You might be thinking there’s no way to make cleaning fun, but you’d be wrong.
There are a lot of little tricks and games we can play to make cleaning really rewarding, and even relaxing. I really love when I get some time alone to clean my house, listen to podcasts or books, and make everything fresh again.
Here are some of the techniques I use to make cleaning fun in my home.
6. Make it “me time.”
I know that sounds so absolutely crazy, because “me time” seems like it should be going to a spa or getting a great haircut or reading a book on the back porch, but I love cleaning alone. And I’m not the only one.
Baylie of Tiny House Growing Family says, “My husband takes care of the kids, so it’s “me” time.” And I can imagine that in a tiny house, getting a little bit of “me time” is especially important!
Having a bit of alone time to just BE without anyone touching your body (nursing mamas, you know what I mean), to move your body and make your home more comfortable is really rewarding.
5. Listen while you work
Blast your favorite loud music, or listen to a playlist or channel made by someone else. I’m loving some of the cleaning music playlists available for free with Amazon Prime (Get a 30 day trial to see what I mean. It’s awesome).
@rachel.pearson on Instagram says, “Music. I put on a song and see how much my kids and I can get done before the song is over. It helps keep my kids motivated to work quickly.”
Or, pop in the earbuds and listen to an audio book (get 2 free if you’ve never tried Audible before) or podcast. I LOVE audio books and listen to SO many that I wouldn’t otherwise have time to actually read. I’ve even worked my way up to 3x speed so that I can listen to more books in the same amount of time.
4. Make it into a game.
If you’re cleaning with your kids or your husband, race to see who can clean their assigned room the fastest. Or, cooperatively work to see how quickly you can fill a box for donation together.
Or make a points system for the chores – maybe dusting one room is worth 3 points, vacuuming is 5 points, and cleaning the windows is 6 points. Scrubbing the stove might be 10 if it really needs it, and folding and putting away a load of laundry might be 12. See who can earn the most points in a certain amount of time, and the winner gets to choose the movie for movie night, or the loser (if you’re playing with your spouse) buys lunch or dinner at a restaurant.
If you really really don’t want to clean, and you’d rather veg out with some TV, at the very least, see how much you can rush around and accomplish during the commercial breaks. You’ll get more done than if you don’t even try, and you’ll still get to watch your show.
@themittenmom on Instagram said, “We play ‘beat the clock’ and time ourselves while we do each task. It’s a great way to use my son’s competitive streak for good instead of evil.”
3. Join a challenge
Sometimes it can feel like we’re alone in this mess – literally. But knowing there are other people out there, working at the same time to reduce clutter and make a home that’s enjoyable to live in is really helpful.
Join a challenge (like my FREE 30 day clutter-free countdown) to share your progress and cheer each other on. It’s inspiring to see other people’s before-and-after photos, and it feels great to have virtual high fives from other homemakers when we share our progress too.
2. Do it with a few friends
I started So Damn Domestic because my friends and I used to text each other before and after photos of our rooms as we cleaned them, to motivate each other. Sometimes we still do this, but the Hardcore Homemaking private facebook group is perfect for this, too!
Or, do it with friends in person. My mother-in-law used to be a part of a group of friends who would go to each other’s houses every couple of months to DEEP CLEAN together.
They’d each take different jobs (one would be on bathroom duty, another would wash and iron all of the curtains, another would deep-clean the kitchen, and so on) and bring food for a potluck lunch. At the end of the day, while enjoying lots of fun and friendship, one person’s house was spotless.
Two months later, they’d meet at the next friend’s house and do it all over again. There were 6 of them, so once a year, everyone’s house got the deep treatment, and they had built in get-togethers all year long.
1. Enjoy the Rewards
In my course, My Best Year Ever, which teaches effective and efficient habit creation in order to meet your goals, I caution against using external rewards. But using natural rewards related to the habits we’re developing is actually a really good idea.
Just like we brush our teeth to get that tingly minty feeling (not just to prevent cavities), cleaning our home has natural rewards we can enjoy too.
What feels better than taking a long soak in a totally clean bathroom? Relaxing, knowing there’s nothing on the to-do list? Not much.
Or, make your cleaning solutions with essential oils that energize you and make you feel happy, and you’ll have an instant reward every time you clean. I use sweet orange oil and peppermint oil in mine – but lemon and basil is another great combination, too. Use a blend you love and you’ll want to clean more often.
If you feel more confident about hosting parties or gatherings once your home is clean, invite a friend to dinner or host a barbecue on the weekend. You’ll be able to relax and enjoy the company without worrying about your house. That’s a great reward!
Or maybe you’d rather get out and enjoy the world. You’ll feel less stress knowing that everything is taken care of at home, so celebrate your cleaning success by going hiking or to a class or visiting with a friend at their house. Stress-free.
Flavia of Neat House Sweet Home told me, “I always try to move things around and redecorate by ‘going shopping’ around the house. that keeps it interesting.” For sure, finding “new” decor when you’re cleaning is a great natural reward!
So are you ready to have fun cleaning?
Time to get started! Pick one of the techniques above and go!
Whether you set your timer for 15 minutes or you’re doing a weekend marathon cleaning session, you’re bound to have a great time.