I always feel like a bit of a fraud when I write posts about cleaning and tidying.
I mean, I would love my house to be clutter and dust free all the time but it’s just not something I ever seem to manage to get on top of.
One day I’ll commit properly to the organised mum method rather than just dabbling here and there. In the meantime though, there are a few things I’ve found helpful in sort of tricking myself into a (slightly) tidier house.
If you find it a struggle to motivate yourself to clean and tidy at home, then you might find these ideas help you too.
1. Don’t leave a room empty-handed
This is one of my favourite tips for not letting things get completely out of control.
Any time you leave a room, or walk through a room on your way somewhere, make sure you take something with you.
So say you’re getting up from the sofa to get a snack in the kitchen, grab your empty coffee mug and take it out with you.
Or if you’re heading upstairs to the toilet, then pick up the pile on the stairs (you know the one) and put things in the bedrooms they belong in.
2. Do just one thing a day
Instead of letting all the cleaning tasks build up so you have to blitz the whole house at once, try picking just one little task to do each day.
You could quickly dust one day, run the hoover round another day and on a different day you could clear off surfaces in a certain room.
3. Set up a trigger to clean
You know the study that Pavlov did with dogs all those years ago? He used classical conditioning with the dogs that resulted in them salivating every time a bell rang, because they linked the sound with the expectation of getting a treat.
Well, you can do the same for yourself with cleaning.
Choose something that will be your trigger, like a certain tv programme finishing, or even a particular alarm tone on your phone. Then pick a cleaning task you’ll do when you hear that trigger.
To start with you’ll need to make a real effort to do that particular task when your programme finishes, or at the time that your alarm goes off. But after a while it’ll start to be an automatic response to hearing that trigger.
Well that’s the theory anyway. I can’t say I’ve actually tried this one out for myself yet!
4. Limit your cleaning time
If you really need to clean up but are really struggling with getting motivated, then set a timer for 10 or 20 minutes and tell yourself that you’ll just clean for that short amount of time.
As long as you really go for it in that time, you can stop when the timer goes off.
But you may well find that once you get started you’ll want to finish the jobs that need to be done, even if it takes more time.
5. Get some great-smelling cleaning products
I know this sounds silly, but having cleaning products that smell really nice when you’re using them, and leave your house smelling great afterwards really can make you that bit more inclined to clean.
I bought some Method pink grapefruit cleaning spray a while ago after reading loads of positive reviews saying how lovely it smells, and it really does make the kitchen smell great when I use it.
Do you use any of these tricks to help you keep your house under control?
Do you have any other quick tips that I need to know about?!