Some people love cleaning. They find it to be rewarding, cathartic and enjoyable, helping their souls scrub their way toward peace.
Then there’s the rest of us.
Sure, we all prefer some level of cleanliness in our home. But do we want it enough to whip out the mop and bucket to achieve it? Nahhhh, not for us anti-clean freaks. For those who hate cleaning, it really is a chore in the purest sense of the word—the very image of spending precious time doing the dishes (again? weren’t they just washed?) is soul draining. That’s without even taking into consideration how mental illnesses like depression can dwindle our motivation to maintain any sense of upkeep.
Luckily, there’s hope for everyone, no matter what your situation is. Making an overwhelming task less daunting often comes down to incorporating small changes. Incremental progress is a slow, yet comfortable way to move toward a goal. This philosophy works for cleaning as well. And we live in a time when crowdsourced tips to get started are but a click away.
Reddit user u/Luckyjulydouble07 asked, “For those of you who hate cleaning, what’s your secret to a clean home?” to the online forum, and the hacks that people shared were surprisingly helpful. I definitely found myself taking a few notes. Other answers are sure to be hilariously relatable for fellow lazy cleaners.
Take a look below:
“Invite someone/people over. The only thing worse than cleaning is being embarrassed by how disgusting you are.” – @DarwinsDayOff
If this isn’t absolute truth, I don’t know what is. I can be struggling to clean my apartment for weeks, then suddenly make it spotless in less than an hour as soon as I know a guest is fast approaching. Sometime societal pressures can be helpful.
“Own less shit.” – @obtusername
This was seconded by @golindsatan74 , who shared:
“I have my house on the market, and because of this I have pretty much packed EVERYTHING that isn’t something of direct use, as in all knick knacks and clutter are completely gone. With this, I have discovered it is incredibly easy to keep a house clean when it is extremely minimized with clear, easy to clean surfaces and open spaces easy to navigate. And when the day comes when we sell our house and move I will not unpack the cutesy crap and keep a clean, minimalist house. To me, this is now the way.“
“Robot vacuum! Run it daily, pick up whatever it hits. I love that thing.” – @No-Trouble814
Where robot vacuums might not be strong enough to replace upright vacuums, there’s no denying that having a little droid to help with basic upkeep is a godsend and also fulfills our dream our living in a real “Star Wars” universe.
“Clean a little bit as you go. I hate cleaning, but when I lived by myself my apartment was spotless. I would use a dish and wash it right then and there. 20 seconds now is better than 30+ minutes when dishes stack up.” – @domestic_omnom
This person also alluded to pairing less than fun tasks with an enjoyable activity, such as folding laundry while watching Netflix.
“One of the best things I did for my mental health was hire a cleaning service twice a month. We have young kids, who just walk into a room and make it messy. Also, my husband’s tolerance for mess and dirty areas is a lot higher than mine. I was going crazy asking for help and not getting it, or feeling like nothing ever stayed clean. So, a cleaner comes twice a week, and if I have to clean the kitchen floor once because the kids helped make pancakes it’s fine, because that’s all I have to do.” – @Fionngirl14
Granted, not everyone can afford this kind of help. On the other hand, it might not be as out of reach as you’d think. Many cleaning services offer coupons and discounts, and companies such as Task Rabbit might be able to find an individual who’s affordable. The point is, there’s nothing wrong with needing and seeking out help.
“It may seem counterintuitive, but I do the cleaning chores I dislike most first and get them out of the way. Then, gradually, work on the rest. It always looks good that way.” – @Back2Bach
Doesn’t seem counterintuitive at all. This method of doing the hard, important thing first is touted by several productivity experts, including James Clear, author of “Atomic Habits.”
“I schedule things. I would never, say, vacuum because the house needs vacuuming. But if Tuesday is vacuum the living room day, I do it because it’s time. Litter box every day at 2:00. Weirdly, I find myself doing things early, so I can beat the schedule clock.” – @Wienerwrld
This is a great tip to make sure everything gets done and to avoid overwhelm. Unless your floor is on fire, as seen above.
“Music. If I can dance while I clean, I can clean forever. I’ll still hate it, but at least it won’t be boring.” – @Nicetwin123
Obviously, the Outkast classic, “So Fresh, So Clean” would need to be on the playlist.
Finally, @Applejuiceinthehal broke cleaning down in the best way possible:
“First, there are 3 types of cleaning
- Tidying (putting things away/out of sight)
- Actual cleaning
You should only do one of those at a time. If you start tidying but start organizing, then you won’t get the tidying done. If you need to clean it, there are things in the way, and so you start tidying, then you won’t end up cleaning, or it will take longer.
So if you need to clean bathrooms, but there are things on the counter, put whatever belongs in the bathroom in the correct draw/cabinet. If it doesn’t belong, just put in a basket outside bathroom. Clean bathrooms.
Every room should have a junk drawer. When you are tidying, if the object doesn’t have a ‘place’ then just put in the junk drawer. When it’s organizing time, you can give the object a home.
There are some chores that you should do daily. I do dishes daily. I heard someone say once that it takes like 4 minutes to do them. So you can do them even if you had a long night. On the off night where you don’t get to it, then at least there is just 1 day backed up.
Other non negotiables for me is wipe down kitchen sink, counter and stove. Kitchen is where food is so prefer that to be clean even if other areas are messy.
Some people sweep/vacuum, do ten minute pick-ups, laundry, make beds. But I suppose that depends on family size and etc.” – @Applejuiceinthehall