I don’t like cleaning my house

The lazy person’s cleaning schedule for when your house is never clean enough!

Honeymoon phases happen in all kinds of scenarios (not just romantic) and the honeymoon period between me and my house is officially over.

We’re at the nagging about the dishes and peeing with the door open stage.

I don't like cleaning my house
photo: Lauren Mancke

At first it was a joy to clean: I was so happy to have a place of my own and I wanted to take care of it, but soon the novelty wore off and I remembered..oh yeah, I actually hate cleaning.

The issue for me though, is that I love (and need) things to be clean and tidy to remain sane.

I grew up in a spotless household, apart from my sister’s bedroom (I don’t know how she go away with it), so it’s all I know.

I don't like cleaning my house
photo: Heather Ford

For some, cleaning can be therapeutic, but even for me, an excessively tidy person, it’s not enjoyable.

Read more: how to protect your car from your dog

So how can we make this more enjoyable? And if not more enjoyable then how can we make it easier?

Here’s what I’ve learned.

Tips for cleaning your house when you don’t like cleaning it:

Make your house easier to clean

Clutter is going to make your house more difficult to clean, but before we start thinking about clutter, we need to think about decorating. Clean-friendly and low-maintenance decorating is going to make your life easier.

Yes, a pink sofa looks nice in the shop, but two years later when you’ve spilt tea all over it, not so much.

Listen to advice when it comes to this: ask friends, relatives…even neighbours. I wish I’d listened to more advice when it came to making clean-friendly purchases.

Keep the cleaning supplies in convenient locations

There is nothing wrong with giving ourselves a helping hand by putting the cleaning products close to the area we want to clean. And what I mean by this is having the bathroom cleaning supplies in the bathroom, the kitchen cleaning supplies in the kitchen and so on.

Some of my cleaning products are stored in the loft and you guessed it…they never see the light of day.

I don't like cleaning my house
photo: JE Shoots

Promise yourself a reward at the end

Many of us think “I’ll watch this and then I’ll start cleaning.” Ten hours later and we’re still sucked into a 12-part series. Instead, use this as motivation and save it for after you’re done cleaning.

Do the difficult thing first

To quote Marisa Peer here: “do the thing you don’t want to do first.” Get the most difficult or job you least like out the way first; then the rest will feel like a breeze.

Podcasts/Audiobooks or Music

Although sitting with your thoughts has health benefits, there is nothing like a great podcast or a good album to get you through the weekly chores.

Stick to a routine/habit stacking

I don't like cleaning my house
Elena Koycheva

I don’t know about you, but I’m often just not in the habit of cleaning; one day I’ll look around and think: “holy heck, when did I last clean the house?” Like my eyebrow hair, it comes out of nowhere.

To build a routine, identify a habit you already do daily and stack your new habit on top. For example, once you’ve put your toothbrush back in the morning you clean the bathroom mirror.

Tip: if you want to know more about this then give Atomic Habits a read:

Atomic Habits james clear i don't like cleaning my house

Atomic Habits by James Cleer – Amazon from £4.99

Keep the end goal in mind

Like going to the gym, there is a lot of delayed gratification when you clean; once it’s done and dusted – literally – you know you’re going to feel amazing. Let that be your motivation.

Positive effect on your mental health

Cleaning is scientifically proven to release endorphins and reduce anxiety. This means cleaning can be part of your self-care routine.

I don't like cleaning my house - rubber gloves
photo: Karolina Kolodziejczak

Why don’t I enjoy cleaning?

We’re all different and have different levels of cleanliness and messiness; being clean and tidy might not be on your top list of priorities.

Often, our childhood homes can have an impact on what we consider to be ‘normal’ and we’ll carry that into our adult life. Maybe a very clean and tidy household doesn’t feel like home to you.

Sometimes, anxiety and depression can prevent you from having the energy to clean up. Depressed patients can develop what is known as psychomotor retardation – a slowing down of your mental or physical activities – which would make it very difficult to do chores.

In an article for the Guardian, psychology professor, Alison Pike says: “if you don’t care about housework, you’re just not going to be the one who does it.” Maybe the reality is…you just don’t give a… and that’s totally fine too.

How do you start cleaning your house when you’re overwhelmed?

There are a couple of things you can do to help you clean your house when you’re feeling overwhelmed, most of which involve breaking it down into sections:

  1. Break it down into 20-minute chunks of cleaning
  2. Set a timer for 10-minutes of cleaning each day
  3. Make sure you have the correct cleaning products and tools you need
  4. Make a list of your top priorities and start there
  5. Be kind to yourself and don’t expect yourself to get it all done in one go
  6. Think little and often to start chipping away at it
  7. Prioritise food and clothes if you’re not sure where to begin
  8. Try to organise your home so it makes cleaning (when it comes to it) much easier

How do I start to like cleaning?

I don't like cleaning my house
photo: Katie Pearse

For sure, some of us just won’t ever like cleaning, but changing your mindset around it can make it less painful:

  1. Make sure you have a good podcast or cleaning playlist while your cleaning for entertainment
  2. See it as a self-care practise
  3. Use cleaning as a good workout
  4. Use cleaning as a mindful exercise to calm your mind and bring you into the present
  5. Use cleaning as a way to improve your mental health and reduce anxiety
  6. Use cleaning products you really love with scents you really enjoy
  7. Remind yourself how good you’ll feel afterwards
  8. Treat yourself to something you love once it’s finished so you have something to look forward to

Why don’t I like cleaning my house?

  1. Modern life is so busy that you may not have the time to clean; a poor work/life balance can leave you with little energy for chores.

2. Putting off cleaning your home makes jobs build up and then it becomes too overwhelming – you might not know where to start.

3. Cleaning your home week after week can feel monotonous; you might need a new cleaning routine to shake things up a bit.

4. Are you due a clear out? Maybe clutter is making it too hard to clean.

I don't like cleaning my house
photo: Felix Prado

Is it okay to not clean your house?

While some people clean more often than others, it is important to clean your house regularly. Living in a dirty environment can cause you to get sick from bacteria, bugs and other nasties.

Obviously, we don’t want to spend our lives cleaning our homes, but there should be a balance.

How often do you need to clean your house?

This depends on how big your house is, how much it gets used and importantly what spaces get used the most.

Some things, like kitchen surfaces, should be cleaned everyday while other things can be cleaned weekly, monthly or even once a year.

Cleaning products for when you don’t like cleaning your house:

HOUSE HOUSE HOUSE may receive commission from shopping links:

 i don't like cleaning my house linen pink dishcloths

Two linen dishcloths – H&M £8.99

HAY Connie Hüsser Leo smiley sponge - Selfridges £19

HAY Connie Hüsser Leo smiley sponge – Selfridges £19

Ferm living natural dustpan and broom

Ferm Living Icon natural-finish beechwood dustpan and broom set – Selfridges £110

NEAT refillable non-toxic multi surface cleaner

Anti-bac multi-surface starter pack, mango & fig – Neat £7

I don't like cleaning my house

KINFILL starter kit kitchen cleaner, pine husk – Selfridges £24

I don't like cleaning my house

HAY assorted cotton and cellulose sponges – Selfridges £13

I don't like cleaning my house

Method rhubarb floor cleaner – Dunelm £4

natural cleaning products and tools DUNELM

Eco coconut fibre brush – Dunelm £4

cleaning spray bottle

Recycled glass spray bottle – Dunelm £4

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