12 Ways I Get Motivated to Do Housework

I’m a wierd-o because normally I love housekeeping.

Except when I’m in my first trimester of pregnancy.  Then I never care.  I don’t shower for like four days at a time and my plants all die.  I just hit my second trimester.   After a couple of months of basically sleeping on my couch, I looked up and my house was in line for the next episode of Hoarders.  Or maybe just it was really dusty and had a lot of gross stuff in the microwave.  Yeah, probably that.

Either way, when I started feeling normal again I was overwhelmed.  Flylady pretty much saved me with her “You can do anything for fifteen minutes mantra.” (Go here to see how I tackle a really messy house!)

Want to know how I motivate myself to start on housework?

Motivation Collage

1.)  Shower/wash my face/ change into some “real clothes,”even if it’s yoga pants.  Well, let’s not pretend, it usually

2.)  Set my timer! I have developed a habit of setting my timer when I’m doing my Monday once-over or my daily tidying routines.  I love to see if I can beat my previous records.   When my timer goes off and I look around, it just proves that housework does not need to be an all-day ordeal.  Or an all-day procrastination-fest.


3.)  Start with the easiest task to get some momentum: Mine is usually folding the blanket on the couch, straightening the pillows and picking up the toys in the living room.  Instantly gratifying.

4.)  Turn on my favorite music! Loud is good.

5.)  Take it one tiny zone at a time: “If I can clear off the dining room table, then I’ll clean off that counter top.”  And so on.  And so forth.  (I am a compartmentalizer, so I use this one the most.)

6.)  Talk on the phone. I put my earpiece in and call my sister to catch up.  Talking on the phone makes chores go so much faster…and suddenly the bathroom has also been cleaned!  (Let’s face it, I’m never on the phone with my sister for just 15 minutes)

7.)  Promise myself a reward. It’s usually a mocha.  Last time it was a cookie.  By the time I’ve finished my routine, I usually feel so good I don’t even take myself up on it.

8.)  Okay, forget that. On bad days it’s a pre-reward.  A reward for my good intentions, shall we say.  Anyways, in my experience, a little sugary caffeine never hurt a fast, 15-minute housekeeping spree.

9.)  Simmer some spices on the stove. I don’t know what it is, but the aroma of cinnamon, cloves and oranges wafting through the house just motivates me to get everything feeling cozy and tidy.

10.)  Listen to a motivating (or just entertaining) audio book, podcast, or TV show while I work. My favorites in include Dr. Laura, Dave Ramsey, Joyce Meyer, and Seth Godin.


11.)  Start super small: Example:  What can I do in two minutes?  This always surprises me.

12.)  Use TV commercials. If I’m having a truly terrible and unmotivated, overwhelming day, I do what I call commercial method.  You cannot use your DVR for this, as commercials are a necessity. I allow myself to lay around and watch T.V. all day, but during commercials, I force myself to get up and to do a little 5-minute something.

BONUS: The Basket MethodSince writing this post, I found another way to get myself motivated!  Have you ever heard of the basket method?  Here’s how to get yourself motivated using my basket method.  This works great for a super messy house!


I usually only show you pretty pictures of my house.  But how about this?



Messy House

Messy Table

Toys 2

Messy Nursery

That’s my house right now.  Oh, there’s more.  I’m just too vain to show you.

SO, I need to know:

1.) How do you get yourself motivated to tackle your housework?

2.) What is that one chore or hot-spot that will cause your house to deteriorate into madness if you put it off?

3.) Am I the only one who gets that special feeling when I see fresh lines vacuumed into the carpet?