Cleaning Motivation: Why You Don’t Need It

Motivation is a fickle friend.

If you’re relying on motivation to accomplish any task that is important to you, I have bad news for you.

You are doomed to fail. Because motivation, by definition, comes and goes.

You don’t need motivation. Consider motivation a nice little bonus where you might get even more done than if you weren’t feeling motivated.

But if you are waiting for motivation to clean the house, then you are going to have an unclean house.

Period. End of story.

The key to getting anywhere with any goal, is continuing to work on it even when you DON’T FEEL LIKE IT.

It’s a very mature thing to do. It’s one way you can take care of your friend, “Future You”.

Future You is you, but tomorrow, and she will be so, so happy to wake up to a clean kitchen and will have Present You to thank for not waiting for the “motivation” to clean.

Get it?


It doesn’t matter. Screw motivation to clean, here are other ways to get yourself to clean your house, motivated or not.

Cleaning Motivation is Dead. Cleaning Mindset Is Taking Over

The A#1 thing you need to do to get yourself to clean your house is stop thinking about cleaning the house.

Nearly no one likes cleaning. Nearly every one likes clean.

Clean is the first step in getting your home beautiful.

So stop thinking about cleaning and start thinking about clean & beautiful.

If you are focusing on mopping and scrubbing and sweeping and polishing, then getting a clean home feels like an endless list of tasks.

Instead, think about how shiny the floors are when they are clean or how smooth the counters are after you scrub them or the feeling of no crumbs on your barefeet and the warm glow of polished wood.

Those are all things that you want, right? You’re willing to work for things that you want.

Move the focus from the cleaning to the result: clean, and you’ll no longer need motivation to clean.

Double Duty Your Cleaning Time

One of the great things about cleaning is that it doesn’t really require much of your focus.

That means it’s a perfect opportunity to let your mind be occupied with something else.

Here’s a list of things you can do while cleaning to occupy and even enrich your mind:

  • Listen to an Audible book
  • Listen to your favorite podcast
  • Sing along to your favorite music
  • Talk on the phone
  • Listen to Ted Talks
  • Leave a problem in the back of your mind for your subconscious to work on while you zone out and clean
  • Start a list of things you’d like to do in each room to make it more homey.

Let’s Go Back To You Future You

Future You first made an appearance on Bogoten in this post about the importance of being organized.

The concept is the same for cleaning.

Are you the type that will go to the ends of the earth for your friends, kids, husband, PTA, garbage man, etc etc etc and yet YOU are happy to let the things that are for YOU go?

We’re going to stop that. Give Future You a name. I’ve named her Sally. You can pick whatever name you would like for your new best friend.

Sally loves to wake up in the morning to a clean kitchen to have her coffee. So you know what you are going to do for your best friend Sally? You’re going to put those last dirty dishes in the dishwasher.

Oh, it will be such a nice relief for Sally to wake up to a sparkling sink.

You’re such a good friend!

Is this a little insane? Perhaps. Does it work? It does for me.

Ready To Dump Cleaning Motivation

Change your relationship with your home. Dump cleaning motivation. He was never good for you anyway.

Try these three steps to help you change the way you see “cleaning” and see what changes in your home and in your mind.

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