I saw an interesting thread on Twitter yesterday. About tips for those that struggle mentally to get things done during lockdown, and in general. I certainly do need to fire myself up to keep on top of things around the house. And often i fail. So it got me thinking about writing down some of the best suggestions. So here are some tips on how to keep on top of cleaning.
This is very subjective, as everyone has their time of day when they work best. For me i used to write best late at night, but i prefer early starts nowadays. And early in the day is definitely when i have the most enthusiasm for whatever jobs lie ahead. Before the afternoon lull arrives. So my tip if you have a similar body clock is not to put things off. Get the horrible cleaning jobs done early, and you will feel so much better for doing so. That frees up the rest of the day for other stuff, and means it is not hanging over you all day.
If you think of cleaning your flat as one huge job, chances are you will never start as the prospect of so much work overwhelms you. So you need to change the way you think. And so a good way i like to approach matters is to aim much lower. So my approach is to know that the work you do on cleaning the flat will eventually lead to a spotless flat. And the way i do that is aim to do any cleaning of mess made on that day, plus at least ten minutes more. That way, your home ends the day cleaner than it began. And that is progress. Unless there is a huge rush to be spotless, take your time. Some days you may do more than ten minutes anyway, once the pressure is off. Just ensure that is the minimum requirement. And do not get down if that is the amount you do. You may also decide at weekends that your aim is simply to stay level.
The best way i can get myself to clean the flat is to make my goals very achievable. And so the way i do that is to departmentalize my jobs. I do that by sectioning cleaning jobs into one room at a time. If i am short of time, i will even break down a single room, and just do one specific job within that room. It makes your goals much more achievable, and removes the stress.
The next decision to make is the order in which you do the cleaning. And for me it makes sense to clean the rooms you see the most and spend the most time in first. You might as well take advantage of your cleaning. And when you see how nicer everything is clean, it should drive you on to do further cleaning in the less visited nooks and crannies. However, there is a counter argument that you are better doing the less visited areas first, as otherwise you may never do them. It depends on your character.
I would feel i have cheated myself if i just paid someone to come in and clean everything. In fact, i would be embarrassed. However, there are certain jobs that it is fine to call in help for. You don’t have to do everything by yourself. For example, my garage needs emptying out. Everything in it needs taking to the skip. However i do not drive, and my friend owns a white van. So i intend to hire him for the day and together we will get rid of all my rubbish.
Cleaning is boring, it is the main reason i am so averse to doing it. Like exercise in fact! So it may help you achieve more if you try and make it more interesting. You can turn it into a game and set little goals. But more useful for me is to just put my headphones on and get some good music or a great podcast playing. By keeping my mind occupied, it makes the cleaning seem like less of a chore. A game i like to play is occasionally see how many surfaces you can clean in a minute. It’s amazing how much you can get done in a short period of time. And all of use can surely keep going for a minute or two!
It feels great to throw out junk! So part of cleaning your home should be to create space. Let’s be honest we all have stuff in our house we never use nor even look at. So get rid of it all. Sell it, give it to charity shops, throw it away. The choice is yours according to its worth. But you will feel so much better for doing so, i promise you.