7 Tips For Keeping House — When You'd Rather Not

There are times — when you're sick, nursing a broken heart, in a work crunch — when keeping the house clean is just about the last thing on your mind. But, whether you live alone or have other people who depend on you to keep things running smoothly, keeping your home clean and beautiful is good for your soul. Here are some ways to motivate yourself when you'd rather throw in the towel and add it to that growing pile on the bathroom floor!

  • Clean in bits & pieces. When I'm feeling particularly overwhelmed, I use a timer set for 10 or 15 minutes. It's usually just enough time to get us going and there's a surprising amount you can get done in a small amount of time.
  • Clean while you're doing other things. Cleaning while talking on the phone or during a commercial (if you're watching live television) is a good mindless way to multitask.
  • Hire help. Sometimes it's worth it to bring in a professional to tackle the big jobs — washing the floors or windows, vacuuming. It's easier to keep it clean once it's been cleaned by someone else.
  • Put things back after you use them. Even if you can't get to the big jobs, like laundry, tackling a small job, like washing pots as you use them, can bring a little bit of order to your home.
  • Keep one thing in each room clean. There's one thing in each room that can give the rest of the room a semblance of order. In the bedroom, make the bed. A clean and clear coffee table can make an otherwise chaotic living room feel serene. A sparkling sink can work maginc in the bathroom and kitchen.
  • Use your landing strip. It's at times like this when those small systems you've put in place can make the difference between calm and chaos. A well-thought out landing strip, an organized closet, a functioning junk drawer, a schedule for house maintenance — can all keep your home running smoothly when you're brain is otherwise occupied.
  • Treat yourself to something for your home. Flowers, a room spray, a scented candle, a new pillow — spoil yourself with a touch of pretty and make yourself feel well-cared for.

Image: Rebecca and Joe's Color Sampler