Motivational Cleaning Tips for School and Home

posted Jan 18, 2012, 11:49 AM by Todd Fox   [ updated Aug 11, 2013, 11:20 AM ]

Cleaning is boring. You can't get away from that fact: we do it, more or less, every day of our lives, and it quickly becomes an annoyance, albeit a necessary one. Some people will disagree, of course – some like cleaning, and even clean as a hobby – and many will tell you “Get all your housework done at the start of the week (or day) and then you have the rest of the week (or day) to enjoy yourself.” And of course it's true that good hygiene comes only at the cost of effort and regular cleaning sessions.


Well, that'd be great, were it not for my (and countless others') achilles heel: procrastinating. Some people just don't have the attention span or the motivation to get all of their cleaning out of the way early on. Some of us get sucked into Youtube, or the television, or playing with the dog. We tell ourselves “I'll just check my Facebook,” or “I'll just answer my e-mails, and then I'll finish cleaning.” We never do. Four hours later, we realize the house is still a mess.

 

If you're looking for help in staying focused on your household chores, I can't help you. I can't even help myself. But below are some suggestions to help make your cleaning more enjoyable, even if it's not any faster.

 

-  Mary Poppins Had The Right Idea: I'm a big kid at heart, so the easiest way I've found to cope with cleaning is to make a game of it! This works particularly well if you have children – kids, above all others, detest doing chores, so helping them to see the fun in mundane activities will really help them to appreciate life. Like Mary Poppins says – 'just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.'

 

-  Space Out The Boring Stuff: Some of us don't have the patience to focus on too much cleaning at once, so why bother? Intersperse your regime with an episode of your favorite TV show, a quick go on the Xbox, or whatever you feel like. You can either split up your day by hourly or half-hourly sessions, or on a job by job basis.

 

- Little And Often: 'Micro-cleaning', or 'blitzing' is a great way of keeping the work from building up too much in the first place. Clean little sections of your home, or just clean in infrequent, ten-minute bursts. You don't need to get the entire place shipshape in one go – the idea is just to clean a little bit at a time, to stop the jobs from piling up on you.

 

- The Right Tools For The Job: It might sound unnecessarily obvious, but make sure you have everything you need to finish a cleaning job before you start it. If you plan on cleaning the bathroom, for example, make sure before you take a deep breath and dive into the task that you have bleach, tile cleaner, Cillit Bang – whatever you need to make the whole room sparkle. Having to halt a cleaning session halfway through, whether to pop to the shops for more supplies or for another reason, is a great way of ensuring that the second half of the cleaning doesn't get done. As the old academic maxim says – failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

 

-  Righting The Ratio: Don't fall into the trap of thinking that every clean has to be an in-depth, nine-hour scrubfest – it doesn't. A good ratio to work under is 1:3 or 1:4. Every third or fourth time you go to clean a room or an area, make it a thorough one. The rest of the time, just cover the main sections. For instance, if you clean your bathroom once a week, spend the first three weeks' cleans just doing the bath, the toilet, the sink, and the surfaces. Then every fourth week, you can also clean the floor, the mirror and the tiles, dust the top of the shower rail and polish the taps. This way your house will remain clean all month, without you having to overexert yourself regularly.

 

-  Ready, Set, Go: If you live with other people, be it a partner, parent or child, try proposing a race when it's time to straighten up the house. Have everyone pick a room or a specific job, and agree a 'prize' for the winner – it can be as simple as getting to decide what the family has for dinner that night, or which movie to watch that evening. If you're creative enough, not only will it motivate you to crack on with cleaning quickly, it'll also help you to enjoy the process.

 

-  Pick Your Battles: Use your noodle when it comes to deciding what to clean and when. If your lawn is due for a bit of a trim, you're obviously not going to want to attack with your lawnmower in the pouring rain. Why not wait for a warm, sunny day? Depending on the size of your lawn, it probably won't take too long, so the chore isn't likely to eat up your whole day. But it does mean that you get to top up your sun-tan while you work.

 

Chores don't have to be a chore if you approach them in the right way. With a little imagination, and a little tactical thinking, you can take the sting out of housework, which should help motivate you to attack it sooner, and get through it quicker. Whether you turn it into a game or competition, chop it down into more manageable sections, or strategically reward yourself when you finish a clean, make sure that you enjoy yourself. Cleaning and hygiene are essential, but never forget – 'essential' doesn't have to mean 'unenjoyable'!
 
For more information on teaching children how to maintain a clean environment, wash their hands and other hygiene tasks please contact us!  This article was created in conjunction with http://www.hillbrushinc.com/

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