How to Clean and Have Fun!

(Photo by Sanja Gjenero)
(Photo by Sanja Gjenero)

There are those of us who love to clean and organise. These people have all kinds of cleaning tools and instruments, all varieties of liquids and gels. They know when to use bleach-for-colors and when to just use a good prewash. (They even know what that vacuum attachment with the brush on the end of it is for! And they use it!)

And then there's the rest of us.

We don't willingly fold, wash, wipe, or otherwise clean anything until even the dog is looking at us like we're pigs. After all, it's so much easier to sit in your own filth than to actually get off your butt and clean it up, right?

But when you absolutely have to keep your place clean (be it because you can't stand the mess or because someone you live with or frequents your apartment insists), here are some helpful tips that will hopefully make it a little easier for you.

How To Do It

  • Put it away after you use it. Don't brush this off as obvious; you don't do it or your house would be cleaner! Put the DVD back in its case after you've watched the movie. A little extra effort to rinse the cup after you use it is a million times better than scrubbing off the dried-on crud three days later.
  • Give yourself just 15 minutes at the end of your day. Seriously, set a timer when you start, then stop as soon as the timer beeps. This time is for the little things you couldn't take care of right after you were done with them. But, even better than that, these 15 minutes are the time when you start to make a dent on the built-up clutter in your house. Grab all the magazines and put them back in the magazine rack. Find your shoes scattered around the living room and put them in your closet. After a few nights, you'll be surprised at how far you've gotten!

How to Organize Your Life

  • Get cleaning supplies that actually work. If your vacuum is only pushing around the dirt, then you're not only not cleaning, you're getting frustrated in the process! Personally, I love Swiffer for hard floors and surfaces, but whatever gets you even slightly excited about cleaning (or makes you loathe it less), you should spring for it!

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  • Choose a designated day for each of your tasks. Take into account the general schedule your school or work follows (always wiped on Tuesday nights? then plan to give yourself a break). For example, if Monday is your laundry day, make yourself do laundry on Mondays, and leave the laundry you don't finish dirty until the next week. You'll quickly teach yourself that laundry has to be done on Monday, and that way you'll always have clean laundry!
  • Throw on some upbeat music. Nothing makes time fly by like good music, so why not enjoy your cleaning time? It doesn't matter if you like Fergie, French rap, or catchy Frank Sinatra tunes. Whatever gets your feet moving will get your duster moving, too! Even better, if you're home alone you can dance around while you clean!
  • Make a roommate clean with you. Misery loves company, so if this doesn't make it more fun, at least it makes you feel better about being miserable. But having someone else who's responsible for the mess actually clean the mess with you will make the process happen twice as fast, and you can skillfully take the easier jobs (taking out the trash) and leave the sucky jobs for your roommate (pulling hair out of the drain).
  • If all else fails, get someone else to do it. Whether you hire a professional cleaner to come in twice a week or bribe your roommate to do it all while you do his homework, you can always find someone to scrub the toilet for you if you're willing to pay the price.


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Comments 18 comments

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

Great advice, Helena! I actually like to clean when I am stressed out, but the rest of the time I would really love to hire someone to do it for me. Your idea for 15 minutes a day is very practical. Keeps things under control :)


Woody Marx profile image

Woody Marx 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

O the plight of the poor bachelor! Just to think about the words 'mop,sweep and dust' makes me break out in a cold sweat! I love your suggestions and will print them out and hire a cleaning lady! Excellent advice Helen!


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 8 years ago from Georgia

Swiffer! My dad's obsessed with them! Great cleaning tool though.


helenathegreat profile image

helenathegreat 8 years ago from Manhattan Author

amy jane -- Exactly! Keep it under control and start chipping away at the same time. Much easier than trying to tackle the whole house at once!

Woody -- I'm quite familiar with this reaction, as I live with two boys! Just a bit of self-discipline is all you need, though. A little bit at a time.

Whitney -- Swiffer makes cleaning so much fun for me... mostly just because I sing that "One way or another, I'm gonna find ya" song when I use my Swiffer Sweeper. ;)


sharikraemer73 8 years ago

These are great tips! I should really start following them :)


helenathegreat profile image

helenathegreat 8 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks for stopping by, sharikraemer73! So should I. ;)


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

I really enjoy cleaning and having a clean flat makes such a difference to the mind and makes things much easier to find and yes, music is what helps make these chores more enjoyable.

Great tips!


helenathegreat profile image

helenathegreat 8 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks for sharing, compu-smart! It's good to know that these tips work for someone other than me.


Betty Jo Petty profile image

Betty Jo Petty 8 years ago from Arkansas, U.S.A.

I could clean much better if only the other five people living here would leave for like, a month! lol

Seriously, if the grown-ups would help, like taking dirty clothes to the laundry room my job would be much easier.

Due to television, the two little grandsons have way too many toys. Each week the toy 'special' changes,and the ads make the new ones look irresistable.

After some use, these go into the yard for summer, or are passed around to other little children.

It helps to have insomnia, you can get lots done when everyone's asleep. Just be careful and don't wake them up.

Or, get on HubPages and relax! I'm Betty Jo


helenathegreat profile image

helenathegreat 8 years ago from Manhattan Author

You're right, Betty Jo. I live with three boys (one of whom is a dog), and my house would be certainly clean if they would pitch in, even just a tiny bit! (I do much of my cleaning at night, too.) Thanks for the comment. :)


kerryg profile image

kerryg 8 years ago from USA

Good advice! When I was little, my mom used to put on a record when we were doing clean-up that I thought for years was called "Wild Rushing Music." That's certainly what it sounded like! Actually, it was Wild Russian Music - the Sabre Dance, the Polovtsian Dances, etc. To this day, whenever I hear them, I get the urge to start tossing Legos into boxes. :)


helenathegreat profile image

helenathegreat 8 years ago from Manhattan Author

Using the same music (upbeat, of course) to clean to is a good idea because after a while it will put you in the mood to clean! Good point, kerryg. (As an aside, I love those things that we think as a kid only to realize, as an adult, that the reality is quite different.)


orange county window cleaning 8 years ago

It definitely helps to enjoy your work or it will not become a habit. So yes, if music helps, by all means, work with music. When I'm cleaning windows, there is times when I put my ipod in and enjoy the working environment, but you can't do that all the time.


trenchless pipe replacement 8 years ago

thanks for the tips! indeed it is enjoy to work with someone around helping you and with the sound of music. This will forget how tiring it is to clean the room.


Jaz 8 years ago

cool information and tips


RGraf profile image

RGraf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

Good info. I used to not mind cleaning. Now I hate it. I'll have to apply some of these to see if it motivates me.


cleanhater 7 years ago

Thanks so much my dad is making me clean my room and now i'll be done in a few days instead of a few weeks


Will 6 years ago

The best plan is to listen to music that gets you going!

Vileda-Music has compiled a list of the top 10 tracks that Brits like listening to while doing the dirty work of cleaning the house!

Check out the website for the full list as there are several surprises waiting!

www.vileda-music.com

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