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Tips For Cleaning When You Feel Overwhelmed

Have you ever walked into your home and looked at a cluttered living room or a sink full of smelly dishes and thought, “Didn’t I just clean this?” This is my reality every. single. day. as it may be yours as well. These days, with everyone at home more than before, it may seem like a constant loop of cleaning and clutter. With that being said, we have some tips to help you overcome the overwhelmed feelings that can come from not knowing where to start.

Don’t Sit Down

If you are anything like me, half of your lack of motivation comes the moment your back side hits the sofa. If I sit before picking up from the morning bustle I can just kiss any motivation I just had goodbye.

Have the Right Tools for the Task on Hand

When cleaning the surfaces in your home it is important to have all the tools and cleaning products at your fingertips. Take inventory and stock up on the essentials here.

Race the Clock Cleaning

Try a more sprint-like approach to tackling a room. Got kids? They enjoy this game too!

  • Set a timer for 20 minutes

  • Spend those 20 minutes cleaning

  • Take a 10-minute break from cleaning

  • Repeat

Choose Somewhere to Start

The overwhelm you feel when faced with a messy house may not actually be about the task of cleaning but rather not knowing where to begin.

Here are some good places to get started:

  • The floor – Sit and tidy or sort piles of mail or books, grab a broom and sweep up crumbs, or vacuum the living room rug. A cluttered or dirty floor can make everything else in the room appear messier as a result, so starting here can make a big impact.

  • The kitchen sink – Wash any dishes in the sink or load the dishwasher, then give the sink itself a good scrub. (Pro tip: Dry the sink after rinsing to help protect it!) A clean, shiny sink can be achieved fairly quickly and easily and will give you a sense of accomplishment to carry you through to the next task.

  • The laundry hamper – Start by throwing in a load of laundry. While your dirty clothes take a spin in the suds, you’ll be able to use the momentum to tackle something else.

  • Your wallet – Toss, shred, or recycle any old receipts you no longer need, save contact information from business cards in your phone or address book, and cut up any expired credit cards. Sometimes something small can give you the motivation to move on to something bigger.

Figure Out Your Priorities & Make a List

If you have a history of feeling overwhelmed by house cleaning, take a proactive approach. Keep a list of the specific tasks that, when completed, give you the best sense of accomplishment or make the biggest impact. Use a note-taking app on your phone, write it out on sticky notes or my favorite, this chore chart. Refer back to it when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Are these tasks complete? If not, choose one and start there.

Create a Cleaning Playlist

Upbeat music that inspires you to move may help motivate you to complete your to-do list. Create your own playlist of your favorite songs or browse streaming music services like Spotify, Apple Music, or Amazon Music Unlimited to find curated playlists perfect for housework. (Hint: Try searching “cleaning motivation.”) If you’re in a more cerebral mood, catch up on a popular podcast or listen to an audiobook while you work. Sometimes your brain just needs a little distraction to get into the cleaning groove.

What other tips do you have when you’re feeling overwhelmed by cleaning house?

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