10 Ways to Get Motivated to Clean

Woman cleaning while listening to music


FluxFactory / Getty Images

Listen to Music

Whether you choose the radio, an mp3 player, or your favorite playlist on the computer, music will help you be more excited about cleaning. Choose upbeat music, it will make you work faster and as an added benefit it can count as light exercise.

Wear Real Clothes

Not your best clothes of course, but not pajamas. Really getting dressed down to comfy shoes can help tell your mind that you've got work to do. If you start cleaning in your sweatpants and house shoes, it may be more difficult to take the work seriously, and therefore get it done quickly.

Set a Deadline

Invite someone over for dinner. You'll be more motivated to clean because you have to get it done by a certain time. Be careful to give yourself enough time to actually get your cleaning done. You can also use a timer. This works really well with kids. Try to beat your last "record" for cleaning. Kids will actually get excited trying to beat the clock.

Read a Housekeeping Book or Article

Reading a housekeeping book or article can actually give you the tips and motivation you need to get started. This works especially well for organizing projects. Just don't get so wrapped up in the book that you forget to clean.

Tour a Model Home

Touring a model home, or looking at pictures of homes in magazines can be a great motivator to clean. Although these pictures may be the ideal because nobody actually lives in them, they can help us envision a perfectly clean home and motivate us to reach for that height.

Try a New Product

Trying a new product or a new scent of a favorite product can get us more motivated to clean. This works especially well if the product is supposed to save us time or money. We're always looking for bargains in those departments. So the next time you're dreading to scrub the shower stall, take a look on your cleaning aisle for a new product that might be fun to try.

Trade Cleaning Time with a Friend

This only works with a really good friend that you trust, but trading cleaning chores can be a lot more motivating than cleaning your own house. Or try a joint cleaning/organizing session at your home one Saturday, and your friend's the next. They might be able to convince you to get rid of some stuff that's cluttering your closet.

Make It a Family Cleanup

Set up a cleaning or organizing block of time for a Saturday. Inform the whole family and have a reward for when it’s done. (A movie, dinner, or shopping trip). Let everyone in the family have a turn at controlling the music, and give some limited chore choices to keep your work-force happy. This works great for seasonal chores.

Plan a Garage Sale

Planning a garage sale can be a great way to clear out clutter. You’ll be more likely to get rid of things if you think you can make a little money for something else you really want. Plan to donate the leftovers to charity, without even bringing them back in the house. Even kids will be more likely to let go of items if it means they've got some cash for their piggy bank.

Give Yourself a Reward

This can be something you purchase..."If I finish my daily cleaning, I can buy that new book I've been wanting." Or, it can be time doing something you really enjoy... "When the master closet is reorganized, I can spend two hours scrapbooking." Creating a reward for yourself when you've finished a dreaded chore can be a great motivating tool.