Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Motivation to Clean

Hello, Chaotics!
This morning, on the Good Housekeeping's FB page, they listed an article about people who "never have to clean their home"(which you can read here). I commented and said that the title of the article wasn't completely true-these people are always cleaning, but just in less time vs. doing one big cleanup when stuff gets overwhelming.
Anyways, with all this cleaning on a daily business, sometimes...you just don't feel like cleaning! I know there are times I certainly don't!

So, what's a gal(or guy) to do? Here are some things that I do to keep myself motivated to clean.

1. Music
Maybe everyone cleans with music on, or maybe they don't. I'm one of the people that do. But I am very self-conscious about my ability to sing along. So whenever there is music on that I can sing along to, I have to get up and do something! Sometimes its classical, sometimes it's popular Christian songs, sometimes it's worship, sometimes its A Capella worship, sometimes its country. If music is on, I can't sit still. I have to do something-which usually motivates me to clean.
(Side note-sometimes, the right music will peak the curiosity of my children as well. They think they can just sit there and sing along, but they are WRONG! I will usually tell them...if you can sing along, you can clean along.)
You can be an awesome rock star...or lead worship singer...while you clean! *head bangs*

2. Coffee shots
I know this sounds awful, but several days a week, I add SToK to my coffee. You certainly can't sit still after taking it! Even on one(the max is two a day), it keeps me moving and coherent. If you have to get deep cleaning(Spring cleaning, etc.) done, sometimes an extra shot of caffeine is all you need.

3. Great smelling cleaning products 
I know, this is probably no big secret, but I am constantly smelling things! If a cleaning product smells great, then chances are, I want my whole house to smell like it! Which means...I have to clean my whole house! Unfortunately, it can go both ways with me- if a cleaning product smells bad, I'm less willing to use it, and eventually, less eager to clean.

This is why I've signed up with ePantry service. I opted for receiving cleaning products every two months, but its not even a month and I'm already anxious to get another package! Plus, if you refer people, they get money off of their order, and so do you. Every so often, they also send out emails to give you further discounts on things you love. I am a HUGE sucker for Mrs. Meyers Cleaning products...almost every one of the scents I've bought are awesome! You can check them out here.
Mrs. Meyers, you are my spirit animal

4. A nice apron helps! 
I know it may come across as I"m going backwards in history, but there is something to be said about wearing an apron around the house. I don't know why more women don't do it! When I worked in food service, almost every job I had required me to wear an apron of some kind. I'm sure there are studies on why they do this, but in my head apron=get to work. Maybe its a sensory thing, but tying on those strings means I mean business! Seeing the apron hanging in my bathroom reminds me that my "job" is a homemaker, and even though there is no company logo and everyone else isn't wearing it(most of the time), it still means to me that putting it on makes my home my business. Plus...have you seen how CUTE they are?! Unlike the often bland, cookie-cutter types I was offered in food service, I get to now choose what kind, pattern, and color I want.
My son once said, "Mom, I like seeing you in an apron". My husband can't seem to keep his hands off me when I'm wearing one, either(which usually makes me run around the house, which usually motivates me to clean as I go. LOL). And my daughters will often "borrow" them when doing their own chores, or just playing pretend.
Putting on an apron doesn't(usually) allow one to sit for very long, either. Especially if, like me, you're the kind that ties the strings so it fits just so(while standing)-once you go to sit, it suddenly becomes a little snug! So, you get up...then before you know it, you're cleaning! *wink*
"With a great looking apron comes great responsibility..." *wink*

5. Leave out your cleaning supplies!
If my vacuum is out in plain view vs. in a closet, I feel the need to vacuum. If my microfiber duster is hanging on top of the fireplace(or worse, if the kids knock it down-happens more than you think!), then I pick it and put it to use before putting it back in its place. I leave my cleaning supplies out in plain view on purpose for this reason-if I see it, it's like a reminder to clean.

6. Rewards don't hurt, either...
Sometimes, I am sick of the scent of lavender. Other times, the music just isn't cutting it. That's when I'm grateful my husband brings home a big bar of chocolate each week. The skinny girl in a fat girl's body in me knows I have to burn off some calories to justify eating that, so I figure, vacuuming a few rooms and wiping down a few counters should do the trick, right?
...or maybe that's why I'm still fat on the outside(*-_-).
Either way, I like to think that if I clean hard before I reach for that chocolate bar, I won't have to go look at the scale and cry later.

7. Get angry over something
Jesus flipped tables and broke out the whip when he was angry at the exchangers outside the temple. I like to think Mary was there, right behind him, just as angry...and cleaning up the mess he made.
The point is, you have a strong emotion, why not put it to good use? Instead of sitting there, seething internally, go scrub that soap scum on your shower walls! Go vacuum that carpet until the canister comes out clean! You have some adrenaline pumping through your veins, go put that added energy to good use! Even if the issue isn't resolved, you had time to use the energy instead of doing something destructive, and cleaning may be the "back off, I need time to think" signal to your spouse, so neither of you say something you might regret later.
I don't know why, but no matter what the issue is...by the time I'm done angry cleaning, I'm too exhausted to really stay mad about it much longer.
My house is far from perfect, but...it's downright sparkling when I'm really worked up about something! The chocolate, oddly enough, is polished off as well...but I don't know how that one happens ;).

8. Use cleaning as a time to worship
I may not always take as much time as I'd like to go and read my Bible, or I may not have time to really reflect on what was said during a sermon. However,  daily cleaning can be kinda...a monotonous task that doesn't require much thought. It is during the time I'm cleaning I am praying for people, or praising God in worship music, pondering a sermon more, or listening to a sermon on the radio/TV, or hear the Bible read online. I can choose to take something most people hate(cleaning) and offer that time, joyfully, to God. It's amazing that one of the times I feel closest to God is while doing the mundane!

9. Include the family
You ever notice how teaching a child to clean suddenly makes you question if you have underline perfection/OCD issues? Or is that just me?
Either way, including the family(the kids especially) motivates me to clean. My kids aren't always exactly eager beavers to clean...but if the mood strikes, it's contagious! If they want to clean, and I'm just sitting there, suddenly I feel like a bum-I have to get up and join the fun,too! And vice versa! Plus, cleaning teaches them the pride of a keeping a home. It teaches them to take care of their things, and have respect for their house and others houses.
So, crank up the Disney Radio tunes, and have fun! Even it's not perfect, at least you'll be spending time together, sharing a common goal.
Sometimes, it also provides a chance to have heart-to-hearts with your kids. Some of the most deepest looks into their world occur while we're both trying to clean a room together.
You nail that high note on a feather duster, sister. You. Nail. It. 

10. Remember what a room looks like clean
I know some people do this for this kids, but I sometimes do it for me...
do you know that feeling you get once a room is fully clean? It's like an deep sigh of contentment for your soul, knowing everything is in its place, and not(much) dust is to be found. Like everything is suddenly right with the world...or, at least your kid's playroom. At least, until they wake up.
Anyways...some people are good at envisioning that in their heads. I am not one of those people. When the room looks like World War 3 just went down, I need to be reminded what it should look, or else I will resort to tears and running for the nearest bar of chocolate. So, every once in awhile, I take a picture. Yes, a picture. On my phone.
Sometimes, it will be a picture of the room clean, or a side-by-side before and after. Sometimes, it will be a picture of the carpet cleaner solution all gray and gross from my last cleaning, or the duster after a long time of not dusting(I know...I'm weird. Just roll with me here). But seeing those things reminds me...the room is not impossible, no matter what it's current state. That I am able to clean it and clean it in a day(or two). That is little gross things(dust,etc.) that are lurking behind the fluffiness of my carpet or the great books of my bookshelf.
Every once in awhile, I will snap and look at these pictures. But, just so people don't think I really am OCD(I'm not...I think), I do delete them after a little while. I just keep them on there for days when the house looks its worst, so I can remember it at its best.
Plus, everyone once in awhile, I'll send them to my husband, to remind him of all I do at home(He's usually more excited about the cooking pictures I send him, but whatever.). Or, I'll send them to my BMF(she does it to me,too) so we can have bragging rights.
...In every clean room, that is. 

Well...that's it. These are the ten things I do to stay motivated to clean. Again, I have kids and my house is far from perfect...but sometimes, doing one or more of these things really gets me out of my funk to not want to clean.
What are some things you do to motivate yourself/your family to clean? I'd love to hear it. Drop me a comment on here or on my facebook page!
Until Next Time,
~Mama Jenn