I’m having one of those days, you guys.
You know, those days when no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to find the motivation to get the things you need done.
I’m not tired and I don’t have any real reason not to do it because if we’re being honest I’m just binge watching Handmaid’s Tale, but I just can’t bring myself to fold that load of laundry or take out the trash that’s close to being too full. What was a break an hour ago has turned into complete laziness.
I know I can’t be the only one who does this; who shuts off their brain and goes into complete ignoring my responsibilities mode. It makes me feel good in the moment, but the after effects leave me feeling worse than I did before when I have to fold even more laundry because it’s piled up. I don’t like the way I procrastinate household chores, but sometimes I really don’t want to do them.
Even when I’m feeling like my laziest self I still know that chores need to be done and that when my house is clean I feel less stressed out. There’s no question about that. But when my house is really looking like a mess the last thing I want to do is get up and clean it.
When you feel like this it’s easy to justify being lazy and saying you’ll get to it later, but when you’re stuck doing everything all at once and feeling like a big ball of stress you really regret it. Or at least I really regret it.
For that reason I came up with a few things to do every time I want to put off doing things but really need to get them done.
But remember, it’s okay and really good to take a break! And sometimes that means putting off chores to take care of yourself, do something fun with your family, or work on things that bring you joy.
5 Things to Do When You Don’t Want To Do Housework:
- Multitask // Keep Watching The Show: Sometimes I don’t want to get housework done simply because I’m deeply invested in the show I’m watching. When this happens I like to leave the TV running and work on things that I can get done in front of the TV. This keeps my mind actively engaged in what I’m watching but let’s me tackle projects that don’t require much mental effort like folding clothes or dusting.
- Make it special: How do I make it special when I need to mop my kitchen floor or scrub toilets, you might be asking. Yeah, household chores aren’t really magical experiences. But when you save something special exclusively for home chores it makes you want to do them. I like to listen to podcasts and audiobooks while I clean but when I save an episode of a podcast or a chapter of the book I’m listening to exclusively for when I clean it motivates me to do it!
- Race yourself: This is fairly simple and self-explanatory but just so you have a little more info when it comes to racing yourself on chores, set a timer a timer and see how much you can get done before it goes off. You can also do this by creating a playlist of songs you enjoy listening to and seeing how many things you’re able to get done before it ends! You can click here to see listen to my recent playlist!
- Set yourself up to clean before you get there: You know when you get an idea like hey I should wipe down the counter in the bathroom but then you don’t do it because you don’t want to walk all the way into the kitchen or laundry room or wherever you keep your cleaning products to get the counter cleaner? Yeah that happens to me all the time. So I’ve started leaving things in places where I can get into them when I get an idea. Obviously you want to put them high up and away from any little hands and mouths, but you can also keep cleaning supplies in your closet, linen closet, etc.
- Just do it: When it comes to getting house stuff done that you don’t want to do, a lot of times the best way to motivate yourself to do it is by just getting up and getting it done. Stop saying to yourself ugh I need to get xyz done and just get up and do it! Make yourself start the process and commit to doing it.
So now that we’ve covered those 5 things, I also want to add a few other ways you can kickstart the cleaning you’ve been putting off.
- Make your spouse, kids, roommate, friend, family members, etc. clean with you. You can make it fun and race each other, or you can just split up the work and go at it on your own (this is what my husband and I do and it works fabulously when we need to get a lot done). Having other people help you can get rid of that overwhelmed feeling that comes when you have way too much to get done.
- When you’re all done cleaning, treat yourself to a nice bath or an ice cream. By rewarding yourself at the end you’ll not only have the satisfaction of a clean house and having checked something off your to-do list, but you’ll also get something you want. It’s a win-win really. And who knows, maybe you’ll trick your brain into associating the deliciously good feeling that comes with eating ice cream with cleaning (but probably not).
- If you have a lot to get done in a short amount of time, deal with the most important things first. If you have guests coming over, clean up the obviously messy parts of the house and let the rest be. If you’ve got to clean the kitchen but only have fifteen minutes to do it, do the dishes and countertops and then leave it for later. Having at least something done will make you feel better.
I know for a lot of people (like me) starting the day with a to-do list to cross off and a schedule can really benefit my cleaning. When I’m more mentally organized I can be more physically organized.
It also (weirdly) helps when I get dressed and ready for the day before I take on housework. I think it makes me feel less lazy, which in turn motivates me to get stuff done.
Cleaning isn’t very much fun and a lot of the time it’s much more enjoyable to put it off and do it later. Sometimes, though, we really need to put that book down and do work. When that happens it can be hard to motivate yourself, but if you use all of these tricks you’ll be more prepared when you need to get something done but don’t want to.
It all comes down to this: do I want to feel good about the house and feel less overwhelmed, or do I want to keep feeling stressed out and ignore it for the temporary pleasure of a third episode of this addicting but not really helping me in any way show.
You know the answer, and I know the answer.
Now if you’ll excuse me I have work to do.