Do you ever feel distracted when you are cleaning? I find that when I am supposed to be cleaning, I'll look up and realize I am in a very detailed organizational project, maybe distraction, from getting real cleaning done. If you are easily distracted while cleaning try these tips to keep you on task.
1 >> Cleaning for a party. If you are cleaning for an event at your home, clean the basic areas where your guests will see and notice. Those general areas being: the kitchen, the living room (or area they may sit after eating), the bathroom and the area by the door / entryway. You can probably get away with shutting the doors to other bedrooms or basement that you don't have time or energy to clean.
2 >> Time yourself. I like to time myself to see how long it actually takes me to do any one task. That way I can say, in only 15 minutes this room will be clean. 15 minutes sounds way less challenging than, I need to clean this entire room. I've timed it so I know how long each room takes to clean. Generally the kitchen and bath take longer because of all of the water involved. I aim for 15 minutes for each room without water and 30 minutes for rooms with water. I know it takes 3 hours and 15 minutes to clean my entire house, assuming that everything is picked up and I am just wiping down surfaces, dusting and cleaning floors. If it takes you all day to clean your house, enlist help if you can.
3 >> You don't need to clean it perfectly every time. Cleaning is a cyclical process. You won't ever be finished cleaning, or done cleaning for all that long. So think of it this way: if you don't get to it this time around, you'll do it next time around. Maybe in the bathroom you clean the toilet, sink and floor, but you scrub the tub next week if needed. If you plan on doing a deep cleaning once per month (depending on your situation), you should be good to go.
4 >> Cleaning distractions and helpers. Play music to keep your mood upbeat. Caffeine also helps. Sometimes I pretend like I am cleaning a friend's house or that I am a maid. This keeps things more objective. I tell myself: these things aren't for me to organize, I'm just cleaning and picking up. Organizing projects are not to be done today.
5 >> Remove obstacles. Are there things that are making it hard to clean? I had a rug that was really hard to vacuum. I had to go over it several times and even use the hand held vacuum or roller brush sometimes to get everything cleared off. It was black and white and you could see everything on it. I decided this rug was a barrier to quickly cleaning this room so I got rid of it. Now I can easily clean my new rug and the room is generally picked up, dusted and rug cleaned in 15 minutes.
6 >> Cleaning as you go. Even though we all wish our children / roommates / spouse would pick up after themselves, picking up the house is a never ending task. Instead of running around after every sock, pencil and stuffed animal, I make a pile of all of my daughter's things. Then before going to bed, I ask her to bring all of her things back up to her room. She usually only has to make one trip and then I don't have to deal with it.
7 >> Clean all surfaces before going to bed. From one of my favorite organizers, Peter Walsh, and from Maxwell from Apartment Therapy: clean all surfaces before going to bed. This makes a big difference. Clear the table and the catch-all countertop. And remember the floor is the biggest surface of all. If you clear as you go, you will have less stuff to clean at the end of the week, giving you more time and energy to do what really matters.