How to Start Loving to Clean (When You Hate Cleaning)
I Hate Cleaning
I literally hate cleaning, so I hope that encourages you to know that you're not alone! That's not to say that I am disgustingly messy or anything like that, or that I never clean or straighten up. I do, I just often find myself hating the process and longing to be doing just about anything else. But recently I've set out to find out why I really detest cleaning so much, and what I can do to enjoy it more and be better about it, and really do it well.
1. Put Your Favorite Music on And Make it FUN!
Cleaning doesn't have to feel like pure drudgery. I like to put YouTube on the TV and type in one of my favorite songs. Then I just let it keep playing and going to the next similar song while I clean. You can dance while you clean, and have your earbuds in while you listen to music. One night, I stayed up late and swept and mopped the entire kitchen floor while listening to music on my phone. It was actually a great time, and I felt super accomplished when all was said and done!
2. Focus on the End Result
I often get hung up on what a drag it is to have to deep clean. But when I focus on how great the end result will be, it seems like less of a burden to do the actual task. Walking into a nice, clean bathroom, is so wonderful. Relaxing in a freshly dusted living room is refreshing. Take some time to meditate on how wonderful that nice and clean atmosphere is going to feel for you and your family. Then, get busy making it happen.
3. "A Done Something is Better than a Perfect Nothing" ~ Kathryn from "Do It on a Dime"
There is a YouTube channel that I really love to watch called, "Do It On a Dime", by Kathryn. One of her quotes that I really love is this: "A Done Something is Better than a Perfect Nothing." Make that your mantra when you're cleaning. Instead of listening to that voice in your head telling you that you missed a spot or your mother or uncle or cousin could probably clean it better than you're currently doing, just remind yourself that it already looks better than it did, and that you're doing the best you can. For example, yesterday I scrubbed out my shower and cleaned the toilet, wiped off the bathroom counter and sink, and cleaned the bathroom mirrors. I didn't get a chance to sweep and mop my bathroom floor, because the baby started crying and I had to take care of him. I started to chastise myself for not finishing the job, and feel annoyed and disgusted that I had not swept and mopped the floor yet. But then, I decided to just be thankful that I had been able to carve out that time to clean most of my bathroom, and that it looked better now than it had before! Remember that you have the power to look at a situation as either positive or negative. Focus on what's true and right and positive, and realize that doing a little cleaning or straightening up, and at least starting on the task at hand, is better than just getting overwhelmed/depressed and giving up altogether! Once you realize how far you've already come, that will give you the motivation and drive to complete your cleaning project.
4. Figure Out What Products and Methods You Like (Keep Them Simple)
I'm 33 years old, and I'm just now realizing that I don't have to use the cleaning products I was taught to use my whole life, or use the same cleaning methods that my grandmother used over twenty years ago! There are more natural cleaning products out there now, or you can choose to make your own. Vinegar and water is a good cleaning solution for a lot of things. Some people might prefer to use bleach and other harsh chemicals still as well, and that's okay, too. If you like scrubbing the floor on your hands and knees, more power to you! If you prefer to use a wet-jet mop and have an easier clean up, that works just as well. Experiment with different products and cleaning methods to find out what works for your lifestyle and preferences. As for myself, after watching another YouTuber (Hint: Her name is Clutterbug!) recently and seeing how easily she mops her kitchen floor with a wet-jet mop, I'm strongly considering purchasing one so that I don't have to use the old-fashioned "mop-and-bucket" way anymore! "Aint nobody got time for that!"
5. Decorate the Space After You Clean
For me, decorating and making a house feel like a home is way more fulfilling than deep cleaning. Cleaning feels like drudgery, and decorating feels like my soul is free and I have wings like a butterfly! (Must be the artist in me!) If you are similar, perhaps set a goal of cleaning for a certain amount of time and then rewarding yourself by getting to decorate that space. For example, you could make your bed and declutter your nightstands and dresser in your bedroom, and dust and vacuum. Then, reward yourself with the "fun" part of the experience, which is to decorate the room and make it more even enjoyable to be in that space. Set out some festive candles, or an essential oils diffuser with your favorite oil. Put out some sweet photos of your family members on your dresser, along with some cute framed quotes you enjoy and find motivating. Decorate for the holidays, or set out a fun silk flower arrangement or wreath. Incorporate whatever inspires you and makes your room or space more inviting.
6. Change Your Self-Talk from "I Hate Cleaning" to "I Actually Enjoy Cleaning!"
Perhaps, like me, you have become entrenched in wrong patterns of thinking. You have been stuck in these wrong thought patterns for so long, that you actually believe that you truly hate cleaning. But you don't. You hate how cleaning makes you feel. It's drudgery, it's no fun, you're not good at it, or perhaps the products or methodology you're using has made you believe those things. Well, no more! From now on, adopt a new and fresh mindset. Anytime those wrong thoughts crop up in your head, immediately dismiss them. Replace them with these words instead: "I actually enjoy cleaning!" and "You know what.... cleaning might not be that fun, but I really enjoy a clean space and a beautiful home for my family to relax in." Or how about this, "In the past, I didn't like cleaning, and would dread it. But now, I feel differently. I actually enjoy the process of deep cleaning. I have changed."
But what if you have a reputation for not being very tidy, for placing piles everywhere, and so on? Then, let this thought ruminate in your mind: "It doesn't matter what others think of me. This is between myself and God. I am doing my best to keep my home as neat and tidy as I can, whenever I have time. If others see a change in me, that's wonderful. If they don't, but I know I'm doing my best before God, that will be enough for me."
I hope these tips have helped! Let me know in the comments what has worked for you and helped you to love (or at least, enjoy) cleaning more!