not take care of myself first then tackle my hit list and what I dont get done wont get me down because I did my best.

  • Aimee Daniello

    THANK YOU. reading this has motivated me…. and thanks for the pics. makes me feel better about myself :)

    • frugalfaye

      You are welcome! I love a good confessional! Ha ha! Good for the soul.

  • oracle

    I used to use the ‘commercial’ method – it was practically painless and worked amazingly well – until I gave up on useless TV programming. Now I miss the commercials – got more done.

  • Linda

    I am reading your blog right now for inspiration!! When I know someone is coming over, I am all over the cleaning/straightening up thing. Otherwise, I could really care less about cleaning, although I do like my home clean! Does that make any sense??? My kitchen is the hot spot for needing the most attention. Or is my bedroom more? I put IT off until very last, and it is always pretty bad. My dogs and cats and I are the only ones who live in there, and they like it. I also love seeing the lines in the carpet after vacuuming! That is, when I actually get motivated to vacuum, boo. Oh my!!!!

    • frugalfaye

      My hot spot is the kitchen too, and my bedroom is always last to get attention!

  • janoir

    I do most of the things you do, but one thing I do is have a friend over every Friday. I don’t want her to see my “dark side” so I make sure to tidy up the living areas and vacuum. Yes I love seeing the lines in the carpet too!

  • Jaquie

    When I get a bad case of the I Don’t Wannas, I have a few go to motivators. First, I buy myself some clearance flowers for under $4. Then I stick them in whatever room needs cleaning the most. There is something about seeing beautiful flowers against a cluttered background that makes me want to clean. My next go to is to splurge on a nice or new cleaning product. My addiction to buying and trying new things lights a cleaning fire under my bum. If all else fails, I invite guests over or plan a party. There’s nothing like the prospect of public humiliation to get you cleaning like crazy.
    And of course, I totally dance like a fool to my favorite songs the whole time. My kids look at me like I’ve lost it every time, right before they join in :)
    As far as what chore not done causes utter chaos, it is without a doubt laundry, dishes, and those dreadful caltrops otherwise known as legos.

  • Barb

    I just stumbled upon this site but I love your honesty. The biggest problem I have is that none of the other 4 members of my family are on board and I have let that stand in my way of cleaning up. I struggle with depression and get overwhelmed easily but I also find frustrating that they can walk over and on top of their messes while I work full time, go to school and take care of an ailing mother. Anyone else out there?

    • Nat

      Yes. They love to tell my it’s filthy but they won’t help fix it. It’s hard to bear at times. I’m on anti-depressants. Also they EXPECT me to clean, and get all in my face when it isn’t done. Trying to keep a cleaning schedule is likely to have more work piled upon me in one day than I had planned for the week to make it less overwhelming. I am at this time semi-seriously thinking about burning the place down, but I won’t :-/

      • Kitty

        I feel the same way. I get overwhelmed then I just sit there and do nothing. I used to be more energetic and have a boost of energy, but I feel tired all the time and just want to lay down and relax.

        • jacq

          I hear you on this! I am a shadow of my former self. Used to be I saw something I needed to do and I just got up and did it….these days there’s a wall I have to break through to accomplish simple tasks. What I do get done is soon undone with no regard to helping keep things straightened out. No respect for our home. And just assuming mom will have to clean it anyway.

      • sue robertson

        i am SO thick – been on antidepressants for years and yet have never made the connection between depression and anxiety and being overwhelmed by housework!! been so good to read these comments. Keep telling myself im NOT a hoarder and have stopped buying things i dont need but just cant tackle the mess…..

    • LVCATS

      Barb, I feel your frustrations! I suffer from depression and work full-time also. But uou go to school too. My husband and son don’t help to make things easier for me. All I ask is that they pick up after themselves. If the dish is dirty put it in dishwasher dont just leave it in the sink or on table. If you spill on the counter or floor wipe it up. They think I am over doing it on cleaning, well if I could stay home then I could and would be happy to maintain the home. But NO, I am cleaning and washing clothes on weekends while they have fun going places or doing hobbies! I am exhausted fighting the battle. But I can’t stand a messy and dirty home. I feel I get up in the morning only to see the mess they have left me to clean before going to work and when I get home I am cleaning too, while they watch TV. I think it’s inconsiderate of them to not assist. They think I’m OCD about it! Which I may be alittle, but I try to compromise! I just like things neat and organized. With my depression, it makes me feel better! So wouldn’t you think they would want me feeling better?! I told them wouldn’t you rather have a clean home than a messy one? We are family and we should help each other out even if its not that important to you! It’s funny because if they visit a messy home they don’t like it! I dont know what to do…..I guess I didn’t train them right and now it’s too late! I have hired a cleaning person once in awhile. My husband doesnt like it but I tell him then start helping out! Plus I’m a happier person when things are cleaned up. They must like me crabby! Men they don’t get it!! So I will pray for you and all women and men whose families refuse to help clean!! ☺

      • jodi

        This may seem a bit mean but this is how I get my messy members to clean up. I get up early for work, much earlier than they want to get up. If I wake to stuff laying around I make them get up early and put it away. They are doing a much better job of picking up before bed now.

      • Sarah

        I am so glad you talked about your depression and how a dirty or cluttered home is so harmful for depression. I’ve been struggling with this for the last 2 years and it is almost unbearable at times. Thank you for sharing.

      • rebecca

        They don’t like you to be crabby or even care they just don’t want to clean. Unfortunately you will have to make them do it if they are ever going to do it. How old is your son? You could make him either spend 15 minutes a day helping you tidy up, or pay for a housekeeper out of his money.

      • Cecile Rasmussen

        Hiya I am right with you on not coping with a mess but I have to ask for help yes I have resorted to waking my children up at 6am to help me clean their mess. And camping out in my clean room and leaving my family members to cook, wash dishes so they have dishes to eat off.
        I would love to be able to afford disposable dishes so I didnt have to wash so I just ask my family for help.

      • KC O

        I am proud of you for hiring a housekeeper, you absolutely deserve this for yourself. You are self sacrificing which is admirable but at the same time “Nobody can take better care of you better than you”. Be good to yourself, your good to others!

    • @Barb its some what same here I feel as my husband and 2 kids are comfortable with a messy home ugh I get it my kids are 6 & 7 the mess is not a thought to them. I also suffer from depression add my 7 yr old & I have adhd with a light case of bipolar disorder yup craziness here lol but I still want to be comfortable in my home and I have been on a cleaning strike until everyone else helps. But no luck so back to me trying to get my cleaning on. This site is a great read for me! Thanks for pictures even though my house is worst lol toys and clothes every where.

      • Sarah

        Thank you for sharing. I responded earlier too. I also suffer from Depression, Bipolar, and PTSD. Living with my husbad and teenage son, they just don’t understand how overwhelmed I get by the clutter.

    • Jenny

      I get this all the time. It’s like running a never-ending race because as I try to clean everyone is quick to make a mess behind me. I don’t have as many family members though as it’s only my 1.5 yo, my partner and my pregnant self but I’m at the point where I just lay around and cry, I find it hard to see the point in doing anything anymore

    • Liza

      Yes. Here is what I learned after being in the same situation as a young mother of 6. Now I’m 65, my kids are grown, and as I look back, the smartest thing I ever did, was clean my bedroom to pristine. I set up my desk, put a small tv and radio in there and kept it that way. I STOPPED cleaning the rest of the house. I explained to my family I was stopping because I failed to see the point any longer when it was so obvious that either it didn’t matter to them, or they didn’t have enough respect or regard for me and my efforts to help. It took a few weeks, but I started noticing that dishes were being done so they had dishes to eat on. Laundry was getting done,so they had clean clothes, and the biggest surprise was when I came home and the house was clean, I mean really clean because they wanted their friends to come over. Then I saw that they started maintaining it. I had sanctuary after work and school, and a
      Clean wonderful place to study, and my kids learned to clean, cook,do laundry and ( to me) the most important, the appreciation for what I was doing. After a while they all ended up apologizing to me for their disrespect, and I rejoined the family and the “home” became a group effort.

      • Eilish Mc Elhinney

        Love your way of thinking, not looking for an excuse out, but would this work with a 1, 2, 3, 7 and a 10 year old in the one small 3bed bungalow house, and my dear man works On a 24 h call out service, which is most of the time in and out for tea break,

  • Loving Evening

    Rachael, you’re a Godsend! While looking at your pictures, I almost gleefully yelled, “It’s not just me!” lol ~hugs~

  • Amanda- Avid Cleaning Avoider

    1.) I put on music on good days.
    3.) I enjoy shine. and clutter free , simple cleanliness, with a lit candle and a curled up dog on the floor. on the floor I repeat on the floor. I swear why did I get a pet? anyways, no your not the only one who loves a clean house, but hates to clean it! thanks I enjoyed this, now off to clean !

  • Crystalkr

    My husband cooks elaborate meals. They are never done till very late in the evening. Usually around 9. He also makes elaborate messes. I get so overwhelmed that I sometimes leave it till morning. Gross, I know. Even when morning comes I’m still overwhelmed. So, I start cleaning the rest of my house. Everytime I have to go into my kitchen to put away dishes or get a towel….anything….I clean for 3 minutes. I get as much done as possible in 3 min and then I leave it. By the time the rest of my house is done I don’t have much left to do in the kitchen!

  • Jessie Ray Hilton

    This is exactly what I needed. I am a new stay at home mom coming from a previous 6 year long nanny position where I had the pressure of working in someone else’s house and semi predictive work schedule that kept me on track but now, even though my newborn sleeps through the night and is now six weeks old, I cant find the motivation after caring for her all day to not spend my occasional nap breaks on the couch watching L&O. Its so distressing to have a mess in my previously clean and organized home. I joined my gym yoga class to try and meet people and find modivation through social stimulation, but the class is only once a week, so I needed an extra motivator. This list is so helpful :)

  • Amy Hossack

    Don’t you just love Flylady! :)

  • hipsmelissa

    I work evenings and so I’m home all day until about 4 then work till 11 pm – I find it SOOOOO hard to get motivated to clean and tidy the house. It sounds so lazy but I keep thinking I don’t want to get tired cleaning the house because I have to be on the ball in the evenings for work. Any advice?

  • gmail

    hi faye my name is rylee i am 12 and i cant seem to get motivated to clean my room but this helped so much it helps with doing my normal chores too i love your website whenever i have a cleaning question i always come to you thanks so much

    • http://www.fromfaye.com/ fromfaye

      Yay! Thank you for commenting Rylee! Great job helping your family with chores. It’s great practice for having your own house some day!

  • gmail

    for the record you kitchen looks spotless compared to mine

    • http://www.fromfaye.com/ fromfaye

      Ha ha! Well, it’s okay. The camera doesn’t show all the grime!

  • Jelli Bean

    OMG your house looks like mine thank goodness I am NOT the only one, LOL…..I am definately following your blog….

  • Allison

    I own a cleaning business and clean about 6 accounts a week. When I get home, I resent cleaning my own space! I enjoyed the tips you gave.. And it’s true, so much can be accomplished in just 15 minutes.

  • rebecca

    I have a 7 and 2 yr old. Work 40+ hrs. And i am getting so far behind on laundry and housework. Im exhausted. And idk how ill ever catch up if i dont take a few days off work. I used to unload reload dishwasher n stuff on my lunch just to keep that up but i just cant deal anymore! My feet ache i feel like im abt to fall asleep as i type.

  • Markie

    I just adore this article and its author! Haha! I’m having so much trouble getting the motivation, and this article and the links within it, help a lot! Yes, I too love the fresh vacuum lines in the floor and would go back over the carpet to make sure all lines are perpendicular and even to each other. I love the smell of fresh pine-sol after mopping because it’s like the scent of victory after tackling a huge mess. One hotspot in my house that causes the house to deteriorate if I leave it a mess is the kitchen. It’s also the room that I hate the most to clean. I’ll clean every room and leace the kitchen for last. When I finally get to the kitchen, that’s when I call it quits. I hate it so badly. It demotivates me every single time.

  • Angela

    Sometimes I play cleanup “golf” and pick up 3 items to put away and wherever the last item goes I pick up 3 more there. Sometimes choose a Disney character and clean up like they would (Cinderella, before a reward; Lightning McQueen, super fast…). Sometimes I turn on all the lights and can only turn them off when that room is clean. :)

  • candylyn25

    Thank you for posting such honesty! I have always been a well organized neat and tidy house kinda gal but we all have those days, months lol that we get so behind and unmotivated. Love your tips so keep them coming girly!

  • Male

    How about you get off the internet and clean

    • Hanna Hereford

      how about you get off the internet and stop bitching!

    • Fiona

      Why do that when she could employ a male cleaner to do it for her!

  • Michelle Jett

    Hey, just found your post and ive got to say my worst spot to keep clean and that totally starts my clean house downfall is my kitchen. No one else in the house will even offer to touch the dishes, which puts that chore on me, the trash? Well yeah that’s my area as well for the same reason, my daughter has toys everywhere but i can usually get her to take them to her room. The hubby takes care of the outside chores. I work a full time job and only get a short amount of time to do much if anything outside of work when you take into account doctor appointments etc to clean house, so more often than not i get (very) behind in my housework. Hopefully, I can utilize your tips and stay on top of everything better. Plus, my husband made me a deal, that if I can stay on top of the housework a little better and keep everything caught up, he’ll cut down smoking to only a pack a day (or less). So they’re even more motivation i guess…lol

  • Sylvie Gagné

    I dread cleaning…. This is how I found you… how to motivate myself to clean my house! LOL I usually will plan a good dinner and invite people over. Then, when push comes to shove, I’ll clean the whole house in one afternoon. But, I have to find a better way to clean up. I tend to be paper messy person. I now have a new saying: a clear surface is not storage area! It helps…. I must confess, I like to hear the vacuum sucking stuff up… I know I’m really cleaning!

  • Carolyn

    Nice tips. Especially the dr Laura piece!

  • Hollie

    This makes me wonder…. my house is actually cleaner than that right now and my husband is still bitching about the house being a disaster.. my tables and counters are cleaned off, there are no dirty clothes or toys on the floors, You cant even see specks of anything in the carpet… starting to wonder what his problem is…. when i ask him what is in need of a good clean and all he says to me is “the whole fu**ing house” Im so confused…

  • Lizzie

    Answers to you questions:
    1. I usually tell myself JUST DO IT. Lol and Put some loud music on.
    2. Dishes! Are my worst enemy.
    3. NO. I love a clean house! If not I probably wouldn’t clean lol.

  • Kristine Brooks

    I hate cleaning!!! And I really need some inspiration to start with my cleaning tasks. Here is one more post that I find useful and want to share with you: http://www.spundge.com/story/97252/

  • Hannah

    Oh my gosh. 8 weeks pregnant and so unmotivated. I don’t want to do ANYTHING. Thank you for this post!

  • Lori

    Your pics made me feel normal, thank you for sharing!
    My motivator is pretending company is on their way to visit. I literally mean in the car on their way to my messy house!
    I hit the main spots and it gets a momentum started that goes on forever. Each time I see a cleaned organized (as best as can be organized) it energises me to tackle another job!

  • Michael VoteYes Farrell

    What kind of fucked up tv you watching that has 5 minute commercials? :/

    • Rachael Alsbury

      Before you start asking snide questions with a side of profanity, do share why are you on the Internet doing google searches about about getting motivated to clean Mr. Michael VoteYes FarrelI.

  • Jane

    This is great!
    Even people that love cleaning need motivation.
    I notice that there are a lot of comments from people that feel they don’t get the support they want from their families. I too felt that way.
    Once I left everything and did nothing for days. The mess piled up, no one did anything. Then it suddenly dawned on me. NO ONE CARES. it was quite true. No one noticed and no one cared except me! They were all happy to live in a mess and I realised I wasn’t!! The reason I wanted the house clean and tidy was for myself. If I wanted a tidy house it was up to me.
    Once I realised this I knew that every time I clean I’m doing it for myself. It is the one (sometimes the only) thing I do for myself. Why should they clean up if they don’t care?
    Now they say “where are my shoes?” And I say “I’m sorry, it makes me feel bad when your shoes are left on the floor in the front hall way so I put them away in your bedroom”. The next time they think. No one wants me to feel bad!! So they usually (not always) put their things away…for me! Sometimes (not a lot) I come home and my oldest son has got everyone together to tidy up as a treat for me. It is a treat! I feel so lucky!! But I never expect it, that’s when I start to feel bad again.

    • http://www.fromfaye.com/ fromfaye

      Jane, this post has been on my blog for a few years and I have to say that I think this is the most helpful and insightful comment ever to be posted! I am starting to realize the same thing about myself. Thanks for the comment!

  • Leo

    Dear Faye,

    thanks a lot for your advices. It’s really help me. But my problem is, that I always can find something more important what can I do now instead housework.

    But I found what can motivate me. I’m also like jogging and like to participate in different competitions where I can get a medal. And I make a service where everyone can get awards for daily housework. And it works for me and my wife. I hope you don’t delete this link as commercial, duty-awards.com.

  • Mary hanks

    Hi..I enjoyed reading this..but some of the comments here were quite bitchy..

  • Rebekah Juliet David

    You’re one of those who don’t bathe for four days! Leave the house in pajamas after caking on some makeup, don’t let the hubby near you b/c you reek of fish, on social media all day or chatting away with your friends. I hope you don’t cook, I would never eat your food from the looks of how you keep your house. Is your bathroom horrendous, too dirty to show I’m sure. Does anybody here deep clean their bathroom every 3 days or less? I do. That other lady said she hasn’t cleaned her bathroom in 2 months, disgusting! And she still uses it or does she keep a chamber pot umder her bed?

    • Hanna Hereford

      thank you so much for taking time out of your daily rituals to be a total cunt. it must be so hard for you to walk the earth among such ungrateful slobs. oh bless me! I beg my significant other to grace me with their touch after raising children, cleaning, cooking, going to school online for my degree and working. how do you do it? maybe you can accomplish all your sex and cleanliness and patience by reading blogs? say, what is a perfectionist like yourself, who enjoys shaming overwhelmed women (ya know, human beings who are designated these jobs because they have vaginas), doing on a blog to help people pull out their cleaning funk?

      • sue robertson

        good on ya Hanna – some people just have no understanding of others. Dont judge if you havent been there eh?

      • Jennifer M Fagrelius

        Excellent. I love you for your post, Hanna (on behalf of all overwhelmed and overworked moms in the world).

  • Tessa Hudepohl

    This is something that gets me moving and getting the job done. Put on music, get rags and a bucket filled with a great smelling cleaner. You will be doing much more cleaning than you had even planned on. The great smell and the music is therapeutic. Hope it works for you.

  • Fiona

    Thankyou for this. Housework is not easy and all help is appreciated.

  • Arwen

    Your dishes are clean…there’s no dirty food on them. Shame cos it made me feel better knowing I wasn’t alone however the dishes made me question the authenticity of your messes…Other than that the tips are great.

  • Cass

    Thanks so much for this! I put on some tunes and finally motivated myself to just do it. Now I’m sitting in a clean house with candles and the laundry done and it feels….awesome. Pure awesome.


  • Margarita Rodriguez

    I pretend that my mother is coming over! That usually gets me moving very quickly!

  • SIB1

    If I am having a real issue getting going on a major clean… I go to the store and buy something for the house… example, kitchen or bath mat… throw pillow covers etc… usually I hit the $store. Anyways I am not sure why bit I want to put my new purchase in a clean house… so I clean first.
    Also I find doing the dishes and making beds first make a big impact and gets me going.
    I am going to try the 15min timer trick I think that will really work. I’d do the commercial one buy I have Netflix.

    Thanks for the tips and tricks

    P.S. My son says he can physically see me relax once the house is clean. Is that a sign of a “neat freak” ? Or Is it just normal.?

  • meydiano ichiko olivia

    oh my god, thank you so much. i am proscinating to clean my house over 4 months ! i keep saying later ill clean, oke later ill hire people to clean (which cost bloody expensive). i type in the google how to motivate myself to clean my house, and your blog come first. im glad found your blog. thank you so much :)

  • Janet Cucharo
  • Lisa

    Thank you very much for the tips, I will certainly try that today. I do get unmotivated and it doesn’t help having depression, but I know I need to clean as well. I agree that music is a motivator and I will try with the timer today to see how long it takes to get things done :)

  • Jules Linee

    Greetings from rural England! Reading through all the comments, It’s good (but not good) to know I’m not alone in my failure to get motivated on the house. I’ve suffered depression since my Mum passed away 6 years ago. I work full time and can fly like a bird with others around me, but when I get home alone, I procrastinate, I feel overwhelmed by the whole thing. I have devised a rota which I write into a traditional school register book (Not sure if you have these in the U.S?) it consists of daily chores, every other day, weekly, monthly and 6 monthly. If I’m having a bad day, then I do the daily chores and nothing else (amounts to 7 quick jobs, taking no more than 45 minutes and takes care of the main mess) this is besides cooking dinner and walking my dog (hardly a chore in the Dorset countryside!) But I rarely sit down before 9 pm, after getting up at 6 am. Hats off to those ladies out there who work AND have children (although I have a farmer as a partner and that’s close!)
    I find the list helps me when I feel like a rabbit caught in the headlights. I go to the next thing on the list, it might be ‘polish mirrors’. Then I grab the right cloth (I used the ones that you just have to use damp, with no polish) and I do all the mirrors in the house while I have that cloth in my hand. so it’s task based, not zoned. Saying that Faye, I have used your 15 minute timer rule today and it worked really well as I tried so hard to get the room clear before my 15 minutes were up.
    But then I went for a stroll to the village shop at 5.30 pm, stopped in at the pub, and had 2 glasses of wine…… so it’s a good job I have left overs for dinner!
    Faye, I love your blog. Found it this afternoon and I’m hooked already!

  • Nikki Chavelas

    I don’t know if this works for anyone else, but if I watch an episode or two of Hoarders, I always end up cleaning my house lol

  • Shelley Maland

    Thank all of you guys…don’t have kids, but when the mess gets overwhelming i don’t know where to begin…I think I am lazy or depressed :( One step at a time :)

  • Claire Vautour

    I use the commercial one all the time, but i can’t if my bf is home because he is usually playing video games on the tv. I need to find a new trick for when he’s home lol

  • Jamie Dalsin Koblas

    I too used commercials to help me clean my house, usually during my first trimester when I was dealing with morning sickness (24/7 sickness is more like it). I called it “Commercial Cleaning”.

  • Cherri Cadet

    this was great haha I sort of feel bad for you though because your house is three times as dirty as mine.