It doesn’t matter if you only have 30 minutes, a full day, or the whole weekend to clean. Here are three tips for staying focused while cleaning:
1) Make it “your time.”
- Do you have an audiobook you’ve wanted to hear? Maybe there are a few podcasts you’ve needed to catch up on. Is music your go to?- Download these in advance next time you’re scrolling your phone.
- Be in comfortable clothing.
- Treat yo’self- have your favorite drink at the ready (tea, coffee, soda, whatever you enjoy while you tackle the project)
- Learn how to use your phone’s replying function- don’t get distracted by having to pull out your phone to answer texts or calls. Looking at your phone will trigger you to check social media or some other shiny-screen time sucker.
2) Write it down
Staying focused while cleaning is easy when you can see what your plan is before you start! Think of it as the blueprint for your success.
Date and time (be specific)
- “Wednesday at 6 pm, I will clean X, Y, and Z.”
- “This weekend, after breakfast, I will deep clean X.”
- “I will ‘quick tidy’ on Friday at 5 pm.”
By making this statement, you create a contract with yourself. You also have time to prepare yourself if this is an area of stress mentally.
Make a list of the “to-do”‘s
- When I make a list, the first thing I put on my list is “make a list.”
- After I finish, I can immediately check something off the list.
- It makes me feel accomplished right out of the gate. “Woohoo! I did that!”
- The more specific you are about your list, the more times you can check something off and feel accomplished.
- Having the list helps if you find yourself forgetting what you were just doing- I can be just like Dory so often.
3) The “Go-Backs” Basket
If you have trouble staying focused while cleaning, this will change your life.
- Keep a laundry basket or bin with you until the end of the clean.
- Take it to the room you are working in and set it in the doorway.
- Every time you find something in that room that doesn’t belong in that room, you place it in the basket.
- Keep a small bag in it for trash also.
- By not allowing yourself to leave the room to “put that back” or “throw that away,” you remain focused on the task at hand.
- At the very end of your list, you will complete “take out the trash” and “go-backs basket.”
The ‘Quick Tidy’ List:
This list is what I do when my parents or friends are visiting:
- Make list
- Do laundry-
- Clothes- wash/dry/fold
- Towels- bathroom and kitchen wash/dry/fold
- Clean Kitchen-
- cabinet door uppers
- cabinet door lowers
- fridge door
- Living room-
- pick up toys
- fold blankets
- wipe down coffee table
- Bathroom (1)
- clean toilet
- put things away/wipe down the countertop
- clean mirror
- empty trash
- Bed made- bedroom 1/ bedroom 2
- side table- bedroom 1/ bedroom 2
- dresser- bedroom 1
- Sweep- Kitchen, Bathroom, etc
- Vacuum- living, bedroom 1, bedroom 2
- Take out all trash
- Tackle “go-backs” basket
The more you utilize this list, the easier it is to get into the routine the next time.