Motivating Yourself To Clean
To understand how to motivate yourself, you first have to look at what motivates you to clean. Have you been taking a “dirt-driven” approach to cleaning? That is, do you decide it’s time to wash the dishes when the kitchen sink is full? Do you decide to do the laundry when the hamper is overflowing and you have run out of matching socks? Do you find yourself dousing one mess after another but never really getting the whole job done?
The problem with mess-motivated cleaning is that when the mess isn’t there, you’re not motivated to clean. Instead of controlling the housework, the housework controls you.
What you need is an attitude shift, a shift in what’s motivating you to clean. Instead of reacting to a negative situation – a mess – look at cleaning as striving toward something positive – and orderly pleasant environment.
It takes a lot of motivation to clean a house and keep it that way. That is only gotten by looking at the end result: the beauty of an orderly harmonious home. You have to start at the end and work back. Most people would rather have a clean home instead of a disorderly messy one, but they don’t know how to get started. Here’s what to do.
Here are some tips that will set you on the path to an organised cleaning routine, one you’ll be motivated to stick with.
Make a wish list.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and discouraged by the never-ending task of cleaning, write down everything you would like to change. The list serves two purposes, first, it clears your mind. Once you write it down stop beating yourself up about it. Then focus on the list itself. It allows you to see in black and white what needs to be done so that you can set up priorities.
Take it step-by-step.
Working from your list, pick the one cleaning task that you feel most motivated to work on. Develop a routine for that task and live with it for a few weeks before picking another item from the list. Don’t burn yourself out by trying to accomplish too much too soon.
Start out with some inspiration.
To boost your motivation when cleaning a room, start with a task where you will see obvious improvements. If you’re in the bedroom, for instance, make the bed first.
With Children, Get Specific
It’s unlikely that the desire for a clean, orderly home will motivate children to pick up your dirty socks. You can, however, instil our sense of household responsibility and foster good habits by teaching children basic cleaning skills and rewarding their efforts. Children can learn to make beds, do dishes, and sweep the floor the same way that they learn to walk, ride bikes and read. Teaching a child a task is a four-step process.
Decide exactly what needs doing.
When you say, “take out the bins” what does that mean? Does it simply mean tying up the rubbish bag and placing it in the wheelie bin outside? Should the child empty all the litter receptacles in the house? Should a new bin liner be placed in the Ben? When you decide, collect all the material that the child will need.
Introduce the task.
Depending on the child’s learning style, either show him how to do the task, tell out to do it, or do it together.
Set a time limit.
Unless a timeframe is established, children tend to put off the chores until a parent gets angry. Attach a timeframe for each task. For instance, set the table by 5 PM, clean your room before talking on the phone, take the rubbish out before watching television.
Established standards for the job.
Explain exactly how you want the job done. Does making the bed mean making hospital corners or just straightening out the wrinkles and fluffing the pillow?
Use Reminders and Rewards
To keep your new cleaning programme from going astray, set up a system of reminders and rewards for your helpers. Here’s how.
Post your schedule.
Use a chart, index cards, or planning sheets to post a schedule of household responsibilities. The list helps family members remember and greatly reduces your need to prod, pester and nag. To make them more effective, use your charts or calendars as the basis for some kind of reward. To add a touch of fun, design your chart to look like a game board and fill in squares as each task is completed.
Keep their eyes on the prize.
Common rewards for kids cleaning include an allowance, treats, services, time and attention, and praise. To keep the family working together, have a family night out after everyone has done his job for seven days straight.
Mix up occasionally.
Children get bored with the same chart and reward system month after month. When you see signs that the interest is waning, it’s time for a change.
Keep things age-appropriate.
Children have three levels of involvement in household tasks: can do a task with help, can do it by reminding or supervision, and does the chore as needed. In general, chores such as tidying rooms, hanging up clothing, vacuuming floors, making beds, and taking out the rubbish can be done with the help of children age 4 to 7, with remaining or supervision for children ages 7 to 11, and unsupervised from the about 12.
Make it fun.
Sure, children need to learn responsibility. But injecting some fun into cleanup details can save a lot of whining. Crank up the stereo – kids love to work to music. Or make pickup time a game. Simpler and sillier, the better. For instance, start out by picking up everything that is red, and then work your way through the rainbow.
Alternatively, call D & A Lawrence
on 0131 235 2031 and let the professionals worry about the mess.