Cleaning and Decluttering Motivation
Let’s be real. For the majority of us, cleaning and organizing isn’t the easiest part of housekeeping.
Even if we enjoy the actual activity of cleaning, there’s always a mental block that stops us from getting started.
In this post, we explain how to get motivated to clean and declutter.
These tips will get you over that initial hurdle, and help you to enjoy your cleaning routine.
Because once you’ve gotten started, it’s never as bad as you think it’ll be, but for some reason, we go through the same process every single time.
Our tips for cleaning and decluttering motivation all focus on making it more enjoyable.
The goal is to make our brains associate our least favorite releasing dopamine so that the next time we want to convince ourselves to start cleaning our brain won’t be fighting it in favor of a more enjoyable activity.
These dopamine releases might come from listening to music, dancing around, enjoying your favorite drinks and treats, or the fragrances released as you clean.
When your brain sees cleaning as a source of dopamine, it’s less likely to try and get you to do something that it knows gets a guaranteed dopamine release – such as scrolling on Social Media, or watching Netflix.
So after that very basic psychological explanation of motivation, let’s get into it.
How to Get Motivated to Clean and Declutter
It could be argued that completing chores is more about discipline than motivation.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways in which we can motivate ourselves to get started and enjoy the process a bit more.
We’ve got 6 tips that we find helpful when it comes to starting a big clean, plus 11 bonus tips for that extra kick.
6 Tips for Getting Motivated to Clean and Declutter
Do The Worst Jobs First
If you’ve got a long to-do list, getting the jobs you’re dreading done first fills you with a sense of accomplishment that motivates you to finish the rest.
After completing the worst job, everything else on the list isn’t as bad as what you’ve already done.
This method of ‘worst first’ also takes the pressure off. It makes it easier to enjoy the chores you actually like, with the knowledge that you’ve already done the not-fun stuff.
Sometimes, getting started is the hardest part. If this sounds like your situation, and you want to know how to break this cycle, take a look at our Clean and Tidy Living guide: My House Is Messy, Where Do I Start?
Set a Time Limit and Stick To It
Having a limited amount of time to clean is highly motivating.
Choose how long you’ll be cleaning for, start a timer, and stop once your time is up.
This technique speeds up your cleaning because you race to get as much as possible done within your allotted time.
And, it’s way easier to convince yourself to clean for half an hour than to tackle a long list of chores – even if in reality it’s the same amount of work.
Also, the flip side of this is you actually avoid the demotivation that comes with not completing everything on your list.
For an added buzz, race against the oven, dryer, or washing machine timer. See how much you can get done before the bell goes off.
For more information on efficient cleaning, take a look at our guide Speed-Cleaning Tips: How To Clean Your House In 2 Hours.
Watch TikTok Cleaning Compilations
We’re not necessarily proud of this one – but if it works, it works.
If you’re lying on the sofa trying to convince yourself to start cleaning up, head to TikTok or Youtube and watch some cleaning and housekeeping videos.
They’re short and snappy, so you quickly see the transformation of people’s homes.
This is incredibly motivating, and reminds you that cleaning is actually fun!
Get a Cleaning Buddy
If you have a friend or family member that also struggles to get motivated to clean, buddy up!
Each week, alternate which house you’re tackling and spend a couple of hours cleaning, listening to fun music, dancing around, and catching up.
You might find that you actually look forward to your cleaning dates.
Listening to fun music and dancing will trick your brain into associating cleaning with having fun and releasing dopamine.
This means it’ll be much easier to motivate yourself to get started next time.
Split Up Decluttering and Cleaning
If you have a big decluttering job ahead of you, then plan to do the cleaning on a new day.
Whether it’s a day, two days, or an entire week, end your declutter by getting rid of everything you don’t need.
Take out the garbage, take clothes to the donation site, or burn them. However you get rid of your unwanted stuff, just make sure it’s gone by the time you start the deep clean.
When it’s time to clean, you have a clear mind as well as a clear space to work in.
Plus, both tasks are super tiring so splitting them up allows you to focus your full attention and energy.
Not sure how to start decluttering? We’ve got you! How To Quickly Declutter Your Home & Keep It Clutter-Free
Do Those 5-Minute Chores Straight Away
Try and get into the habit of not putting off those tasks that take less than 5 minutes.
Wiping down surfaces, putting stuff back where it belongs, hanging up laundry, or vacuuming high-traffic areas takes no time at all.
But if you put off these short tasks when it comes to doing a big clean you’re now faced with loads of mini-tasks that have built up into hours of cleaning.
Getting small chores done immediately will massively improve your mindset when it comes to cleaning your home.
If you’re not sure where to begin, start with 3 mini-tasks a day and build up from there. This could be:
- Taking all dishes to the kitchen
- Sweep or vacuum the kitchen floor
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces
11 Bonus Tips for Getting Motivated to Clean and Tidy
- A Ta-Da list: Write down everything you get done, instead of what you’re aiming to do
- Buy a new storage solution or cleaning product that excites you
- Make a cleaning schedule
- Store cleaning products within the area they’re used
- Clean little and often
- Give yourself a reward
- Clean high to low
- Clean by task and not by room
- Have a designated clutter-zone
- Use cordless vacuums and cleaning tools
- Watch motivational videos or listen to motivational podcasts
Cleaning and Decluttering FAQs
What Is the Fastest Way to Clean a Cluttered House?
The most efficient way to clean a cluttered house is to bag up all your trash or unwanted items and move it out of the house. Then, put away all clean clothes, gather dirty laundry, and put it in the machine.
Next, go around with a laundry basket and pick up everything that isn’t where it should be. As you move from room to room, put things back where they belong.
Everything should now be where it belongs, so start the cleaning process – starting from the top to let dirt fall to the floor as you clean.
How Do I Motivate Myself to Clean and Organize?
You can motivate yourself to clean and organize by finding ways to release dopamine while you clean – tricking your brain into thinking it’s something you enjoy doing.
This could be dancing as you clean, listening to comedy shows, cleaning with a friend, enjoying your favorite beverage, using your favorite scents, or a combination of them all.
Changing your mindset around cleaning will make it so much easier to start, and you’ll actually want to do it.
How to Get Motivated to Clean and Organize
That’s a wrap on how to get motivated to clean and declutter your home.
We hope these tips have been useful and you’ve found a new way to make your cleaning routine more enjoyable.
Our favorite tip is to buddy-up with a friend or family member, and take turns cleaning each other’s homes as you catch up on your latest news.
We think this is super fun, and could even be done with two or more friends to speed clean each other’s houses in an hour!
At Clean and Tidy Living, we think cleaning should be enjoyable. And even if it’s not fun for you, at the very least it shouldn’t fill you with dread.
Working on making decluttering something you can tolerate with some small changes such as improving efficiency, pairing it with an activity you love, or just putting less pressure on yourself will all help to make cleaning less overwhelming.
If you’ve enjoyed this guide from Clean and Tidy Living and would like to read more from us, take a look at some of our similar posts below.
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