How to Motivate Yourself to Clean your House when you Hate It

Wanna know a secret?   I hate cleaning my house.   Okay, it’s probably not a secret at all.  Any of my friends can probably pick up on the fact that I don’t love it.  So, how do you motivate yourself to clean your house when you absolutely hate it?

I know I’m not alone.  I know very few people who enjoy cleaning.  I do have one friend who always told me she loved doing the dishes.  By hand.  I was always so flabbergasted at this declaration and a little jealous if I’m honest.  I mean, if I ENJOYED doing the dishes like she did, it wouldn’t seem so awful every time I washed them.

But, we are all made differently and I didn’t suddenly develop the desire to wash the dishes.  So, instead, you know what I did?

I bought a dishwasher.

Best money I ever spent.

Some of us hate cleaning more than others, but I’m sure everyone has at least one cleaning job in their home that they despise.  I’ve never met a person who enjoyed cleaning toilets.

Motivation for things we like can be hard some days, so motivation to do the things we despise definitely doesn’t come easy or naturally.  But there are little tricks you can do when you feel like doing nothing but your house desperately needs some TLC.


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Turn on some music

There’s something about playing your favorite tunes that makes miserable work not so…well, miserable.  Cleaning your house to some music makes the time go by faster as well.  But there’s one caveat – make sure the music is upbeat.  Some instrumental slow tunes won’t get you in the mood to clean.  If anything, slower music will lure you away from the task at hand and you may find yourself laying on the couch while you fall asleep!

Make it into a game

So, this might make me a really big nerd, but when cleaning parts of my house feels overwhelming and I just don’t want to do it I make a game out of it.  There’s actually two main games I “play.”  The first one is where I decide I just need to put away 15 items.  When the 15 items are put away, I tell myself just 15 more.  Before I know it all my clutter is put away!

The other “game” I like to play is where I tell myself I just need to clean for the length of 3 songs.  It’s amazing how much work you can get done in three songs. Often by the end of the three songs my house looks so much cleaner that I am motivated to finish anything left that I need to do.

I know, it sounds a little kooky, but I’m telling you, it works!  Try it.

Eat a quick snack before you start

You know how they say not to go into the grocery store hungry?  Well, the same goes for trying to clean on an empty stomach.  You’ll just be miserable if you are hungry.  You know what they call that?  Hangry.  Don’t try and clean your home while hangry.  It NEVER ends well.  Just trust me on this one.

Listen to a podcast

You know how they say there’s an app for everything?  Well, there’s a podcast for everyone.  If you are able to multitask a little bit, listening to a podcast while cleaning the house is a great way to pass the time quickly.  By the end of your podcast your house may very well be clean.

Call a friend while cleaning

Okay, I know, I know.  The phone isn’t very popular these days.  I mean, everyone who knows me well knows that I don’t make phone calls.  As I like to say, “What kind of monster CALLS on the PHONE??”  

Fine, that’s a bit dramatic.  Actually, the phone isn’t ALL that bad.  When you text a friend you can’t multitask.  You can’t clean your house and text.  But you can TALK on the phone and clean.  Put the phone on speaker and chat with someone.  And if you are like me and think, “there’s no way I can talk on the phone” I’ve discovered that there are a couple people I’ve become comfortable calling.  

You and a friend can both clean your homes while you chat on the phone.  It’ll make the time go by faster.

Delegate some chores

As moms we have a really bad habit of not delegating chores around the house.  We have a certain way we do things and we have trouble letting go of having a job done just the way we like it.  However, that doesn’t help anyone.  We can’t do everything.  On top of that, kids learn responsibility and life skills when we delegate chores to them.

This past September I decided to really get serious about a chore schedule and so I created one that worked for us.  The kids now take turn doing dishes, setting the table, sweeping the kitchen, clearing the table, cleaning the mudroom, doing their own laundry, and cleaning the bathroom.

I can tell you it’s  made a world of difference.  I am not as stressed and I feel confident that I’m helping prepare my children for adulthood.  One day they are going to be off on their own and it will make it easier on them (and their future spouses) if they know how to take care of their homes.   

So, bottom line, don’t be afraid to delegate.

Do short cleaning bursts throughout the day

It’s easier to manage 15 minutes of cleaning time than to try and do hours at a time.  Schedule in a few cleaning bursts throughout the day.  Do one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening.  

Use hacks that make cleaning easier

Don’t sit there for 30 minutes trying to desperately scrub difficult to remove stains from your toilet.  Pour the cleaner in there, walk away to do some other things, and go back to it in an hour.  You’ll find it easier to clean.  The same goes for cleaning your faucet.  Soak a paper towel in vinegar and lay it on your faucet.  Walk away and return in an hour and wipe the grime off easily.

There’s many little hacks you can do to make cleaning easier on you.  Don’t  make the job harder than it has to be.

Make a list

There’s something so satisfying about checking things off your to-do list.  It’s even more satisfying if you use sparkly colored pens.  It’s amazing how the motivation grows as the list gets smaller.  

Making a list will also help you keep your focus and get done what you need to get done.  I always get more done when I write a list.


Here’s the thing:  We have to clean our home no matter whether we like it or hate it.  No matter how much we hate it, it’ll never make it go away.  It’s gotta get done.  And like I tell my kids, there are plenty of things in life we have to do that we don’t want to do.  We might as well try to make it a little more enjoyable in any way we can, or at least tolerable.

You can find comfort in knowing you are not alone. There’s many of us out there with you all cleaning even though we’d rather not! But let’s be honest, no matter how much we don’t like it, we all like a clean home.  There’s nothing like the feeling of sitting in a clean home, relaxing with a good book and a cup of tea at night.  Am I right?



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