10 Smart Tips from People Who Actually Love to Clean
“I love to clean!” said almost no one ever. Of course, there are some people who do like it. And so we chatted with those rare birds to get their very best tips. Turns out, a lot of what they had to say was more about motivation and inspiration. (Because if you’re not into it, you probably won’t do a thorough job.) Shake up that “I don’t like to clean” mindset by finding easy ways to make household chores something you’ll actually look forward to.
Here are 10 smart tips to try.
1. Stash supplies strategically.
Sarah Grant, a pro organizer and founder of Be Neat Studio, says she finds it a whole lot easier to clean when she doesn’t have to run between rooms to grab essential cleaning tools. Instead, she keeps supplies like gloves, cloths, and go-to sprays easily accessible (say, under every sink in the bathrooms and kitchen) for quick, instantly rewarding cleaning tasks.
2. Dress the part.
Can’t get yourself into the mood for cleaning? Try putting on your “chore clothes” for a motivation boost. “During COVID, I started dressing for chores as I do for a workout,” Grant says. “I have leopard-print leggings and a black tee that I’ll put on first thing on days when I want to power through deep cleaning.”
3. Seize the moment.
If time is your most common excuse for neglecting cleaning jobs, try Grant’s approach of cleaning while you’re doing other things. For example, you can unload the dishwasher while you’re waiting for the coffee to brew, or clean out the fridge while the oven preheats.
4. Make DIY cleaners you love to use.
Jen Stark, founder of Happy DIY Home, looks forward to cleaning when she uses DIY cleaners she’s created herself. For example, she says, she likes to mix an ounce of water with five or six drops of lemon essential oil as an all-purpose spray for hard surfaces. Make it even more fun and keep your DIYs in a fancy, aesthetically pleasing bottle!
5. Make a playlist.
Sometimes, finding the energy to clean is as easy as turning on a playlist that makes you want to move. Stark says turning on her favorite music especially helps when she’s cleaning areas she used to dread, like the bathrooms or floors. You can create your own cleaning soundtrack of go-to songs or check out one of the many pre-made cleaning playlists on streaming services.
6. Put things away when you’re done with them.
Homemaking blogger Kelcey Grimes has a simple-but-effective philosophy to take the dread out of cleaning: Don’t save it for later. Rather than letting clutter and messes pile up and sacrificing hours later on, sacrifice small pockets of time now. “By putting things back after you’re done using them, you’ll save yourself a whole lot of time at the end of the day and have a clean house to unwind in,” she says.
7. Tackle one project a day.
Staring down a disorganized or dirty space can feel overwhelming. Instead of trying to do everything that needs cleaning in one fell swoop, make a strategic plan to tackle one project each day (or one project each weekend). For example, Grimes designates a bathroom day, bedroom day, main floor day, and kitchen day each week. She also aims to do a load of laundry each day to avoid accumulating huge, stressful piles.
8. Use a timer.
When you really don’t feel like tidying up, make it a game! Try setting a timer for 10 or 20 minutes, grab your supplies, and see how much you can get done in that time frame. “A timer gives you an end in sight, and it can actually be pretty fun to race the clock,” says organizing blogger Lauren Gamboa.
9. Plan something special after.
Blogger Maggie Waters says her favorite way to make cleaning more fun is to make it a pre-date night activity with her boyfriend. Plan a fun, at-home date night as a motivation to spruce things up, turn on some music, and clean for 30 to 60 minutes. “Afterwards, once we have taken showers and started our fun date night, we get the added bonus of enjoying a freshly cleaned home!”
10. Create a calendar.
Not every job needs to get done daily or even weekly. But having big seasonal jobs looming over your head can be a stressor. Janice Stewart, owner of Castle Keepers House Cleaners, says she dodges that stress by making a list of things that need to be done seasonally, monthly, weekly, and daily, then she adds them to a cleaning calendar. “While I’m not organized enough to consult it every day, I try to look at it several times a week to catch things I might have forgotten so I can plan to fit it in,” she says.
Do you like to clean? What are your tips and tricks? Tell us in the comments below.