A Surefire Way to Motivate Yourself to Clean

Struggle with motivation? Here’s a surefire way to motivate yourself to clean.
Most days,  it’s hard to feel motivated to clean. Sure, you want to. And sure, you need to. But all of the wanting and needing doesn’t instantly lead to motivation.

For one thing, there are so many other things vying for your time. People demand your attention. Commitments come and go. It’s easy to get to the end of a day and realize you’ve had no time or desire to devote to caring for your home, let alone attempt creating a haven.

Even if you have a good homemaking routine that works for you, sometimes you have a lack of motivation when it comes to cleaning, sometimes you need a little boost. Or a kick in the pants.

I’ve noticed that I tend to go through seasons of homemaking, where sometimes I can stay on top of everything, day after day. Cleaning up after little messes isn’t so bad, because they’re just little. But if and when I slack off for just a day or two, much bigger messes need tended. And suddenly I’m not so eager to dig in and clean more. After all, bigger messes take more time and energy.

Wondering how to feel motivated to clean? Here are some great ways to motivate yourself to clean.

During these messy times when I know I need to clean but just don’t want to, finding motivation is the key. And after enough trial and error, I found a surefire way to motivate myself to clean. There may be others, but they don’t motivate me quite so much.

The thing is, once you begin this process, you’ll have to follow through with it – because there’s no backing out.

A surefire way to motivate yourself to clean

So my own secret to motivation?

Invite someone over to your home.

After facing motivational struggles in my own life and home, I figured out what always works as a cleaning motivation. There may be others, but they don't motivate me quite so much.

It’s deceptively simple. But once you’ve made the invitation, you’ll start to feel motivated to clean. And the closer the date comes, the more motivation you’ll have.

I watched this principle play out countless times when I was growing up – whenever my mom would host a party, our home turned into a flurry of activity as my dad would finish major projects around the house, and my mom would go on a cleaning spree.

Now that I have a home of my own, I’ve found that the greatest way for me to find the motivation to get cleaning is to invite friends or family over. And the more people I invite, the more I get busy cleaning.

When I know that someone else is coming to my home, I get the itch to clean up spaces – it’s when I mop floors and dust. It’s when I straighten up our coat closet and rooms I know where kids will play.

And if we’re hosting a big party, I clean even more – even when I know I’ll need to clean up after the party, I’d rather know everything is cleaned for company.

The trick to motivation is discovering what works best for YOU.

When you don’t need a party

The trick is found when you don’t want to host company all the time … but your home still needs cleaned.

You don’t always need to host a party to get motivated, though. I was reminded of this earlier this year when my washing machine broke. It wasn’t a major problem, but it needed fixed. My washing machine’s in our basement – which looked like a pit of despair. Or at least a pit of cluttered mess. I thought I’d need to pick things up before a repairman came.

But when one of our friends volunteered to come and help my husband fix the problem, I knew a random stranger wouldn’t be in our basement – but our friend who we see every week at church. Very quickly, I got all the motivation I needed – and I stayed up late and woke up early to work on cleaning our basement.

My basement project – that I had been putting off for more than a year – was completely finished in less than a week. And I finished before our friend came.

The funny thing is, once I recovered from the brief moment of panic and started the hard work, I didn’t even mind all of the cleaning. It thrilled me to finish that huge project. Within just a couple days my basement was tidy and purged, my washing machine was fixed, and I didn’t have to think about cleaning my basement for a long time.

No desire to entertain?

If you’d rather not entertain, you could use this same principle by reminding yourself that someone might stop by your home. 

While it doesn’t happen very often, about once a month unexpected guests stop by my home. And it’s that thought that motivates me to keep my home picked up, even when I don’t want to.

This kind of motivation only works in my living room and dining room, the two rooms I know guests would see if they stopped by. (This same motivation gets me up, moving and dressed in the mornings, too.) So it’s not such a huge motivation, but it’s better than nothing.

Another way to get motivated

One other thing that always motivates me to get cleaning is to plan to leave our home for vacation. Even though my family will be gone, and it adds a lot more work to my schedule than just packing, I clean like crazy before vacation. And I absolutely appreciate it when I return home.

Finding what motivates you

Hospitality and travel are my best personal motivators. I know that those are two pressure points that work especially well for me. So I make sure to make the most of them. (I’ve polled other homemakers and have found 16 different cleaning motivations that WORK!)

But the trick is finding what will motivate YOU to clean. Once you discover that pressure point, use it to your advantage. And get cleaning!

Struggle with motivation? Here’s a surefire way to motivate yourself to clean.

How do you find motivation to clean your home?

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All images courtesy of Unsplash.

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  1. What motivates me is…It just makes me feel better when my house is tidy, not necessarily spic and span clean but tidy. It also makes my soul feel much better when I am not living in clutter.

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