There are a few people out there that truly enjoy cleaning. They receive a sense of satisfaction from doing household chores thoroughly and well. But there are many more of us that dislike housework and think it’s just a necessary drudgery.
Most of us like to live in a clean, uncluttered environment and to maintain a certain level of order. But if you don’t want to pay someone to clean, and you don’t live with Mary Poppins, your home probably won’t be magically transformed from a dirty mess to a haven of peace and order. However, there is a way to approach housework that can help you keep things tidy without too much pain. And by following this one easy tip you reign in tendencies to procrastinate when it comes to cleaning house.
Don’t Get Overwhelmed
Cleaning never really gets done. As soon as you make everything spotless, a child walks in with muddy feet or a spouse leaves books and papers strewn about and you need to start all over again. This lack of any sense of finality makes it easy to put off picking up papers and wiping down mirrors in favor of anything more interesting. That’s why some people plan a party or invite people over to force themselves to get things in order.
Avoiding social judgment and embarrassment is a strong motivator for cleaning up your mess. But having a clean house only a few times a year is a bit sad. To keep your home relatively tidy isn’t difficult if you work on it consistently. Just a small amount of time each day can work wonders. And when you make it a game it’s not hard to work for a few minutes here and there.
Pick a Number
When you walk into a room of your home and see a mess, pick a number either randomly or based on how much time or patience you have at the moment, and then do just that many things to improve the look of the room. Fold up comforters, gather together papers and deliver dishes into the kitchen. When you get to the last number you can stop.
You will feel better and the room will look better. Then, if you want to continue go ahead. Once you get going you might surprise yourself and feel motivated to clean the whole room. The counting gets you started and the good feeling of accomplishment keeps you going.
Just a Few Minutes
Sometimes instead of using a set number for tasks, you can use a number of minutes for cleaning a room. Even the most unpleasant or boring of tasks can be tolerated for a few minutes at a time. So if you go into the kitchen and your heart sinks at seeing crumbs on the counter and the floor, dishes piled high and sticky pots from the night before soaking in the sink, then set the timer on the stove for five or ten minutes and get to work. The game is the challenge of getting it looking ship-shape in the time allotted.
Get the whole family involved with the five minute clean-up trick. Put a timer on for five minutes and have everyone work on an area of the house for just that amount of time. If there are four people, then twenty minutes of housework gets done!
Making cleaning a game of sorts makes it less of dreaded chore to avoid. You might even find yourself having fun and having a joyful time cleaning with your family! Well, it could happen… But there is no doubt that having a neat living environment will make coming home more of a joy.