How to Motivate Yourself to Clean Regularly, For People Who Hate Cleaning

published Jun 28, 2015
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(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Your home is truly a reflection of yourself, and mine definitely says, “I hate cleaning”… at least it does right this minute. See, I’m more than capable of getting my home totally tidy (and I love it when I do), but keeping up a regular cleaning routine is a tough task for me. Even though I know the power of a weekly cleaning schedule, I have to resort to tricks — some that practically border on mind control — to actually do it.

Depending on how much you hate to clean, you might also be a candidate for a more, um, stringent technique to build a routine. One that requires strength, willpower, and just a little bit of self-deceit. It all starts with one question…

Just how much do you hate cleaning?

I’d rather not.

  • Schedule and host a weekly get-together in your home.
  • Play music/make a playlist just for cleaning.
  • Trade tasks with friends: I’ll clean your bathroom if you do my laundry.
  • Don’t ever put away your cleaning supplies: one less obstacle.

I’d rather do something else.

  • Schedule and host a weekly get-together in your home and ask a friend to bring someone you don’t know.
  • Put cleaning on your calendar so it’s easier to keep other things from interfering.
  • Have a show you’re only allowed to watch once the house is clean.
  • Start an audio book that you can only listen to while you’re cleaning.

I’d rather die.

  • Put cash on the line in a pact with family or friends.
  • Put cash on the line on StickK. Pledge $20 to an UNworthy cause (like the campaign of a loathed politician) for every time you don’t clean. Suddenly, cleaning is mandatory.
  • Only let yourself brush your teeth or your hair once the bathroom is clean. No exceptions.
  • Log your clean routine on social media. Yes, it’s mildly annoying to scroll by a friend’s constant updates with her GPS jogging maps but those kinds of public pronouncements are great motivation. Commit to posting a photo of your home every weekend, and ask friends keep you on track.