Remembering to put things away, close cabinet doors (and drawers), and screw lids on are a few of my many weaknesses. Being the day dreamer that I am, my thoughts often wander to all of the fun I could be having if I did not have to clean. Over the last couple of years I have found a system that works for me, so things are definitely improving, but I am not naturally a tidy person. A couple weeks I gave some practical ideas about how to get your house in order, and now I hope to share how to make it fun (or at least enjoyable).
1. Play Upbeat Music
1. Play Upbeat Music
Put on music you know motivates and will make you move! Do not be afraid to be ridiculous. Your kids will have so much fun with you as you sing into the broom, tap on the counters, bang pots and pans, and belt out "Respect" by Aretha Franklin.....
2. Make it into a Game
- Have a race to see who can get their tasks done the fastest.
- Turn matching socks into “Go Fish” Have one person hold up a sock they have and see who has the most. The person with the most pairs at the end wins.
- Take note of the most often left out items around your house. Make a scavenger item list, and cross out items as they are found AND put away. Person with the most amount of items crossed out at the end wins.
- “Skate” (in socks) for dust bunnies.
3. Listen to an Audio Book
Cleaning doesn’t take a whole lot of thought, and something I have done in the past to make the time more productive is listen to an audio book. Christian Audio has a different free download each month, and Amazon has many audio books available.
4. Develop Spiritual Disciplines
Another option is to use the time of cleaning for spiritual disciplines. If you struggle with making time to pray or meditate, cleaning could give you a perfect opportunity. A while ago my pastor shared the story of Brother Lawrence’s assignment to kitchen duty, which he, like most of us, had an aversion to. However, Brother Lawrence was determined “ to do everything there for the love of GOD, and with prayer, upon all occasions, for His grace to do his work well, he had found everything easy, during the fifteen years that he had been employed there.” He prayed for the people who ate off the dishes he had to wash, and counted it his joy. Since hearing this story I have written things to pray for on the top of my rubber gloves, and hung quotes and scriptures on the insides of my cabinets so I can read them as I get my tasks done.
5. Catch-Up With a Friend
Call a friend, and talk as you clean. I find I get so much done as I am chatting on the phone!
6. Use Some Smell Good
Light a candle or use essential oils. As a scent fills up my home, it makes me want to straighten and clean. My favorite motivating oils right now are Lemongrass, Orange and Clove.
7. Make it a Learning Experience
Sorting spices, silverware, toys, laundry, and other household items can be a great way to learn colors, counting, and fine motor skills.
8. Have Rewards - for You and Your Children
We haven't started giving an allowance to our kids yet, but we have found rewarding them with computer time is a great way to get them excited to help. I have also known parents to hide small treats (snacks, stickers, etc) in places they know their kids will find them while cleaning. Collect any change you may find to put towards a pedicure fund for yourself, or at least a new nail polish.
9. Focus on the Benefits
Have a hard time convincing yourself to actually start cleaning? Think about all of the fun you could be having if you did not have a messy house looming over your head! When my house gets out-of-control (and it does happen ever couple of weeks), it feels like such a burden and drags me down which is no fun at all. Once the cleaning is done, the big benefit is being able to enjoy the clean, fresh smelling house.
10. Whistle While You Work
If you can't whistle, smile. Sometimes I just have to tell myself that cleaning does not have to be miserable. Choosing to have a good attitude can make all the difference.
Besides a visit from your mother-in-law, what things have you found to motivate you to clean?